Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Heart Healthy Quinoa Granola

Something one I haven't talked about on the blog is my sweet and beautiful niece! I can hardly even believe it, but she is over 2 1/2 months old now. Where has that time gone?!

I haven't seen her in about a month, and I am missing her chubby little self so much! I hope we can see that baby girl soon, but in the meantime, my SIL has been sending me pictures of her, and I just cannot even begin to describe how big she is getting. Of course, I don't know for sure since I haven't held her in so long, but she is looking so dang big!

You can click on the photo to see it bigger. This is the picture my SIL sent me yesterday. She is sitting on the couch, and believe it or not (believe it!) she is watching TV. That girl is obsessed with watching TV. She gets lost watching it all the time and my SIL said she watched half of Harry Potter the other night. Too funny. We keep saying she takes after her uncle (Mr Carla's Confections), because he is in the movie industry. She is just trying to keep up with the Joneses Walkers.

You see that bib she is wearing? We bought that for her when we were still living in New Zealand and we got the news that my SIL was preggo. Its neutral colored because we didn't know at the time what the gender was. So crazy to think how long ago that was now.

I cant get over how drool-y she is already too. The doctors say that it is early for her to be so drool-y and that she is a fast developer. She loves blowing bubbles, and apparently, watching TV and movies like her uncle Matty :)

It is amazing how much love you can have for someone who hasn't been in the world for very long, or at all. We all felt so much love for her before she was even in this world, and now that she is here, I have an aching in my heart when I am not around her. I can only imagine how much more it will be when we have a baby of our own. I just love that girl so much!

And yes, Matt and I do want more than anything to have a baby. Especially after looking at and spending time with our beautiful niece. It is just all in God's timing, I know. We know that He will bless us with a child at His perfect time.

I didn't really have much of a reason to talk about baby Avery, except for the fact that I had writers block and the only thing I could think to talk about was her :) She's an easy one to talk about!

Anyway, on to this granola!

If you wonder how I stay less than 300 pounds with all the baking I do, it is because I limit myself (and Matt for that matter) on the amount of sweets that we do eat, and the rest of the baked goods goes to Matt's work for his coworkers to enjoy. It also makes Matt friends, so its a win-win really ;) LOL

We also really try to incorporate a lot of healthy things into our meals, including substituting whole wheat or even flaxseed wraps (and spinach as well) and bread instead of white bread, whole wheat pasta rather than regular pasta, putting hummus on wraps and sandwiches in place of mayonnaise, and other little things like that. These small things really make a huge difference.

We also love eating meals like this Kale and Broccoli Quinoa, and having healthy breakfasts like these No Bake Energy Balls, or granola like this one over yogurt and fresh in-season fruit.

Is anyone else as excited for all these fresh berries that are starting to come into season? I am so excited about them. It is so nice to have fresh fruit for breakfast again!

I called this granola heart healthy because there are so many ingredients in it that are so so good for you, and tons of them are great for your heart, including quinoa, almonds, sunflower seeds, raisins, honey, wheat germ and yes, even dark chocolate. There is also no added sugar, other than the honey, so it is really on the healthy side, but the granola is still so perfectly sweetened (not too much, not too little).

I am not a nutritionist, and I don't have any actual nutrition facts for this granola, but I know that it is good for you :) So there. Lol

I actually don't typically like chocolate for breakfast, but the hubs does, so that is why I threw in the chocolate chunks. Feel free to leave those out if you so please, or keep them in and give all your chocolate chunks to someone who would be happy to have it for breakfast :)

And the best part about the quinoa is that you don't have to cook it. All you need to do is rinse and drain it. Then it is ready to be toasted along with the rest of this beautiful mixture.

PS the pictures are all from the same day/photo shoot, but I was having fun playing around with props. That's the reason for the different looking pictures.

I hope you make this granola soon and incorporate this and other healthy eating habits into your diet. It is really so easy to have a little bit of health in your life. It just takes a few small steps at a time!

Heart Healthy Quinoa Granola  | Printable Recipe
makes about 5 cups

  • 2 heaping cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup almonds, lightly crushed
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ (you can also use ground flaxseed)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds (or any other seeds to your desire)
  • 1/3 cup raisins (feel free to use less or more)
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks (optional)
  • 1/4 heaping cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • cinnamon, to taste
  • fresh grated nutmeg, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 300F/150C and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, combine honey, oil and vanilla with a fork. Stir well to thin out the honey.
  3. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients except the raisins and chocolate. Season with cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. Stir in the wet ingredients and combine well.
  5. Lay out the granola on the lined baking sheet as flat as possible and bake 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until granola is golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool completely before stirring in the raisins and chocolate chunks.
  7. Store in an airtight container.
Recipe inspired by Two Peas and Their Pod

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  2. Your niece is so adorable! And this granola sounds perfect! Love the quinoa!

  3. I'm in need of a new homemade granola recipe. This sounds awesome! love the addition of the quinoa!

    1. Thank you :) The quinoa is a perfect crunchy addition. We are already obsessed with it!

  4. What an adorable little girl! I still haven't incorporated quinoa into my breakfast meals, but this granola is definitely inspiring me to do so. It looks fantastic!

    1. Thanks Dara! It was a really great breakfast meal (and snack too) :)

  5. Hello! I recently just started a youtube Korean food channel, EasyKoreanFood, where you can learn how to make fast and easy Korean food! It would mean the world to me if you took the time to check it out because I'm just starting out! Thanks!

  6. Wow, that's some really really healthy granola! You go, you! I have to admit, when I opened this post, I immediately got up and poured a big bowl of chocolate granola. Haha. YAY! So healthy.

    Your niece is so cute! It stinks that she's so far away but at least we live in the internet age and you can see her on Skype, get pictures, etc. :)


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