When my daughter Leah turned 12 last fall, we surprised her with a parakeet. Most kids beg their parents for a dog or a cat (which is exactly what Leah did), but, long story short, we settled on an adorable bird named Jazzy.
The reason for Jazzy’s 15 minutes of fame here on Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen is this month’s Recipe Redux nutrition blogger cooking challenge. For the challenge, Reduxers were asked to create a recipe using the natural sweeteners, honey or maple syrup. Since Liz and I live in New England, we chose maple syrup, and with the help of our intern, Marsi, cooked up this gluten-free recipe for Maple Quinoa Crunch. When Leah saw it, she said it looked like Jazzy’s bird seed. Well, there you have it folks; from the mouth of my babe, we present to you our latest recipe for … “bird seed.”
This crunchy, nutty topping is perfect for sprinkling over a bowl of calcium-rich fruited or plain yogurt. And even though it freaked Leah out when she saw it (she said it looked “creepy”), Liz’s boys enjoyed it as an after-school snack
To produce one gallon of maple syrup, it takes 40 gallons of sap, tapped from mature sugar maple trees. In fact, it can take four trees to produce that one gallon of syrup (this explains why pure maple syrup is so pricey). Another interesting fact about maple syrup is that one tablespoon has 20 milligrams of calcium, the same amount found in milk. This natural sweetener also contains iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium, B vitamins, biotin, and folic acid.
Maple Quinoa Crunch
Makes 16 Servings (total yield = 2 cups)
We love this gluten-free topping for yogurt because it’s flavorful, crunchy, and reminds us of the Grape Nuts cereal we ate as kids!
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup diced dried plums (we used Plum Amazins)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse several times in cold water. Drain well, pat dry with paper towels, and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the almonds, coconut, flaxseed, maple syrup, canola oil, and cinnamon and stir to combine.
3. Spread the mixture in a thin layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned, about15 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes to ensure even baking. Remove from the oven and cool. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the dried fruit.
* Serving suggestion: Use as a topping for yogurt. Add fruit as desired: sliced strawberries, fresh or frozen blueberries, diced apple, sliced bananas, diced mango.
Nutrition Information per Serving (2 tablespoons): 80 calories, 3g fat (0g saturated, 0.3g omega-3), 5mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 3g sugar, 2g protein
Check out the other maple syrup / honey blog posts featured in this month’s Recipe Redux challenge: