Crunchy Quinoa, Toasted Almond and Dark Chocolate Brown Butter Granola.

Longest recipe name ever.

But I couldn’t leave one thing out.

See, I’m all about the trendy quinoa because, uh, it’s… trendy. It also is my excuse for calling something with brown butter and chocolate healthy.

I can’t get enough of these honey roasted almonds from Trader Joe’s. I know I mentioned it on Wednesday but I am blowing through bag after bag. Last night my husband stopped at Trader Joe’s on the way home from work without me knowing and when he got home, I completely flipped out because I NEED THOSE ALMONDS. And OMG why didn’t he tell me. Why does he hate me and my almonds.

The brown butter should be totally self explanatory.

And well, the dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and therefore, a health food.

This granola probably has magic powers or something.

I have been on a granola kick lately and I’m pretty sure it began a few weeks ago when I woke up and wanted granola for breakfast. But was out. I craved it for the next few days, but was way too lazy to pick it up at the store. Which speaks volumes of my laziness considering I’m at the grocery store nearly twice every day because I make lists, leave lists at home and just ignore lists.

Seriously. I actually am embarrassed to see the grocery store employees these days because they have to think I am clinically insane.

Then again, they may not be all wrong.

I also am representing my generation very well.

Whatever. Granola.

I get asked all the time about my granola clumps. Here’s how I do it: I toss the granola a few times during the cooking process, as noted below. I remove it and let it sit for a few minutes until it’s slightly cooled, then I actually “scrunch” some together with my hands quickly and gently since it’s still sort of hot. I may fold in some chocolate at that point because… what the heck is granola with chocolate?

It’s nothing. That’s what it is.

The hardest part is waiting for it to completely cool. I mean – COMPLETELY COOL. I cannot stress this enough. If I am being an impatient brat, I may place the entire baking sheet in the fridge to speed up the process. Because god forbid I actually have to WAIT for something.

Once it’s totally cooled, it’s often a mixture of a few giant clumps, which I break apart, and some loose granola. I love that combination. It’s perfect with a few splashes of milk or swirled into yogurt or eating by a grubby handful out of a ziplock bag at midnight.

No idea how I know about that.


Print

Crunchy Quinoa, Toasted Almond and Dark Chocolate Brown Butter Granola

Yield: makes about 4 cups

Total Time: 2 hours (includes cooling time)

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
Add butter to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Whisk constantly until brown bits appear on the bottom, about 5-6 minutes, then immediately remove from heat and set aside. Stir in honey and vanilla extract.

In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds, quinoa, flaxseed, cinnamon and salt. Stir well to combine. Pour butter/honey over the oat mixture, stirring with a large spoon until the entire thing is equally moistened. I stir and even mix with my hands for about 5 good minutes. Spread evenly on the baking sheet in one layer. Bake for 10 minutes, toss and then bake for 10 minutes more. Toss again, then bake for about 10 more minutes, stirring every 3 minutes or so until the mixture is golden.

Remove and let cool for about 10 minutes. At this time, I gently and quickly squeeze some of the granola together with my hands - I find that this helps it "clump" together. Pour chocolate chips over top and stir in gently. Let cool completely for at least one hour before eating.

[adapted from my coconut butter granola]

Granola for everyone!