Peanut Butter Chocolate Quinoa Granola (refined sugar free)

Happy Monday! Hope ya'll had a great weekend. We hosted a massive brunch on Saturday before we took to the frozen lake for some ice golf. The things you do for fun when you live in Minnesota during the wintertime...

 We had 14 people play overall - with all proceeds going towards the local food shelf. Of course I'm the only one not looking at the camera. :)

We had 14 people play overall - with all proceeds going towards the local food shelf. Of course I'm the only one not looking at the camera. :)

Other than that, the hubby and I mostly relaxed on Sunday (and I may this delicious granola - keep reading!) as we were planning on attending a SuperBowl party at a friend's house last night. However, our little Aussiedoodle Tux, had different plans for us! Right as we were about to leave, Tux stole a sock out of the bedroom (I was finishing putting laundry away) and swallowed it. Off the the ER vet we went! Needless to say, not how we planned our Sunday night to go, but it is what it is. I'm hoping I'll be ready for the crazy things children thanks to him!

Ok so now on to the real reason for this post: Peanut Butter Chocolate Quinoa Granola (refined sugar free). Hello yum! Being I'm just about 22 weeks pregnant, I've had some major candida overgrowth issues (for those of you not familiar with what that is, google it). I was already prone to the infections that go along with it, and usually was able to nip them in the bud when if I started taking probiotics and laid off the sugar. Unfortunately, that didn't work being pregnant. Normally, I only eat one or two servings of fruit a day and hardly any processed sugar, but of course I've been craving sweets and sugar like crazy this pregnancy. Besides the medications my Ob/GYN but me on, I've been really trying to get back to reducing my sugar/carb/dairy intake (basically anything that yeast likes to feed on in the body!). This granola is still made with maple syrup, but it's much less sweet than what you buy in the grocery store.

Originally, I was making this granola into granola bars, but I think I over-toasted it and the poor things just wouldn't hold together! So, I crumbled it up and ta-dah! Granola. Deliciously crunchy, perfectly sweet, granola.

I've been on a big coconut-milk yogurt kick, and this granola is the perfect topping for my yogurt and fresh berries parfait. Coconut milk yogurt has barely any protein, so it's nice to get an added boost from the oats, peanut butter, and quinoa. 

 I hope you enjoy it as much as I am!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Quinoa Granola (refined sugar free)

Ingredients:

1 and 1/4 cups rolled oats (I used old fashioned)

1/4 cup oat flour or rolled oats finely crushed (I threw mine in the food processor for a few pulses)

3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/3 cup uncooked quinoa 

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup dried fruit of choice

1/2 cup peanuts, roughly chopped (or other nut of choice)

3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (I like Lily's brand for no-sugar added)

1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter of choice)

1/2 cup coconut oil, warmed until melted

1/4 cup maple syrup, agave, honey or other natural sweetener of choice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Lay parchment paper into 8 by 8 square inch pan (could also use 9 x 11)

Mix all dry ingredients together in mixing bowl. 

Mix wet ingredients (oil, peanut butter, sweetener) in separate bowl.

Add wet indredients to dry and combine.

Pour granola into pan and press down in even layer with back of spoon or rubber spatula.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until edges and top are starting to brown.

Let cool completely before crumbling into granola.

Store in airtight container for up to a week, or throw in the freezer for longer.