I saw a meme this week that said “January is the Monday of months.”
Even though I was born in January, it is hardly my favorite page of the calendar.
January is gray, cold and coincides with the letdown that follows the holidays. You’re taking down decorations, discarding the Christmas tree and essentially undoing the festivity and joy of the weeks prior.
Couple that with the fact that you’re supposed to bring to a screeching halt the cooking, baking and indulgence of December and replace it with salads and green smoothies and well, I’m not a doctor but I think we just found the cause of “Seasonal Affective Disorder.”
Even though actual medical doctors might tell you that exercise and eight hours of sleep each night will help, I think baking is a much better bet.
Even though there are chocolate chip cookies in my oven as I type this post, a good old fashioned baking binge doesn’t have to mean carbs and calories.
I don’t make granola very much, but when I do I always wonder why I don’t make it more often. It’s incredibly easy, it comes together in minutes, and it’s a great thing to bake in large batches for gifts.
This recipe came together after I cooked on Windy City Live back in November. I demonstrated a few Thanksgiving side dish recipes using ingredients from Jewel-Osco’s O Organics® line of affordable, delicious organic products.
Since the segment, I’ve had a huge bag of O Organics organic quinoa in the pantry.
Because shelf space is at a premium in our small kitchen and Brad isn’t on the same page as the rest of the country in regards to the many merits of quinoa, I’ve been looking for creative ways to use it.
This quinoa granola is a great way to incorporate more protein and fiber into your healthy snacking repertoire.
From start to finish, this will only take you about 30 minutes to prepare and you likely already have the ingredients in your pantry. And if you don’t have them in your pantry, they’re just a quick stop away at Jewel-Osco. If you can’t even will yourself to leave the house, you can shop online and Jewel-Osco will deliver your groceries right to your door.
In addition to O Organics organic quinoa, I have a pantry full of organic ingredients that were totally affordable and easy to find at my local Jewel-Osco.
O Organics products are available in the Chicago area, exclusively at Jewel-Osco. If you do not live near a Jewel-Osco you can also find them at all Albertsons Companies family of stores, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, ACME Markets, Shaw’s, Star Market, United Supermarkets, Market Street, Albertsons Market and Carrs/Safeway.
Maybe January isn’t so bad after all.
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup uncooked O Organics organic quinoa
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup raw pecans
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Pinch sea salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter)
- ¼ cup O Organics 100% pure maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon O Organics ground nutmeg
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup O Organics organic seedless raisins
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, toss oats, quinoa, almonds, pecans, brown sugar and salt until combined.
- In a small saucepan, melt coconut oil (or butter) over medium heat. Add maple syrup and heat for two to three minutes, or until the ingredients are blended, stirring as needed.
- Mix the maple syrup mixture in with the dry ingredients, and stir to combine until all oats and nuts are thoroughly coated. Arrange on a large baking sheet and spread into an even layer.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from oven and stir granola with a spatula or wooden spoon. Place in oven and bake about 10 minutes more, or until granola is evenly cooked and a light golden brown.
- Cool completely and store in a sealed bag or container at room temperature for 2 weeks or freeze up to a month.
This post is sponsored by Jewel-Osco. All thoughts, opinions, and biases against the month of January, are mine.