Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola

Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola
Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola

“Hidden sugars,” I’m sure I’ve said, with sass loaded into my voice, about granola. When I have an opinion, I can get sassy about it — and I’ve been a bit down on granola before. In some ways, rightly so: the store bought kind is usually full of sugar, despite the “healthy” aura granola has compared to other cereals.

But homemade granola deserves a second look. I admit it. There are no hidden sugars when you’re doing the cooking, and even better you can tweak and adjust and make a version that totally fits your tastes.

Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola
Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola

In this recipe, the only sweetener is maple syrup (the flavor of maple syrup is perfect with oats in the morning). Everything else in the bowl is simple, too: rolled oats, pecan pieces, butter, chia seeds, ground cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Add that all to a bowl, mix it up, and toast it — you’re on your way to a delicious morning bowl! Easy peasy lemon squeezey. 🍋

The house and my clothes smelled like maple and cinnamon for a full day after pulling a big tray out of the oven. ✨

Pictured here: Granola, blueberries and banana in my breakfast bowl, topped with milk. BUT we also enjoyed this granola with yogurt (adds great crunch!) and as a desk snack (still have a jar-full for next week!).

Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola

Cinnamon Maple Pecan Granola

Published February 5, 2019 by
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Yields: 2.5 cups   |    Active Time: 40 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup raw pecan pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
    2. In the bottom of a large microwave-safe bowl, melt coconut/butter. Add: oats, pecan pieces, chia seeds, salt, cinnamon, and maple syrup. Use a spatula to stir until everything is evenly distributed.
    3. Spread oat mixture on prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to ensure even cooking.
    4. Allow to cool and store in an air-tight contain. Serve with fruit and milk like cereal, eat plain as a snack, or sprinkle over yogurt for a parfait.
    5. Store in an air-tight container.

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    Roasted Red Pepper, Black Bean & Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

    Roasted Red Pepper, Black Bean & Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

    Leftover quinoa in the fridge? This one is for you. 😊

    I recently bought a bag full of quinoa because I wanted to try my hand at popping it (like popcorn). Popped quinoa is something that was sold roadside and in artisan markets when I visited northern Chile. It was a novelty for me — though I had eaten plenty of quinoa before, and knew it was local to the Andean region, seeing it puffed was different. Think puffed rice, but round, smaller, and with a delicious nutty flavor.

    I tried two methods for popping the grains (one stove top, one in the microwave) and neither produced the results I was looking for. The final product was like a toasted quinoa seed, which was crunchy and nutty and great on yogurt. But it wasn’t a “pop” or a “puff” by any standard. Have you popped quinoa? How did you do it? Do I need an air popper? I have dreams of a chocolate almond butter granola bar with puffed quinoa and need your help!!

    On the bright side: these experiments have meant I’ve had plenty of quinoa in the pantry.

    Roasted Red Pepper, Black Bean & Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
    Roasted Red Pepper, Black Bean & Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

    Roasted Red Pepper, Black Bean & Quinoa Breakfast Bowls have been the highlight of my quinoa-filled week.

    They are an “oooooh, yummy” and also “oh that looks nourishing” kind of dish, at the same time.

    Making these in the morning is easiest when you have leftover quinoa and already cooked (or canned) black beans to start with. You can totally cook up a fresh batch to make these bowls, but using leftovers makes this easy, and easy mornings = good. Next time you’re making quinoa, make extra with tomorrow’s breakfast in mind.

    Then, all you have to do is sauté the bell peppers (doing this over low heat, with a pinch of patience, yields pepper strips that are almost caramelized… 😍 though in a rush, you can crank the heat and char the peppers a bit — just don’t burn the kitchen down - and get something more savory), fry an egg or two, and top with avocado.

    Something else I love about this breakfast bowl is that it starts with 3 extremely simple ingredients: grains, beans, and eggs. The basics really can “wow!”

