This light and crisp Quinoa Granola has the perfect balance of wholesome oats, sweet honey, crunchy quinoa, and crispy rice cereal. It’s perfect for snacking on or for topping a yogurt parfait.
When I was creating this granola recipe, I knew I wanted something light and crispy. Hearty granola most definitely has its place, but after so much holiday food, something light sounds most appealing.
Making the Quinoa
Quinoa takes a bit of preparation. Before toasting, rinse it to remove the natural soapy-tasting residue. I use a fine-mesh strainer and rinse the quinoa under running water. If you don’t have a fine-mesh strainer, put the quinoa in a bowl and swish water over it, draining and refilling until the water is clear.
Then, cook the quinoa for just a bit to soften the texture and make it perfect for granola. When I used completely uncooked quinoa, it was too gritty and made my teeth hurt. Make sure your pan is hot when you add the wet quinoa and water, then wait for the water to boil off. Give the quinoa a quick toast in the now-dry pan and it’s all ready to go.
The Perfect Add-Ins
Adding oats to this granola gives it body and staying power, plus a boost of iron for energy. Crispy rice cereal gives a crisp texture. Adding honey to the mixture adds a bit of natural sweetness and makes this granola glossy and beautiful.
I would have never thought to add sunflower seeds in until I glanced around my pantry, looking for anything I thought might work. Sunflower seeds were what I just happened to have around at the time. You could also use sliced almonds if you have them around. The small size of sunflower seeds complements the cute tiny size of the toasted quinoa perfectly though.
I love to add this granola to a bowl of vanilla Greek yogurt, with milk like cereal, or even to enjoy it plain. However you choose to eat it, I hope it lightens your breakfast or snack and makes you feel content.
Some of the Products I Love to Use When Making the Quinoa Granola
- ½ C (3.5 oz) quinoa
- ½ C (2.5 oz) sunflower seeds, roasted and salted
- 2 C (7.2 oz) whole grain rolled oats
- 2 C (2 oz) crispy rice cereal
- 1 T butter
- ¼ C (2 oz) brown sugar
- ⅓ C (4 oz) honey
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
Toast the Quinoa.
- Rinse uncooked quinoa thoroughly.
- Drain then put in a nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Add 1 cup of water. Let come to a boil then stir until water is gone and quinoa starts to toast and pop. Lightly toast the quinoa, stirring continuously until light golden brown. Be careful not to burn.
Toast Oats and Rice Cereal.
- Heat oven to 350* F. In preheated oven, toast rice cereal on parchment-lined cookie sheet for 3 minutes.
- Toast the oats on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 10 minutes.
- Add quinoa, sunflower seeds, oats, and crisp rice cereal to a large mixing bowl.
Mix Granola and Bake.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix butter, brown sugar, honey, salt, and vanilla. Bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and pour over quinoa mixture. Stir to combine.
- Spread in a single layer on parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes, stirring once or twice until golden.
- Let cool and keep in an airtight container for up to one month.