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High Protein, Nutrient-Dense Granola

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

As Colorado early autumn morning temperatures start to drop, our thoughts turn to our favorite fall clothes, cool or cold weather sports, and super-hearty granola breakfasts.

Ingredients for one quart granola with 10 to 12 nutrient-dense servings

3/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

1/2 cup whole and/or slivered almonds

1/4 cup flaxseeds

1/3 cup molasses (preferably blackstrap)

2 tablespoons walnut oil

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

3/4 cup dried cranberries, raisins, or apricots


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine first four ingredients (through flaxseeds).

In a small bowl, microwave molasses until warm. Stir in oil, cinnamon, and salt. Pour over quinoa mixture, toss to coat. Spread in 15x10-inch baking pan.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown, stirring twice. 

Stir in dried fruit. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

Spread granola on a large sheet of foil, cool completely. Break up any large pieces. Store in refrigerator up to two weeks. 

Nutritional information

Quinoa includes more amino acid-complete protein than any other grain. It is also rich in fiber and iron. 

Pumpkin seeds are antioxidants and contain zinc, manganese, and vitamin E (as tocotrienols). They are also valued for their anti-microbial benefits, including antifungal and antiviral properties. 

Almonds are also antioxidant rich with vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. 

Flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic-acid ALA, which easily converts to omega-3 steardonic acid SA, and omega-3 docosapentaenoic acid DHA, therefore leaving more fish in our overfished seas.  

Blackstrap molasses is a sweetener much lower in glucose than honey, and it includes a generous amount of manganese, which is a major component of the enzyme superoxide dismutase, linked to cellular protection from free radical damage, as well as the synthesis of fatty acids used by the nervous system. It's also rich in copper, iron, calcium, niacin, thiamin, and vitamin B6.

Cranberries include major anti-inflammatory nutrients including vitamin C, although like other fruits and berries, when dried they do lose some of their nutritional value, while still acting as a sweetener.

We suggest serving this granola with plain Greek yogurt, and a small banana on the side. It's guaranteed to provide enough energy for cool to cold, early to late, autumn morning activities. 

Ellen Troyer, with David Amess and the Biosyntrx staff