Good morning from California training camp!!
If you've been following me on Instagram, you'll notice that I really love to cook and I love sharing some of my weekly meal creations on my page. I recently shared what my nutrition journey has been, how I deal with having IBS and what a training day - meal wise looks like for me in a previous blog post. Along with my nutrition, I've been getting a lot of requests to start sharing some of my recipes. Most of what I make, or my go-to meals, have come from recipes I've collected from my nutritionist Lisa over the years, various cookbooks, or on Pinterest. Once I began developing IBS issues, I started to do a lot of searching online for recipes that were Low FODMAP, gluten and/or dairy free. A lot of my favourite recipes I also learned to adjust so as to not cause my stomach problems. I end up making a lot of my favourites quite often, and so I have either learned how to make them in a pinch, and sometimes changing ingredients on the fly. Pinch cooking and not following recipes exactly is typically my style. I like not following instructions to the T (in most things in life, not just cooking). I also have a habit of never tasting anything until I am ready to eat it on my plate. Upside: I like being creative with how I cook, even when I am "following" a recipe. Only toss up is sometimes things don't always turn out the way the recipe says it will; I don't have the best record when it comes to baking muffins...
So in the spirit of sharing some recipes, I am kicking it off with one of my absolute favourites and breakfast staples. This Coconut Quinoa and Chia Granola was one of the first recipes Lisa ever gave me and it has become a staple to my breakfast routine for about the last four years. From throwing this granola into my oatmeal in the morning to bringing this with me everywhere I travel, for competitions, training camps, and even when visiting family. It's easy to pack and has proven to be a great travel snack in times of need, especially on long flights. I have adjusted the recipe to account for it being doubled because I go through so much of it. When stored in an airtight container (or a glass jar if you like displaying food in pretty containers like me), this recipe can last about a month, give or take your food munching tendencies. Even with my adjustment to Low FODMAP cooking for IBS, this granola past the test! So whether you're gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, or just an all out foodie, I hope you enjoy!
Coconut Quinoa and Chia Granola
2 cup rolled oats
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
1 cup nuts of choice (recipe calls for almonds, coarsely chopped/slivered/sliced; my favourite to add is pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup chia seeds
1 tbsp stevia extract, powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp cinnamon
6 tbsp coconut oil
6 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly coat with coconut oil.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, add oats, quinoa, nuts, chia seeds, stevia, salt, cinnamon and mix.
3. In a small bowl, melt coconut oil in a microwave. Add maple syrup and vanilla extract and stir to combine.
I do not currently have a functioning microwave, so I melt the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla in a small saucepan on low heat.
4. Pour oil and maple syrup mixture into bowl with dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly and spread in an even layer on prepared baking sheet.
5. Bake on a third rack from the bottom for 25-30 minutes, keeping an eye not to burn. Mix should be golden but not too toasted.
If you like having your coconut on the more toasted side, I typically add about half of the coconut flakes on top before placing in the oven.
5. Remove granola from the oven and sprinkle with the rest of the coconut flakes.
I've been having trouble lately finding big flaked unsweetened coconut in the grocery stores (I recently stocked up on some from Trader Joe's down here in Cali during our training camp). The last time I was at the grocery store I found these Hungry Buddha Coconut Chips which are already baked and sweetened. They're not what I typically would have gone for but they ended up being a great substitute, especially since I am not a fan of the generic shredded coconut for this recipe. I just threw these on top at the very end once the granola was out of the oven.
6. Let cool completely and do not touch. After, break into pieces and enjoy!
Storage Instructions: Store in a glass jar, in a cool dry place, for up to a month.
Servings Per Recipe: 48 (Amount Per Serving = 2 tbsp)