    Last comment before the recipe — Is quinoa a grain or a seed? And what’s all this talk about “pseudocereal?” Well… first, you may be interested in this article covering the difference between a grain and a seed (it’s not a huge difference, and has to do with the coating on the seed). A pseudocereal is a crop that is not a grass grain but is used like one. Which is exactly how we tend to think of quinoa, even though it is not a grass grain! SO: Yes, quinoa is a seed. It’s used like a grain, making it a “pseudocereal.” Now that we have that bit of business covered…. Let’s eat!

    Roasted Red Pepper, Black Bean & Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

    Roasted Red Pepper, Black Bean & Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

    Published January 24, 2019 by
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    Serves: 2   |    Active Time: 20 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or other cooking oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced in strips
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, warmed
  • 1/2 cup black beans, canned or pre-cooked and strained, warmed
  • For serving: salt & pepper, sliced avocado, minced cilantro, lime wedges

  • Directions:

    1. Divide quinoa and black beans between two serving bowls.
    2. Cook the peppers: Heat cooking oil in a skillet over medium heat. When the oil glistens, tilt the pan back and forth to coat it in oil. Place red peppers in pan, and sauté, stirring every 2-3 minutes, until peppers are soft and edges are browning. Transfer peppers to serving bowls.
    3. If your pan is dry, add a bit more oil. Crack the eggs into the pan, one at a time, and reduce heat to low. Cook until whites are completely set and yolks have reached your desired doneness. Use a spatula to transfer eggs to serving bowls.
    4. Top each bowl with salt & pepper to taste, sliced avocado, minced cilantro, and a lime wedge. Serve warm.

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    Goat Cheese & Chive Scrambled Eggs

    Goat Cheese & Chive Scrambled Eggs

    Adding goat cheese crumbles to scrambled eggs takes about two additional seconds but adds so much creamy cheesy flavor.

    While I normally opt for eggs over easy these days, scrambled eggs were probably the first thing I ever learned to cook myself, and that alone made them one of my favorite foods as a kid. (I would scramble and egg in the microwave on slow weekends when my mom would ask, “Are you going to eat breakfast today?")

    That version didn’t call for goat cheese (and I don’t think twenty-years-ago Caitlin would’ve appreciated the addition), but goat cheese adds pockets of creaminess that are out of this world.

    Goat Cheese & Chive Scrambled Eggs
    Goat Cheese & Chive Scrambled Eggs

    Chives and goat cheese are a classic combo. Chives add a delicate onion-garlic flavor that is just zippy enough to give creamy goat cheese some extra life. Chives are one of the first plants in the garden that turns green come spring, making this breakfast a perfect early spring kind of dish.

    I happened to also be cooking up a batch of creamy Icelandic Langoustine Soup, and had some extra chives to burn. I hate buying a bunch of herbs and only using half, leaving the other half to wither in the fridge… though, that ends up being the fate of many MANY bunches of herbs in our fridge. Sound familiar? Well, there are LOTS of ways to use up chives, including this recipe! Here are a few more to help you finish off that bunch: Crustless Quiche Lorraine (a reader fave!), Sweet Potato Chive Hash Brown Waffles, or Garlic and Herb Shrimp with Vine Ripe Tomatoes. You could basically build a whole week’s meal plan around a bunch of chives!

    We served these eggs with a side of roasted sweet potatoes, but sautéd veggies would also be delish!

    Goat Cheese & Chive Scrambled Eggs
    Goat Cheese & Chive Scrambled Eggs

    Goat Cheese & Chive Scrambled Eggs

    Published January 17, 2018 by
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    Serves: 2   |    Active Time: 20 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons goat cheese crumbles, plus more for topping
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more for topping to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil, such as coconut or avocado
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives, plus more for garnish 

  • Directions:

    1. Crack all four eggs into a mixing bowl. Whisk together until they are frothy and solid yellow. Add goat cheese, salt, and pepper, and whisk to incorporate.
    2. Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Pour egg mixture into skillet. As eggs begin to set (after a few minutes) gently use a spatula to pull eggs across pan, making curds. Add in chives and continue to cook for a few more minutes, occasionally stirring, until all of the egg mixture is set.
    3. Divide among serving plates and sprinkle with extra goat cheese and chives, along with extra black pepper to taste.

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