I’ve been trying to snack more often because I’ve realized that one problem with my diet is that I don’t eat often enough and then by the time I do I’m starving. While remembering to eat before I’m ready to chew my arm off can be challenging as a busy mom, I find that if I have something I really like on hand it is much easier. So, I was really excited to try these quinoa nut clusters.
It’s sort of a cross between a cookie and a granola bar with the added benefit of having quinoa. Yep, it does have some sugar in it but I’m sure you could substitute this with stevia if you like. I used organic cane sugar and my boys seemed to approve. They called them cookies which made me feel pretty good because I knew there was good stuff in there too!
Cooking and baking the quinoa seems like overkill, but trust me on this one. By slightly undercooking the quinoa and then baking it you avoid the “don’t eat with dentures” texture that baked quinoa can have.
Any dried fruit would work here so feel free to experiment – tart cherries or apricots would be especially nice in these honey nut clusters.
This recipe is lightly adapted from Power Foods.
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup pistachios, chopped
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup raw organic sugar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 T canola oil
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs, beaten or egg replacer
- 1 egg white, beaten or egg replacer
- Vegetable oil spray
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Bring quinoa and water to a boil.
- Cover and reduce to a simmer.
- Cook for 12 minutes and drain.
- Quinoa will be slightly under cooked but will continue to cook in the oven.
- Place quinoa on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add oats and cook for 15 more minutes.
- Reduce oven to 300 degrees.
- Combine quinoa mixture, nuts, cranberries, sugar and salt.
- In a separate bowl combine maple syrup, oil, vanilla and eggs (or egg replacer).
- Combine with quinoa mixture.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with cooking spray.
- Make clusters by placing 1/4 cup of mixture on baking shed and flattening to 1/4 inch inch.
- Bake for 25 minutes, rotating cookie sheet half way through.
- Allow to cool on wire rack.
- Store loosely covered with foil.
vegetarian, vegan (when using egg replacer), gluten-free (always check the ingredients you are using)