Crunchy Quinoa & Apple Granola

Life is unexpected, and quite frankly, I am not that great with unexpected. I am a planner. I like things to be controlled, ordered, predictable. When the unexpected happens, I freak out a little bit.

This week I came upon some unexpected twists and turns in the road, and there have been some moments when I think that I am just going to completely lose it. You know those times when life already feels like it has reached its capacity, and you have zero margin for error? That’s me this week. I’m taking deep breaths, releasing my need to be perfect, and prioritizing what is important. Hopefully I learn to roll with the unexpected.

Okay, time for some granola to start the morning. Quinoa in granola? It’s unexpected, but good. The quinoa gets really crunchy, and adds a great texture to the granola. This granola also has dried apples in it. Yum. I give myself (and you, if you need it) permission to have a bowl full of granola as a reminder that things will be okay.

Crunchy Quinoa & Apple Granola

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3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed & drained
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 cup applesauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup dried apples, chopped

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the dried apples. Stir well to incorporate. Spread the mixture on the prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for 30 minutes. Stir, and bake for 15-20 minutes more until golden brown. Remove from oven, and stir in dried apples. Cool completely in pan. Once the granola is cool, store in an airtight container.

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