chef retiros yoga

Quinoa and buckwheat granola with quinces and spices

Since I discovered how easy it is to make granola at home, I’ve never bought a box of cereal again. As well as loving the freedom of flavors, the amount of sugar I’ve stopped eating is incredible, the amount of ingredients I don’t know the name of has disappeared and the fats… well, let’s not talk about things that don’t matter and that we’re all sick of knowing: everything we make at home tastes different! I’m not saying that it’s necessarily healthier, and it doesn’t always have to be, as long as you consciously balance it with another meal or elements of the meal or day. So… here at home we rarely lack a jar of granola for snacks, those moments of hunger before meals or just for those times of gluttony when I could just have a chocolate… Why do I eat granola? Because it almost always has chocolate! ahah

I love varying what I put in each version and adapting the flavors to the seasons. Now, during the colder weather, I like spices, warmer flavors and using seasonal fruits to complement them, so this time I decided to try a quince jam that brings back such good childhood memories and have this version with quince jam. When I was at elementary school, there was one day a year when we made marmalade at school, it was a huge pot and we all helped. After filling the rectangular boxes for each of us to take home, we could shave the pot and it was the only marmalade I could eat! I never liked jams, but my mother and aunts used to make lots of wonderful ones. I loved the smell in the house, helping to cut and prepare the jars, but once it had cooled, I never ate it. A few years ago I decided in one of my reflections that come out of nowhere in the middle of the day that I was going to start eating everything and this was included, as well as bananas. But in all honesty, jams, vermicelli, rice pudding and cold French toast haven’t yet made the list of achievements…

I was in the supermarket when I looked at the quinces once again and thought “what the hell can I do with this without it being marmalade?” and decided that I would bring two and try my hand at making my own version and stop calling it marmalade once and for all and start eating this good fruit too. I started researching and found a Persian recipe with rosewater and spices that I decided to adapt and see how it went. The smell in the house was just one of the most pleasant smells I’ve ever smelled, I’d like to turn it into a candle or diffuser! And in the meantime, the granola I had was finished and I thought, why not! I never make granola with just oats, I usually always add buckwheat or quinoa, they’re nutritionally richer and as I like to eat to satisfy my hunger, I don’t feel guilty for just eating something for the sake of eating it… But then, this is to say that you can perfectly well replace quinoa and wheat with oats. The jam can also be replaced with any other sweetener and the amount will always depend on how sweet you want it. I like to eat it with extra toppings of honey or fruit, so I prefer the granules to be more neutral.

Other important notes: the more fat you add, the more coloring you’ll get, but possibly a nutritionist will say it’s not that healthy… I always use fat, but you can omit it and use more fruit pulp, nut butter or mashed sweet potatoes or cooked fruit, for example.

For my quince jam I used 400g of quinces, 180g of sugar and a little water. I put it in a pan and let it start to bubble, added a tablespoon of rose water and in a tea bag I added cloves, cardamom, a little aniseed and pink peppercorns. I let it boil for a few minutes with the lid on, then removed it and lowered the intensity of the stove, let the quince turn into a creamy paste, turned it off and put it in a jar.

Quinoa and buckwheat granola with nuts and cocoa:

100g raw quinoa

100g buckwheat

50g sunflower seeds

100g dried fruit

1/2 cup quince jam and spices

100ml of fat (I mixed almond oil with coconut oil)

1/2 cup puffed quinoa

cocoa nibs

bee pollen

rose petals

a pinch of salt

a drizzle of honey

Melt the coconut oil and mix with the almond oil, also mix in your sweetener and add this mixture to a bowl where you already have the quinoa, buckwheat, nuts and seeds. Mix well and spread on a baking tray to bake in a preheated oven at 180ºC. Spread as much of the mixture as you can on the tray and every 10 minutes open the oven and stir your granola with a fork so it doesn’t burn until it’s golden and sharp. Let it cool completely and add the puffed quinoa, cocoa, bee pollen, rose petals and any other element of your choice that shouldn’t be roasted (such as goji berries).

And that’s it, simple, quick and delicious! Who knows, it could even become a Christmas present?

What do you think of this combination of flavors? I hope to see these recreations and your own versions soon 🙂

With affection,

Ana

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