Chocolate Quinoa Granola

Nut-free Dairy-free Chocolate Quinoa Granola

A year ago, a friend let me sample some "healthy" Chocolate Quinoa Granola she had picked up from a local health food store bakery.   I remember being apprehensive.  First off, she was holding the bag out to me and I'm easily grossed out by communal, out of the bag eating.  Am I weird?

Secondly, I've become a huge skeptic.  Until I see it for myself, I don't believe it's healthy.  But, feeling on the spot, I reached in.   This turned out to be a very bad thing because I was immediately hooked... like 'on crack' hooked.

Two problems:

#1. It was $4 per tiny package = me broke.
#2. I had no clue how much sugar was in the granola = me blissfully ignorant

The ingredients were clean and it looked simple to make.  Problem is I couldn't find puffed quinoa anywhere.  I searched health food stores high and low.  The answer was always "surely we do" and then after a search...puffed rice....puffed millet....puffed this....puffed that....Nope.  No puffed quinoa  :(

I tried making my own puffed quinoa, stirring it over high heat, even "popping" it in my air popper, but it never turned out puffy enough.  In the end, it was my skillful interrogation of the granola baker, that landed me the bag of GoGo Quinoa puffs pictured below.  They were not on the health food store shelves, but all hidden in the bakery kitchen.  Clearly they were hoarding all the puffs because they knew what delicious crack treats they could make.

At home, the process was pretty straightforward.  I adjusted the ingredients to make it lower sugar and I experimented with baking so the granola would be solid and crunchy at room temperature.  After a few attempts....Success! 

Nut-free Dairy-free Chocolate Quinoa Granola

Chocolate Quinoa Granola

Nut-free, Dairy-free and Gluten-free


2 cups of Quinoa Puffs
1 cup of Nature's Path brown crispy rice
1/4 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut (I use Let's Do Organic)
60 grams of 70% cocoa chocolate chips (I use Coco Camino or Enjoy Life)
3 Tbsp of honey
2 Tbsp of Coconut Oil

Want a sweeter Granola?  Add a few drops of SweetLeaf liquid stevia to taste, add more honey or use semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Chocolate Quinoa Granola melted chipsInstructions:

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2.  In a large pot melt chocolate chips, coconut oil, and honey on low heat.

Nut-free Dairy-free Chocolate Quinoa Granola stir together
Chocolate Quinoa Granola disc
3.  In a bowl combine puffed quinoa, rice and shredded coconut.  Mix well.
4.  When the chocolate is melted, add the puffed mixture to the pot. 
5.  Stir until completely mixed.

6.  Turn mixture out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Use a spatula to flatten mixture into a large oval or rectangle.

7.  Bake for 15 longer, as the granola will start to taste burnt.
8.  Let sit until completely cool (about an hour).  It should lift up as one giant piece.
9.  Break apart and store in a sealed container.
10.  Enjoy as is or sprinkled in yogurt.

Makes 8 servings.
9 grams of sugar & 2 grams of fiber each.

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