Quinoa, Apricot, and Nut Clusters

I haven’t blogged in over a month! Shame on me.  There really hasn’t been much to write about lately.  Recently, I obtained a second job- a job that actually pertains to the career I want. Working two jobs kinda sucks.  I like my free time, and I started to relate to the business working class. Who wants to cook at 7:30pm after working a full day in an office? It’s obvious why people don’t eat as healthy as they should; it’s so much easier and quicker to eat junk.  I spent this past week in a grouchy haze, fried food and no days off does not make for a happy Chelsea.

What makes me happy? Cooking. And quinoa. The Power Foods cookbook has a wonderful recipe for little quinoa clusters…my dad kept calling them cookies, but I prefer to view them more like a granola bar. It’s the perfect snack for the little worker bees out there, or for a pre-workout boost. It takes a bit of time to toast everything, which is why I switch the first two steps. I toast the oats while the quinoa is coming to a boil. Every time I’ve made these I have forgotten to toast the seeds… oh well. They still taste delicious. Also, I leave them on the baking sheet for a while to make a really crisp cookie/cluster.

Quinoa, Apricot, and Nut Clusters

Ingredients, Makes 20, serving size 2 clusters

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup white quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1/2 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup dried apricots, preferably unsulfured, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons neutral tasting oil, such as canola or safflower
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 large eggs white, lightly beaten
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray

Preheat over to 350 degrees F. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add quinoa; return to a boil. Stir once; cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until quinoa is slightly underdone (it will finish cooking in the oven) and has absorbed most of the liquid, about 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer quinoa to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, fluffing with a fork occasionally, until pale golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl, and let it cool.

Spread oats evenly on the baking sheet; bake stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Add oats to bowl with quinoa. Spread seeds on baking sheet; bake, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted, about 7 minutes. Add to quinoa mixture; let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Toss nuts, apricots, sugar and salt with quinoa mixture. Mix honey, oil, and vanilla into eggs; stir into quinoa mixture.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; lightly coat with cooking spray. Place 1/4 cup mixture onto sheet for each cluster spacing them 3 inches apart. Flatten to 1/4 inch thick. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until crisp, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Store loosely covered with aluminum foil, for up to 2 days, at room temperature

Nutritional information per serving: 329 calories, 3.4 g saturated fat; 7.2 unsaturated fat; 42.3 mg cholesterol, 49 g carbohydrates; 10 g protein; 139 mg sodium; 5 gram fiber

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Comments

  1. It does seem time consuming though, doesn’t it, but they look really awesome and healthy! I bet my dad would like them too. I will have to try making these when I get some time. I will also try freezing them so they’ll last longer. Thanks!

    • Oh and I also requested this book from the library too. You’ve given me some great book ideas! ha! Not that I need help in that department! I have too too many books out as it is, and barely time to read them all!

      • Power Foods is a good one, after reading that book, cookbooks like Sheryl Crow’s seem like small potatoes in the nutrition department.
        And yes, I saw how many books you’re reading! How is “My Father’s Daughter” cookbook?

  2. I just finished posting my review of “my father’s daughter” – I liked it a lot more than the Sheryl Crow one (review coming soon)

    I didn’t find anything earth shatteringly new in the Sheryl Crow book. I did like that avocado chocolate mousse, and will have to try it soon! I didn’t think they were great ambassadors of sustainable seasonal cooking. ie: suggesting to use fresh raspberries in winter/fall or cod/halibut/flounder for ceviche.

    I have much more respect for Gwyneth, at least she is an actual cook! Not so sure about Sheryl. It’s like she put her name on the book only because it would gain more publicity that way.

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