Peanut Butter Quinoa Granola

Peanut butter quinoa granola from 500 Best Quinoa Recipes. Photo by Colin Erricson © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. Used with permission.

Today’s post is jam-packed full of quinoa-related goodies! (It’s pronounced keen-wah in case you’re not sure.) It includes a review of KIND snacks and granola, an author interview/guest post, a recipe, and a giveaway for two readers of the cookbook plus an assortment of KIND snack bars and granola. Whew! SWEEPSTAKES IS NOW CLOSED.

KIND snacks giveawayThe product review is for KIND snacks, who sent me a generous assortment of their gluten-free multi-grain KIND bars and KIND granolas to taste-test. The Husband and I scarfed down the bars lickety-split, and I’m slowly working my way through the bags of granola. It would be perfect for me when I’m traveling if I don’t have time to make it myself. The bars are tasty, although they have a little more sugar in them than I would normally eat. (But, 5 g in the bars is way better than most bars out there.) If I were jonesing for a candy bar, the dark-chocolate-and-sea-salt bar is to die for, and a much healthier choice than a Snickers bar. The giveaway will include the cookbook plus the KIND granola and snack bars pictured for two winners.

The author interview is a guest post from Lisa Cook, who writes a beautiful blog One Cook, Two Kitchens. Lisa lives outside of Toronto, and I had the great pleasure of carpooling with her up to Camp Blogaway earlier this year. She was enormously supportive of my Cookies for Cody fundraising sale, as was Robert Rose Publishing and the author Camilla Saulsbury. Camilla has a new quinoa book that’s perfect for gluten-free kitchens, and I’ve had fun trying out a few recipes myself. I’ll let Lisa take it from here:

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet with 500 Best Quinoa Recipes author, Camilla Saulsbury. Her book hits stores this month.

Camilla is not entirely new to the Recipe Renovator audience, as she donated two of her previous books 150 Best Gluten-Free Muffin Recipes and 150 Best Vegan Muffin Recipes to the Cookies for Cody online bake sale and cookbook auction.

My first impression, beyond the fact that Camilla is a lovely, high-energy person with a real passion for quinoa, is how much she does her homework.

Camilla informed me that the United Nations Food and Agriculture organization has declared 2013 The Year of Quinoa, hoping to bring this superfood the attention it deserves.

Quinoa has a near-perfect balance of protein, carbohydrates and dietary fibre and is also naturally gluten-free, so it’s safe for anyone with celiac disease and gluten or wheat sensitivities. And quinoa is a good source of calcium and magnesium.

Quinoa’s protein content is also noteworthy, as it contains all of the essential amino acids that humans need. In particular, it is high in the amino acid lysine (linoleic acid), a member of the omega-6 group of essential fatty acids. What makes this particularly noteworthy is the fact that lysine is rarely found in plants, and it is significant in how it assists in the building of muscle protein as well as calcium absorption.

If you’re new to quinoa, or have only dabbled with basic recipes, Camilla has you covered.

500 Best Quinoa RecipesIn 500 Best Quinoa Recipes, Camilla outlines what to stock in a quinoa pantry; how to cook quinoa with the simmer method, the pasta method, the rice cooker method and the thermos method; how to add it to baked goods; how to toast it; how to sprout it; how to create quinoa flour; how to purchase, prepare and store quinoa.

Did you know that it is easy to grind your own quinoa flour if you just need a small amount? Or that you can easily make cooked quinoa with some boiling water and a thermos?

This thick paperback book covers everything from breakfasts to desserts, and is packed full of value for those who are gluten-free, particularly if they are just learning about quinoa.

I was curious to know how Camilla decided to write a gluten-free-focused book, as she has also written books that do not fall into this genre.

Camilla explained that her son had a gluten intolerance when he was very young, which he has since outgrown, so she had spent countless hours creating recipes that he would enjoy. She has been able to use many of these kid-tested recipes in this book.

