'Peanut Allergy Princess' is the story of one mom, one Princess with food allergies (to peanuts and brazil nuts) and our journey through the stress of life with food allergies. Here you will find many recipes, tips on living (and enjoying life) with food allergies, thoughts from a mother of 3 kids (The Brothers and The Princess) and insights into our life. Welcome!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pumpkin Quinoa Granola

Thanksgiving is almost here... where has the time gone? It seems like the past few months have flown by and now the year is almost over. So, what does the end of the year coming up so fast have to do with granola? Absolutely nothing.

But, speaking of Thanksgiving, there are a lot of posts on Pinterest and food blogs with recipes for breakfast on Thanksgiving day. The problem with most of the ones I have seen is that they are very rich, full of sugar and fat and not a great way to start a day that will most likely be full of other food that falls into that category. I wanted to post a recipe that would be a yummy yet healthier way to start your Thanksgiving day.

Most store bought granola, while touted as a health food, is anything but healthy. It also may contain or be contaminated with peanuts. I prefer to make my own and it is super easy!

This post is the debut of a recipe on my blog containing quinoa... which is hard to believe because I use it quite often. For those who have never cooked with quinoa, here are some interesting facts about this superfood.

* High in protein - Quinoa has more protein than any other grain, it also contains the 9 essential amino acids making it a complete protein
* Lowers your blood pressure - Quinoa is high in magnesium which relaxes blood vessels helping to lower your blood pressure and improve overall heart health
* Helps reduce migraines - Quinoa is high in magnesium which helps with the constriction and rebound dilation of blood vessels that are characteristic in migraines. Quinoa also has riboflavin which has been proven to lessen the frequency of migraines
* Fights off dangerous cancer and disease-causing substances - The manganese and copper found in quinoa are powerful antioxidants that help fight disease
* Higher in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese and zinc than wheat, barley and corn
* Gluten free - Quinoa is a gluten free food and good for those who can't tolerate any grains because it is a seed (it is actually related to spinach - which is why it is a powerhouse when it comes to nutrition).

For more information on quinoa, check out this post from Unconventional Kitchen.

I like to eat my granola as cereal with vanilla almond milk on top. You can also add it on top of yogurt or applesauce or eat is straight out of a bag as a snack.

Pumpkin Quinoa Granola

1 cup brown rice cereal (like Rice Krispies except made from brown rice)

1/2 cup instant oatmeal

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

2 Tbsp ground flax seed

1/4 cup shredded coconut (preferably without added sugar - get it at a health food store)

1 Tbsp coconut oil

2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts * (optional)

1/4 to 1/2 cup dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, cherries, etc...) (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (or tinfoil in a pinch).

Combine brown rice cereal, oatmeal, cooked quinoa, ground flax, shredded coconut and chopped walnuts (if using) in a bowl.

In a small saucepan heat coconut oil, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla over low heat until melted and incorporated. Stir into dry mixture.

Spread in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet. Break into clusters and mix in dried fruit (if using).

* One of the nice things about using quinoa in this recipe is that if you are unable to use nuts, there is still protein making it a filling breakfast.

Recipe adapted from Cookie Quinoa


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