Crunchy, sweet and prepared in no time these healthy Fruit and Nut Quinoa Clusters are the perfect snack at any time of the day. Using only eight ingredients this recipe is vegan, gluten-free and optionally refined sugar-free, too.
Like I mentioned in Monday’s post this week is a short one – work-wise at least. Everything else would be less than happy. Weeks already aren’t long enough as is but I digress. What happens when you’re off work for the remainder of the week? Right. You’re finally getting back into blogging and pre-writing post more as well as tackling multiple tasks around the household with ease. Only not. Wishful thinking, really. I know I can’t be the only one who has the biggest aspirations for the days off – and awakens to the harsh reality of hardly a thing checked off the to-do list by the end of day one. That was me yesterday evening.
Why I’m telling you all of this? It’s how this recipe came about. I’d actually meant to get up relatively early and finish a post on a topic that has been on my mind for a while already. Yet perfectionism got the best of me and I couldn’t finish it. Instead, I spent my time reading and being lazy relaxing because the weather was too amazing to clean my apartment. Bad conscience caught up with me at some point so I multi-tasked on cleaning some of the chairs on our terrace [gross!] – and these Fruit and Nut Quinoa Clusters.
Now you might think these look familiar and you’re right: today’s recipe is adapted from this nut brittle that’s already good as is. But we as bloggers [and perfectionists] can never let good be enough, right? My recent first-time purchase of puffed quinoa – it was on offer, what can I say? – played into this nicely as I knew I needed to use it in a recipe. Add into this all that my sister has been asking me for healthier treats and her upcoming visit – a decision easily made.
These are the lighter version of the Nut and Seed Brittle if you will. But not lighter in the diet-y sense. Just imagine some more airy crunch, almost granola-like [and we all like granola, yes?]. That. And a chocolate drizzle because: chocolate. Still healthy enough to eat any time of the day and with that granola aspect in mind you could totally crumble them up and eat as such. No judgment. And if you break them into larger pieces rahter than chunks: Copycat KIND bars* for a fracton of the price.
In case you’re wondering how they went down with my taste testers: my sister ate half the batch in one sitting so I think I’ll consider this another family-approved recipe. Me? No convincing needed in the first place and my mum wasn’t exactly vetoing a second batch, either. Find me in the kitchen then …
Healthy Fruit and Nut Quinoa Clusters
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds/pepitas [30 g]
- ¼ cup of slivered almonds [30 g]
- ¼ cup dried cranberries or raisins [30 g]*
- 1/2 cup puffed quinoa [15 g ]
- 1 tbsp of ground flaxseed
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp brown rice syrup or honey [25 g]
- Chocolate for drizzling, sugar-free if desired – amount: however much you feel like
- Preheat oven to 320 °F/160 °C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Roughly chop both the almonds and cranberries.
- In a wide bowl, stir together honey and maple.
- In another bow, mix the almonds, seeds, puffed quinoa and cranberries. Add to the sirup mixture and stir to combine well.
- Spread the nut mixture evenly on your prepared baking sheet and press down firmly to ensure it’ll get all clustery.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, watching closely to avoid burning it. Baking times might vary depending on your oven.
- Melt the chocolate either in a double boiler or microwave.
- Let cool completely before drizzling chocolate on top of the clusters.
- Once the chocolate has hardened, break into chunks or bars.
- *the cranberries I used were sweetened but you can sub them for any dried fruit you like I wouldn’t recommend mulberries as I tried them in the batch pictured and they burned in places.
Happiness-inducing today: Every time my nephew smiled at me. Not those times when he did while pulling my hair a little too strongly maybe …