When I found myself in a bit of snack slump last week, I came up with this crunchy quinoa recipe to satisfy my mid-afternoon munchies. Packed with protein, fiber, and healthy fat, a handful of this crunch sticks with me and tides me over until my next meal. If you’ve read my book, you know that I’m as devoted a snacker as they come. I wrote an entire section of The Pure Kitchen solely based on healthy nibbles. Eating in between meals keeps me feeling energized and steady-Eddy all day long.
I wanted a chewy, crunchy snack that wouldn’t spike my blood sugar, so I chose to sweeten this quinoa crunch with stevia. If you’d prefer to use maple syrup or honey, I’m sure a tablespoon or two of that would work just fine here.
Quinoa, a grain-like seed containing all of the essential amino acids, offers an impressive nutritional profile. Boasting vitamins and minerals as well as fiber, it pairs perfectly with the heart-healthy walnuts and coconut in this recipe. Soaking the quinoa in advance not only helps to hydrate and soften the seeds, but also makes them easier to digest.
Instead of using an egg to bind the clusters together, I whipped up a quick mixture of applesauce and flaxseed to work like “glue.” I also did this in my Grain-Free Cranberry Walnut Granola recipe and it worked like a charm.
More crunchy nibbles you’ll love:
- Simple Spice-Roasted Chickpeas from The Balanced Platter
- Peanut Butter & “Jelly” Munch from Tasty Eats at Home
- Crunchy Chili Chickpea Chips from Daily Bites
- Carob or Chocolate Coated Almonds from Whole New Mom
Makes 1 1/2 – 2 cups
Enjoy this healthy snack by the handful or sprinkled over fresh fruit, applesauce, or smoothies for some added crunch. For extra sweetness, stir 1/2 cup raisins or other dried fruit into the mixture upon removing it from the oven.
1/2 cup quinoa, covered with water and soaked at room temperature for 5-6 hours
1/2 cup raw walnuts, pecans, or almonds, chopped
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
15 drops liquid stevia
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Drain the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Rinse well and drain again, pressing on the grains with the back of a spoon to remove as much water as possible. Transfer the drained quinoa to a mixing bowl and stir in the walnuts, coconut, cinnamon, and salt.
In a small bowl, combine the applesauce, flaxseed, and stevia. Stir the applesauce mixture into the quinoa mixture to thoroughly combine. Spread the mixture out evenly on the baking sheet.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until golden brown and crunchy. Cool completely on the baking sheet. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.