Chocolate Maple Granola with Quinoa and Cranberries

This week I took a stand against the breakfast industrial complex. Sunday for breakfast, I thought I’d go carnivorous, and ate a plate heaped high with Amish summer sausage. In honor of meatless Monday, I thought I’d swing vegetarian, and polished off a bowl of leftover garlicky lentil salad with goat cheese. Tuesday at 6am, I started to worry that I might not be getting my daily serving of fruits and vegetables, and munched away on snow peas, carrots, and bell peppers while I was getting ready for work. Don’t worry, I also ate string cheese for protein! This morning I was out of time and thinking that I might want to dip towards the sweet side, unfortunately things got a bit sticky when I tried to juggle spoonful’s of Nutella while driving. Paul, no stranger to my breakfast rebellions, calmly continued eating his grape nuts. Now that I’ve gotten that all out of system, I am ready for a spiffed-up breakfast classic. So when I got home from work today, I made a big batch of Chocolate Maple Granola with Quinoa and Cranberries. This chocolaty, crunchy granola is somewhere between breakfast and dessert, a good place to be in my mind, and with the combination of nuts, oats, and quinoa, provides a complete protein rich meal that keeps me energized through the whole day.

Yield: Approximately 7 cups


  • 3 1/2 cups oats, old fashioned rolled
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 3/4 cup coconut, shredded & unsweetened preferably
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 250.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients (oats, quinoa, walnuts, coconut, brown sugar, and salt) until fully incorporated.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together maple syrup, oil, cocoa powder and vanilla. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and no lumps remain.
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until the chocolate mixture is well distributed.
  5. Pour the granola onto 2 sheet pans (clean-up is much easier if you put down silicone baking sheets or parchment paper).
  6. Press the mixture down firmly so that it forms a fairly solid even mass, this will help it to clump later.
  7. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, rotate baking sheets half way through the bake time to ensure even browning. I do not stir mine while it is baking in order to maximize the clumping.
  8. Cool 15 minutes. Once cooled, add the dried cranberries and chocolate chips (if you are using them). Eat the granola straight-up or served with yogurt, milk, ice cream, cottage cheese, anything goes!

Note: This granola keeps well in the freezer for up to one month.