Crunchy Apple Cider Quinoa Granola – v, gf

apple cider quinoa granola

‘Tis the season – granola time again. Granola is an easy, crunchy, tasty, and delicious addition to your snack and breakfast repetoire. One batch requires minimal work, makes a good amount, and is pretty much foolproof (provided you don’t burn it in the oven).

And the customization options are endless! This particular granola is a sweet blend of apple cider, coconut oil, and maple syrup mixed with nuts, seeds, oats, and quinoa. Then, dried fruit including dried apple rings are stirred in at the end. And that’s pretty much it!

apple cider quinoa granolaapple cider quinoa granola

I’ve taken to eating this at work as a snack. I bring my almond milk in a separate container, and then add to my granola mix (with some chia seeds thrown in for good nutritional measure) and look out, I’m eating cereal at my desk.

The quinoa is a particularly nice addition, in part because quinoa is a wonderful source of protein and minerals (it is a superfood, after all) but also because it just looks really pretty. It gives the granola this extra texture and eye appeal, and eating beautiful foods is important too when we think about nourishment from a holistic perspective.

apple cider quinoa granola

This granola also makes a lovely gift. Store it in mason jars, tie with a bow using some twine or natural string, and you have a beautiful gift for a dinner party, for your friends who are constantly asking you why you don’t bring them granola gifts, or for anyone who enjoys a good mix of sweetened toasted grains and nuts with dried fruit (i.e. pretty much everyone, provided they don’t have an allergy to any of the ingredients).

Enjoy the Festive Season!

Apple Cider Quinoa Granola

  • Author: Backyard Owl
  • Recipe Notes: vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, naturally-sweetened

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 cups mixed nuts and seeds (i.e. sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds).
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup dried fruit (apple rings, raisins, dried cranberries, dates, etc).

Instructions:

  1. Soak quinoa overnight or for at least one hour in the apple cider. It will absorb most or all of the cider.
  2. Preheat oven to 325F.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together oats, nuts/seeds, sea salt, and cinnamon.
  4. In a saucepan, melt coconut oil over low heat and stir in maple syrup.
  5. Pour melted oil/syrup mix over rolled oats and stir well, until everything is coated.
  6. Add quinoa/cider mix and again, stir until everything is well mixed.
  7. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until granola is dry, lightly browned, and getting crunchy/toasty. Try to stir every 15 minutes or so to keep the moisture circulating and to help release steam.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool.
  9. Add dried fruits and mix around, and then store in your choice of containers: tupperware, mason jars, your stomach, and so on.

(C) Backyard Owl

Advertisements

Festive Apple Cider Scones (v, gf)

apple cider scones.7

I think it’s fair to start a countdown to Christmas now, no? I mean, we are almost exactly a month away. And these scones definitely communicate a festive, cinnamon-y, “I love winter” kind of feeling, which is what one certainly wants to cultivate in the weeks before Christmas. And in the weeks after Christmas, come to that.

These scones are gluten-free, vegan, made with coconut oil, and stocked with apple cider-infused cooked apples, as well as just some more plain ol’ apple cider. I amped up the cinnamon factor as well, upon the recommendation of my sister.

apple cider scones - vegan and gluten free

Admittedly I went back and forth for awhile on the topping – glaze, no glaze, glaze, no glaze. I really try to use natural sweeteners, and while there is nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence of icing sugar, I wanted something just slightly less processed. In the end, I decided a simple cinnamon sugar topping was best, using organic cane sugar.

These apple cider scones would make a delightful addition to any festive brunch, as well as any lazy weekend breakfast. Make them in addition to some banana espresso scones, and you have a variety of please every palate. Round it out with some tofu scramble, coconut yogurt, fresh fruit, and perhaps a green juice or two, and you have a festive morning meal that can’t be beat.

apple cider scones - vegan, gluten free

Festive Apple Cider Scones (v, gf)

  • Author: Backyard Owl
  • Recipe Notes: vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free
  • Yield: 8-10 scones

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pink salt (if you don’t have pink salt, use another coarse salt)
  • 1/3 cup cold coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 apple, diced (if organic, wash well but keep the peel on)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider + another 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon + another 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • OPTIONAL: 1/4 tsp additional spices of choice: nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and/or ginger

For the topping:

  • 2 teaspoons organic cane sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Instructions: 

  1. Measure out coconut oil and chill in fridge until firm. Here’s a tip: measure into the 1/3 cup and then scoop out onto a plate and chill that way. Once chilled, the coconut oil can be more difficult to extract from the measuring cup.
  2. In a small saucepan, stir together 1/2 cup of the apple cider, 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon, and diced apple. Cook over medium heat until apples are very soft and almost all of the cider has been absorbed. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together another 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and 2 teaspoons organic cane sugar (for the scone topping).
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together brown rice flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
  5. Using your hands or a pastry cutter, cut together cold coconut oil and flour mix until it resembles coarse sand (the goal here is to create bits of coconut oil covered with flour – to create the flaky scone texture). Put in fridge until ready for use.
  6. Mix together almond milk, maple syrup, apple cider, and cooled cooked apple mixture.
  7. Pour apple/almond milk mix into cold flour/coconut oil mix and stir gently. When halfway mixed, turn out onto a well-floured counter top and continue gently combining (you don’t want to squish the coconut oil bits you’ve so carefully prepared) until you’ve formed a soft dough.
  8. Form into a square of dough about 1 inch thick. Using a sharp knife, slice into 9 squares (or so) and place on baking sheet.
  9. Freeze for 10 minutes before baking (or until oven has preheated – see next step).
  10. Preheat oven to 425F.
  11. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until firm on the outside and lightly golden.

Enjoy! These are best served on the day they’ve been made, but they also keep in the fridge for another two to three days.

© Backyard Owl