Ancient grains granola

I always cringe a little inside when I pass bags of granola on a grocery store shelf. Somebody out there is making a killing by selling a little package of oats, oil, and sweeteners - ingredients that cost next to nothing - for $8.

We can do better, and you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry already.

Granola is always marketed as a healthy choice, however many varieties offered in grocery stores are high in added oils and sugars. Making your own granola at home is crazy easy and allows you to choose the ingredients and nutritional content of the final product. This recipe is incredibly simple to make, however if you'd like to start with more straightforward ingredients and a shorter baking time, I've been making this one for years and I highly recommend it. Happy granola-ing!
"Ancient" grains have received much attention in the past year. Grains that fit this category include farro, kamut, spelt, amaranth, quinoa, millet, and others. The three ancient ingredients in this granola - buckwheat, quinoa, and chia - are actually seeds, but they tend to get grouped in under the grains umbrella. All three of these seeds have some pretty impressive qualities. Buckwheat, despite its misleading name, is free of wheat and gluten. The proteins in buckwheat can help reduce blood pressure by curbing the activity of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE). This is the same action that Lisinopril, a popular blood pressure medication, uses. Quinoa is remarkably high in flavonoids quercitin and kaempferol which assist in metabolic function and scavenge for damaging free radicals. Chia contains fiber and alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), a precursor to omega-3 fatty acids. Don't expect "superfoods" (I hate that term) such as these to change your life or your health in any drastic way, but when they taste as good as this granola, why not include them in your diet from time to time?

All of the grains/seeds in this granola are naturally gluten-free, but oats are almost always processed in wheat-containing facilities. If you need to avoid gluten, make sure you look for oats that are certified gluten-free (Bob's Red Mill sells a good one) to ensure a truly gluten-free final product.
Yogurt pretty much begs for granola this delicious.
Ancient grains granola 
Adapted from Bran Appetit's Cherry Almond Chia Granola
Makes approximately 4 cups

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup buckwheat groats
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 225F.
  2. Measure oats, buckwheat, quinoa, chia, almonds, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, maple syrup, honey, and vanilla. Pour the liquid mixture over the dry ingredients and stir well to combine. I like to use my hands to make sure all the grains and seeds are coated. 
  4. Spread the mixture out onto a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 70-90 minutes until crisp and golden. The granola will not be truly crunchy until it cools, so keep this in mind to avoid overbaking. Remove the granola from the oven and allow it to cool completely, remaining undisturbed. Break the granola apart into bite-sized pieces and store in an airtight container. Feel free to add dried fruit or extra nuts/seeds to suit your tastes. 

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