Maple Quinoa Granola

August 24, 2013
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 7 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Makes 5 to 6 cups
Author Notes

A recipe forged from all those crunchy blogs I follow using coconut products and raw stuff (sigh), this granola hits the sweet spot for me. And the crispy, light, toasty, chunky spots. Quinoa lends lovely textural pop, not to mention protein and aw-shucks beauty. And all the flavors going on are balanced by the permeating goodness of maple syrup. This stuff is practically dessert for breakfast. Or breakfast for dessert. Or granola for every meal for two days.

I sometimes opt for unsweetened cranberries, and I occasionally zest a little orange into the oil/syrup and let it mingle for a few minutes before mixing it all together and baking. Get crunchy! —spacekase

Test Kitchen Notes

I love the health profile of this granola: it's lower in sugar, and quinoa and walnuts add extra protein. We will happily eat up this batch of granola on our morning yogurt, and, I suspect, sneak some as a snack as well. I found the flavor, while delicious, just short of bold enough for me. I followed the recipe as written, but next time, I'd add a pinch or two of salt and more than just a dash of the spices. This is an interesting twist and a healthier version of the type of granola I like. —Wendy

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups whole rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup pre-rinsed, uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts, in pieces or coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (raw)
  • 1/4 cup white raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons split hemp seeds (optional)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup grade B maple syrup
  • 1 dash cinnamon
  • 1 dash nutmeg
  1. Preheat your oven to 225° F.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients (excluding cinnamon and nutmeg) in a great big mixing bowl.
  3. In a small saucepan over really low heat (or just in a bowl if your coconut oil is liquid), combine oil, syrup, and a dash each of the spices. You only need to get it up to a temperature that melts the coconut oil, then turn it off immediately. Pour your syrup/oil over the mixing bowl, then stir it all up until you don't see any more dry oats. Mix it up good.
  4. Spread the mix onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten it out so it's even; it should take up the whole sheet. Bake at 225° F for 60 minutes.
  5. Let cool completely. When cooled, lift the ends of the parchment and let it crumble to the center. I leave the big chunks big; they'll break up as you pour everything into your jar. You can also just grab them and eat them.
  6. Because of the coconut oil here, this needs to be kept in an airtight container in the fridge, or safely below 70°, otherwise it risks losing its crispety crunchety.
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28 Reviews

Franca January 9, 2021
I amped up the spices, and added additional one. Although not bad tasting, what makes granola for me is the wonderful clumps, and unfortunately this one just did not cut the mustard.
kimmiebeck June 9, 2018
No need to refrigerate granola. It always stays crisp in a sealed container. Olive oil is also a good choice.
Allie G. September 21, 2015
I think I can clarify some of the doubts here.
Canola oil and avocado oil can be used in place of coconut oil.
Pre-rinsed quinoa is raw quinoa straight out of the packet. Honestly I have never found any form of debris in my quinoa or couscous or any grain whatsoever. Also, when baked for an hour, it does not remain raw. So that should take care of the fact that quinoa should not be eaten raw.
Personally, as a vegan, I think this is an awesome recipe.
Thank you for an amazing share.
Molly January 20, 2015
I make a batch of this almost every week - it's a staple in our house. I leave out the raisins, cranberries and coconut, and use canola oil instead of coconut oil. Thanks for a great recipe!
Marsha G. May 22, 2014
This was only okay. It was basically a loose granola with few clumps, and it wasn't fantastic tasting, just okay. I added 1/8 t. salt because it was solely sweet and one dimensional. I also increased the cinnamon and the nutmeg to much more than mere dashes. Even with these tweaks, it's not one of the best granolas I've ever had.
James S. April 18, 2014
OMG -- this tastes incredible! I think I'll need to be making another batch before long ...

In keeping with the Food52 review, I added 1/4t of sea salt, and bumped the cinnamon to 1/2 t and the nutmeg to 1/4 t; also replaced hemp seeds with golden flax seeds. At end of hour baking the granola looked like it need some more time so bumped oven up to 250 and baked 15 minutes more.
Maura April 14, 2014
We are addicted to this granola. I now make it in double batches. Thank you so much!
impeesa March 25, 2014
For my own edifacation, cooked quinoa,right?
spacekase March 25, 2014
Here, it's added dry, without pre-cooking. But as SlowLorus suggests, you could rinse it and let it drain while assembling everything else--so, perhaps slightly wet.
Laura March 24, 2014
Really happy with this light granola. Thanks so much for a perfect ratio!
Kate P. March 24, 2014
Smells and tastes great, but the dried fruit should be added after the baking. The raisins became completely dried and tough, almost burnt tasted. Did I misunderstand the directions?
Polly C. March 24, 2014
What can I use in place of the coconut oil? I have friends who are allegic to coconut.
Marsha G. May 22, 2014
I use canola if I'm out of coconut oil.
Sarah T. March 23, 2014
I'm cooking my quinoa. I have no idea if this is right since the recipe doesnt indicate...just think taste and texture will be better.
MapleFan March 23, 2014
Looks amazing! To confirm, the quinoa is added dry (e.g. without pre-cooking it on the stovetop first)?
spacekase March 23, 2014
Yes! Added dry, indeed.
Lynne March 5, 2014
I have also read that quinoa should not be eaten raw. I have made granola with oats and OUINOA FLAKES. The brand at my grocery is Ancient Harvest and is sold in 12 oz boxes in the cereal section.
cookingwithamy March 23, 2014
How is this considered raw when it's baked for an hour?
anne March 5, 2014
Can you use a different oil than coconut?
spacekase March 6, 2014
Haven't tried it--but I have eaten olive oil granola! So, I bet you can. Let us know!
Delia March 24, 2014
You can use any fat you please for granola. Vegetable oil, olive oil, butter, coconut oil, or anything else. It all works. Fats that are usually liquid at room temperature like vegetable oil or olive oil will give you the most "brittle" crunch while solid fats like butter or coconut oil result in a more tender granola.
deanna December 12, 2013
What is pre-rinsed quinoa? I know quinoa should not be eaten raw, so I don't understand this ingredient.
Ashley M. February 19, 2014
Lots of people recommend rinsing all of you grains before use, some even recommend soaking overnight. It simply cleans them and gets rid of any debris.
spacekase March 6, 2014
Quinoa that isn't rinsed may have a bitter taste--there's a coating on the seed of bitter saponins that lots of people experience as a soapy flavor. (I've never really suffered any consequences from not rinsing, but maybe I'm not a super taster.) I have specified pre-rinsed, because if you want your quinoa rinsed, it doesn't make sense to get it wet before trying to make the granola. Unless you want to try to dry it after that. The package should say pre-rinsed on it somewhere--I'm pretty sure Bob's Red Mill is! Hope that helps.
Delia March 24, 2014
Yes, about the bitter saponin coating on quinoa! I always rinse quinoa a couple of times since the bitterness can vary from each batch/harvest. Also, for granola, you can rinse and drain regular quinoa before adding it to the rest of the ingredients. It works out fine. No need to buy pre-rinsed specifically for this recipe if you have other quinoa sitting around or can't find pre-rinsed. Just let the quinoa drain in a sieve while you get everything else ready. When you add it to the rest of the ingredients mix well as it may clump a little. If the granola still seems underdone after 60 minutes in the oven just extend the baking time.
Abschader September 22, 2013
I made a double batch. Delicious. My kids have been enjoying it plain and on fruit and yogurt. Thank you!
spacekase September 23, 2013
great! glad to hear it.
Vstarr71 September 15, 2013
This looks super good and easy! Thank you!