I’m what you might call a little bit weird. (Those of you who know me are probably laughing at this as a gross understatement of an obvious fact.) It doesn’t show up in every area of my life, but I do have my little quirks and -isms. In fact, ever since I was a kid, I’ve acknowledged, accepted, and occasionally reveled in my weirdness. Sometimes my weirdness shows in not liking what’s considered universally likable (guacamole, Star Wars, reality tv), other times it’s liking things that others don’t understand (peanut butter and coconut sandwiches, going through catalogs and adding up the price of things I like [a favorite childhood pastime], making lists – LOTS of lists), and sometimes it’s just my affinity for nerdy things (I’m a self-proclaimed word, music, food, and book nerd.).
Still, I’m comfortable in my weirdness, and I understand that not everyone will like the same things as me. Today’s recipe has a strong possibility of being one of those things; it has one of those ingredients that some people love and others hate. Weirdly enough, I happen to love it and put it in more things than a reasonable person might find …reasonable? That divisive ingredient is none other than the exalted and oft-mispronounced seed – quinoa! I just can’t help but love it; it’s so easy to make, is really filling, and can take on any number of flavors. Even for me, this was a new application, but I decided to give it a try and was so happy with the results (surprisingly, my quinoa-hating husband liked it too). Instead of the usual savory applications, this time quinoa is being used as the base for a delicious granola. Since the quinoa isn’t cooked in liquid, I wasn’t sure what the texture would be like, but it turned out to be nicely crunchy. The honey bound things together to form some nice clumps, but it’s not overly sweet. As with most granolas, you could easily switch up the nuts, seeds, fruits, and spices to work with your family’s preferences or what you have on hand. The recipe also calls for you to keep the granola in the fridge, and I would definitely recommend this. I kept it out the first couple of days and the clumps didn’t stick together as well. Once I started keeping it in the fridge, it held up much better.
Quinoa-Pumpkin Seed Granola (from Better Homes & Gardens)
3/4 c. rinsed, well-drained raw quinoa
1/2 c. raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 c. whole or slivered almonds
1/4 c. flax seeds (I didn’t have any, so I just subbed in the same amount of sunflower seeds.)
1/4 c. honey
2 tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. dried fruit (This time I used chopped dried apricots, craisins, and dried pineapple.)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the quinoa, seeds, and almonds. In a small microwavable bowl, nuke the honey for 20 seconds. Stir in the oil, cinnamon, and salt, then add this to the quinoa mix. Stir to combine, then spread on a greased 15x10x1 inch pan.
2. Bake the granola for 20 minutes or til golden, stirring twice. Once the granola is cooked, stir in the dried fruit and let cool 15 minutes on the pan. Spread the granola onto a piece of foil and let cool completely. Store in the fridge.
Recently, my husband and I got to watch a movie where the main characters are all just a bit on the weird side, the hit movie Big Hero 6. In this fun movie, a group of young geniuses and one robotic personal healthcare companion team up to combat an evil genius. Though a bit slow at the beginning, we really enjoyed it, especially the character Baymax. There was plenty of action and a lot of funny dialogue. Though not suitable for really young kids (there’s some revenge themes, character deaths, and fighting that might be a bit much for younger kids), it’s got some good moral teachings and fun scenes that parents and older kids will both enjoy. If that’s not enough to convince you, check out this trailer.
So, where does your weirdness like to hang out?