If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen these status updates in the last few months:

 

Granola and I have had a very complicated relationship.

For the last four months, I have been studying recipes, trying recipes, and throwing out recipes.

Batch 1 was flimsy. Flimsy! It reminded me of  David Sedaris’s dad’s carrots in “Me Talk Pretty One Day”. There was no crunch when Manatee would chew it. It succumbed without any resistance. “It’s supposed to crunch!” I yelled. “I like it,” Manatee argued as he pulled at the pieces of granola glued to his teeth.

Batch 2 was still soft, then burnt, then inedible.

Batch after batch, I tried.

Batch after batch, Manatee ate it, doggedly refusing to let the ingredients to to waste.

Batch after batch began to wear me down.

Batch 6 was the final straw. I had adapted a recipe that was supposed to make granola bars. I had wanted large chunks of granola so this seemed promising. It was looking good until I went to cut them. The pieces crumbled before my eyes.

I believe I shed some tears and shoveled the crumbly remains into two quart containers, planning to pass them off to my unsuspecting parents who were coming for a visit the next day.

I passed off one quart and kept one for myself.

A few nights later I was looking for a night-time snack and decided to sprinkle the reject granola over a sliced banana.

As I began to chew, I realized something. This was actually pretty good.

I called my parents and asked if they had tried it. Not only had they tried it, they had already finished it.

Eureeka!

Granola Criteria

When creating my recipe, I had some requirements.

It must include quinoa.

It must include nut butter.

It must be dairy-free and gluten-free.

It must have as much protein as possible with as little sugar as possible. 

At first, I was also determined to get big chunks in the granola. Once I made peace with not having a super chunky granola, the world was a better place.

Badger Girl Granola 6.0

Base:
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 1/2 cups slivered and/or sliced almonds
1/2 cup raw quinoa, rinsed
1/4 cup flaxseed

Glaze:
2 tablespoons coconut oil, more for greasing
1/3 cup agave nectar

Mix-Ins:
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup craisins
1/4 finely shredded coconut

Binder:
1/2 cup nut butter
1/4 cup protein powder


Preheat the oven to 325 and grease one large rimmed baking sheet.

In a large bowl, mix together the ingredients for the base.

Oats, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Quinoa mixed together for Homemade Granola

Oats, Pumpkin Seeds, Quinoa, Sunflower Seeds, and Flaxseeds

 

Add Sliced and Slivered Almonds to Oats, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Quinoa mixed together for Homemade Granola

Add Sliced and Slivered Almonds

Heat glaze in a small saucepan until coconut oil is melted. Drizzle over base ingredients and mix together. Spread onto prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Stir occasionally so that it bakes evenly.

While it’s baking, mix together binder ingredients.

Protein Powder and Nut Butter.

Protein Powder and Nut Butter.

Protein Powder and Nut Butter Mixed

Protein Powder and Nut Butter Mixed

You will also want to clean the bowl from earlier and grease an 8 1/2 by 11 rectangular cake pan.

Remove oat mixture from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Move into a large bowl and mix in the add-ins.

Mix-in ingredients: finely shredded coconut, craisins, and raisins

Mix-in ingredients: finely shredded coconut, craisins, and raisins

 

Add Craisins, Raisins, and Coconut to the Oat Mixture

Add Craisins, Raisins, and Coconut to the Oat Mixture

Stir until combined.

Add Binder ingredients.

Add binder ingredients to oat mixture.

Add Nut Butter and Protein Powder to Oat Mixture.

You may need to use your hands to get it fully mixed together.

Press into prepared cake pan.

Let cool for 1-8 hours.

©Kimberly Aime, 2012

Recipe Review:

It was worth the wait.

I love eating it plain or over sliced bananas. Manatee has been treating it as cereal and eating it with some un-sweetened almond milk. This is our new must-have food.

Notes on variations:

The protein powder is optional. You really don’t need it. For us, it was just another way to sneak in some protein. I use a vegetable soy protein with no chemicals and that doesn’t have any taste or aftertaste. Works for us but may not be for everyone.

You really should make this granola according to your own tastes. Really. I purposefully set up in sections so you could modify to your little heart’s desire. Try to maintain the ratios and the measurements within each section (Base, Binder, Glaze, Mix-Ins). So let’s say you think I am totally weird for adding quinoa, simply omit the quinoa and add the half cup in another ingredient, maybe more oats or seeds.

We recently subbed in some coconut flakes for some of the almonds and have subbed in chia seeds for flaxseeds. Both were delicious. The possibilities are truly endless.

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What do you like in your granola?

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