Hey, Big Girl! Do you love granola as much as I do? I haven’t been eating it as often as I’d like to because have you noticed how expensive it is? Some brands are selling for as much as $9.00 for an 11.2 ounce package. (Why for the love of Mike, are companies selling 11.2 ounce packages of anything?) My 13-year-old and The Captain can polish off an entire 11.2 oz. bag of granola in a single morning! I had to figure out how to make a healthy and yummy protein granola myself in bulk.
Also, if you have granola for breakfast, it’s just not as protein-rich as having an egg or other pure protein. There are ‘protein’ granolas at the grocery store but if you look at the ingredients you often see the protein is in the form of soy protein isolates, and soy protein concentrates, which brings us into the realm of commercially processed, or what I call fake food. Professional opinions abound about the potentially negative side effects of consuming these processed soy products because soy is notorious for being genetically modified and also because genetically modified soy itself can cause hormonal disruptions in both men and women. I decided that I was no longer going to eat processed or GMO foods, especially outrageously expensive ones, and thankfully it’s much cheaper to make your own healthy protein packed natural organic granola at home.
PUMPKIN SPICED PROTEIN GRANOLA
It’s got tons of fiber from the whole oats.
The protein punch comes from natural organic quinoa flakes, which is just cooked and dried quinoa that has been ‘cut’ into flakes.
The taste of fall comes from using pumpkin pie spices, maple syrup, and a hit of all-natural molasses.
Pumpkin seeds, walnuts, fried figs, and dried cranberries give it fantastic texture and flavor.
Uses a minimum amount of healthy REFINED coconut oil; which imparts healthy monounsaturated fats without the taste of coconut.
It’s way more economical – yields 8 cups or 64 ounces. At $.60/ounce, you’d pay $38.00 for that much protein granola at the grocery store!
Before you dive into the recipe, I need to point out a couple of things. The first is to remember that you are just toasting the granola in the oven, not ‘cooking’ it. Because the oats, quinoa flakes and nuts are mixed with the coconut oil, maple syrup, and molasses, the granola will look nicely browned but still a bit ‘wet.’ That’s exactly what you want! It will crisp up after it is removed from the oven and allowed to cool. Don’t make the mistake of trying to get it crisp while still in the oven, because all you’ll do is burn it and it will taste terrible!
Also, it’s important to pick up ‘expeller pressed refined organic coconut oil,’ it will also likely say ‘for high heat.’ Refined coconut oil is much more stable at higher heat and won’t go rancid while being cooked at 375 degrees. A nice side effect of refined coconut oil is that the refining process also takes the coconut taste out of the oil. For this fall recipe, you don’t want a tropical flavor, so be sure to get the right refined coconut oil. I use it for other high heat cooking just like light olive oil, so don’t worry you’ll use it!
- 2 C old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2 C Organic quinoa flakes (usually found in the hot cereal section of the grocery)
- 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- sea salt
- 1 C raw unsalted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1 C rough chopped raw walnuts
- ¼ C all-natural maple syrup
- ¼ C unsulphured all-natural molasses
- ¾ C expeller pressed refined coconut oil (see note*)
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 C all natural dried cranberries
- 1 C diced dried figs
- Canola oil or spray
- Preheat oven to 375° F and spray a sheet pan with canola oil spray, or lightly brush with canola oil to keep the granola from sticking.
- In a large bowl, combine oats, quinoa flakes, pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin seeds and walnuts with a pinch of sea salt and stir well to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together molasses, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract until it is emulsified. It will thicken up a little. (*If your room temperature is less the 76 degrees, the coconut oil will be solid. If so, then submerge the coconut oil jar in a bowl of warm/hot water until it liquifies prior to adding to the bowl.)
- Add the liquid to the oats & quinoa mixture stirring very well to be sure the granola is evenly coated.
- Evenly spread the granola mixture into the sheet pan using a rubber spatula.
- Toast granola for 25 minutes until it is golden brown, stirring every 5-10 minutes to keep the edges from burning.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Add cranberries and figs tossing to mix evenly.
- Serve with fat free greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon, or for cold mornings add to hot milk or almond milk.
The “Famous Recipe’ series is a carefully curated collection of out-of-this-world recipes that elevate a dish to legendary status meaning that your friends will beg you for the recipe after they’ve eaten it! This Famous Salmon Recipe started the entire “Famous” series due to its popularity in my kitchen and then on Pinterest, where it’s been pinned over 25,000+ times! Don’t forget to sign up for the Big Girl Life weekly newsletter HERE so you don’t miss out on other great recipes.
Thanks for sharing the love, Big Girl.