A few years ago, on a whim, I bought a packet of quinoa flakes. With no specific recipe in mind in which to feature them, I ended up using them in a variety of baked goods, in place of oats. The results were surprisingly good and I became interested to experiment further.
This quinoa-based granola (which I have dubbed “quinoa-la”) is a delicious alternative to oaty packaged cereal mixes. The combination of warming spices and crunchy clusters of orange-infused granola, bejewelled with syrup-drizzled fresh figs, is surprisingly indulgent, wholesome and satisfying all at once.
ALMOND WALNUT QUINOA-LA WITH FIGS & ORANGE SYRUP
Serves: 6-8 | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 25 – 30 mins
INGREDIENTS FOR QUINOA-LA
75 ml walnuts, chopped
75 ml slivered almonds
300 ml quinoa flakes
150 ml desiccated coconut
50 ml pumpkin seeds
50 ml sunflower seeds
2 tbsp linseeds
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 green apple, peeled and grated
2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tbsp rice malt syrup/maple syrup
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp orange zest, finely grated
Plus 1 fresh fig per person, for serving
DIRECTIONS FOR QUINOA-LA
- Preheat oven to 170°C (fan). Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
- In a large bowl, combine and mix quinoa flakes, coconut, seeds, nuts and spices with a spoon.
- In a medium bowl mix grated apple, syrup, vanilla essence, zest and orange juice. Pour this wet mix into the dry ingredients, mix and combine.
- Tip granola mix onto baking parchment-lined tray and place in the middle of the oven to bake for 15 minutes.
- Open the oven, give the granola a stir and turn the heat down to 150°C. Bake for a further 10-15 minutes.
- Remove tray from oven and allow granola to cool completely*.
- Serve with almond milk/coconut yogurt/coconut cream and fresh figs drizzled with orange syrup.
- Store remainder of granola mix in an airtight container.
*Leaving the granola for a few hours before storing it, will produce a crispier result. I prefer it crunchy, so will sometimes leave the tray to cool and sit (even inside a partly open oven after baking) for a few hours.
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 2 mins | Cook time: 2 mins
INGREDIENTS FOR SYRUP
50 ml rice malt syrup/maple syrup
50 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
A pinch of orange zest, finely grated
1/2 tsp arrowroot powder + 1 tbsp water, optional (for thickening)
1 tsp coconut oil
DIRECTIONS FOR SYRUP
- If using arrowroot, in a small bowl, combine water and arrowroot powder to create a milky, lump-free slurry.
- In a small sauce pan, combine juice, syrup and zest. Bring to a gentle simmer, add slurry (if desired) and coconut oil. Stir well.
- Keep pan over low-medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Syrup will thicken up a bit and become glossy. If your orange syrup thickens too much, add extra liquid in the form of syrup/orange juice/water (or a combination) and stir well over low-medium heat until desired consistency is reached.
- Serve immediately, drizzled over your fresh fig-topped quinoa-la*.
*This syrup can also be used with pancakes, waffles, French toast, etc.
** If you can’t find/don’t like quinoa flakes, I am sure this recipe could work with another type of flaked grain, or even gluten-free oats, if you prefer a more traditional granola. As I haven’t made this recipe any other way, I cannot guarantee optimal results and you may need to tweak things a little as you go.