One of my favourite recipes from the book is Peanut Butter and Quinoa Granola. What I particularly like about this recipe is that no ingredient overpowers, including the peanut butter. While it is great with milk or yogurt, I have found myself addictively snacking on it daily since discovering it can double as a trail mix. If you’re going to eat it like this, the suggested addition of chocolate chips is amazing.

Peanut Butter and Quinoa Granola
Makes about 4 cups (1 L)
Excerpted from 500 Best Quinoa Recipes by Camilla V. Saulsbury © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. Photos by Colin Erricson. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

2 C. (200 g) large-flake (old-fashioned) rolled oats, certified GF, if needed
3/4 C. (130 g) quinoa, rinsed
3/4 C. (90 g) lightly salted roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 t. (1 g) fine sea salt
1/2 t. (1 g) ground cinnamon
1/4 C. (50 g) natural cane sugar or packed light brown sugar
1/4 C. (60 ml) liquid honey or brown rice syrup
1/2 C. (128 g) unsweetened natural peanut butter
1/3 C. (80 ml) vegetable oil
1 t. (5 ml) vanilla extract, GF, if needed
2/3 C. dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325F/165C/gas mark 3.

Prep a large rimmed baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine oats, quinoa, peanuts, salt and cinnamon.

In a small saucepan, combine sugar and honey. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly. Turn off heat and stir in peanut butter, oil, and vanilla until blended.

Pour peanut butter mixture over oat mixture and stir until coated. Spread mixture in a single layer on prepared baking sheet.

Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, stirring twice, until golden brown. Let cool completely on pan.

Transfer granola to an airtight container and stir in cranberries. Store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Tip: Any unsweetened natural nut or seed butter (such as cashew, almond, sunflower seed or tahini) may be used in place of the peanut butter.

This week’s question:
Have you ever eaten quinoa? What’s your favorite way to prepare it?

Sweepstakes Official Rules:
By leaving a comment below you are agreeing to the Official Rules, outlined here. SWEEPSTAKES IS NOW CLOSED.

  • Only U.S. and Canadian residents over the age of 18 are eligible to enter.
  • Duration: Friday November 2 through Thursday November 8, 2012 at 5 PM Pacific Standard Time. SWEEPSTAKES IS NOW CLOSED.
  • Leave a comment answering the question to enter: Have you ever eaten quinoa? What’s your favorite way to prepare it?. You can receive up to 4 additional entries by doing the following and leaving one comment for each additional item.

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  • Cookbook is gluten-free but not vegan. Many recipes are vegetarian and some are vegan. KIND snacks and granolas do contain a small amount of processed sugars, and are gluten-free and vegan.
  • The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • Winners will be selected by random number generator within one day of the sweepstakes closing. Winners have 48 hours to respond to their notification email to claim their prize. If they do not respond, another winner will be chosen by random number generator. All prizes will be awarded.
  • We are not liable for technical failures or typographical errors, or resolving identity disputes related to the winner.
  • We will obtain winners’ name and mailing addresses in the notification email. Once prize(s) have been mailed we will maintain that information for up to one year but will not use it for any other purpose.
  • This sweepstakes is sponsored by Robert Rose Publishing, KIND Snacks, and Recipe Renovator, P.O. Box 34054, San Diego, CA 92163-4054. (619) 365-5065.
  • Prize descriptions (2 packages): (U.S. and Canadian readers only) One softcover copy of 500 Best Quinoa Recipes PLUS one KIND cube containing 2 KIND Healthy Grains pouches (1 pouch of Maple Walnut Clusters with Chia and Quinoa and 1 pouch of Peanut Butter Clusters), plus 8 KIND Fruit & Nut bars (2 Almond & Coconut, 2 Fruit & Nut Delight, 2 Cranberry Almond + Antioxidants, and 2 Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate + Protein), retail value of each package is $70.90.

Required FTC disclosure: The KIND snacks assortment was sent to me by KIND snacks, and Robert Rose Publishing provided me one review copy which I am giving away. I was not paid to write this post.

Here is the book if you want to check it out in more detail: