Deliciously nutty, pleasingly crunchy and protein-packed: Cashew Quinoa Granola is grain free, sugar free and gluten free – a real feel-good breakfast!
There I was last night, sitting around a table with a couple of friends discussing… granola. Intensely. This is an odd thing that happens when you reach a certain age – things you never used to think about suddenly become so captivating you wish you could take notes.
Have you ever had one of those moments?
Like going into an electrical store to get a new whatever-cable and ending up admiring those big American fridges for the better art of an hour – the ones that dispense water and ice.
Like getting excited about the durable soles of hiking boots.
Like comparing accountants.
If you haven’t, you will in time. So much to look forward to!
We started off with the merits of my grain free, sugar free Peanut Butter Granola, briefly agreed about the evilness of shop-bought granola and then moved on to quinoa, the health foodie’s favourite carb replacement. None of us had ever tasted quinoa granola, yet we were vaguely aware there are quinoa granola recipes floating around out there. Would quinoa pop like corn when in the oven? Would it retain its nutty taste? Could it possibly be as good as peanut butter granola?
Today, friends, I have answers to all these burning questions.
Most granolas use honey, sugar or syrup to make the nuts, seeds and grains stick together in clusters. Because we are sugar free here at Sugar Free Londoner (obvsly), we have to embrace a less clustery, yet just as tasty granola. The secret of this recipe is an old granola trick of mine: nut butter and spices!
I used cashew butter for this recipe, which has a slightly sweet taste and does help the nuts and quinoa stick together, along with a pinch of salt and plenty of mixed spice. You could sub cinnamon if you prefer. One can never go wrong with cinnamon! This cashew quinoa granola is gluten free, grain free, sugar free and taste great with yoghurt and fruit.
How about some fun facts? Quinoa (pronounced “keenwah”) is a seed harvested from a plant species called goosefoot. It is officially a seed and part of a group of pseudo-cereals, making it neither a cereal nor a grain, and more closely related to spinach and beets than to cereals or grains.
As for quinoa in granola, this is the lowdown. It does not pop, but stays pleasingly crunchy, nutty-tasting and makes for a great alternative to oats. After all, it’s all in the variety!
Next time you are in an electrical store, do check out those American fridges. That satisfying plopp their doors make when you open them…
- 100 g uncooked, washed quinoa
- 100 g cashew nuts, unsalted
- 50 g walnut pieces
- 50 g sliced almonds
- 50 g coconut flakes
- 50 g cashew butter
- optional: 50g sunflower seeds
- optional: 50g pumpkin seeds
- 1 tsp mixed spice or cinnamon
- Preheat your oven to 180 Celsius.
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl and work in the cashew butter, making sure it is evenly distributed.
- Bake in the oven on a baking sheet for ca 15 minutes. Keep a close eye and turn regularly so it does not burn.
- Once cooled, this granola keeps in an airtight container for two weeks.
- Enjoy - and customise to your liking! I would have used some pumpkin or sunflower seeds if I had found them in my cupboard, but was too keen to get started so did not feel like another trip to the supermarket.