I run a lot. Between the miles I log every week and my already-fast metabolism, I actually have to put some effort into getting enough calories. This cereal was developed as a snack that included every high-fat, high-protein, high-calorie ingredient in my pantry while still being healthy, unprocessed, and (of course) incredibly tasty.

The version I make for myself is fairly high in calories because of the super-rich chocolate peanut butter coconut sauce, but I scaled back the ingredients in this recipe to be a little more typical, and you could scale them back even more if you’re looking for lower calorie foods. Regardless of how much sauce you use, this healthy chocolate-coated quinoa makes a very nutritious hot or cold breakfast.

Quinoa Granola

Chocolate Quinoa Cereal

Makes about 3 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked white quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons coconut butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Slivered almonds (optional)

Step One

Cook the quinoa. First, rinse the dry quinoa thoroughly through a strainer to remove the bitter coating, then add to a pot with 1 1/2 cups water. Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Typically with quinoa, you want to use 2:1 water:quinoa ratio, but we’re using a little less water here so the cereal is more dry after cooking.

Step Two

Just before the quinoa is finished cooking, prepare the chocolate, coconut, and peanut butter sauce. To do this, add all the remaining ingredients (minus the almonds) to a saucepan and gently heat. You don’t want to “cook” this mixture, just melt and incorporate the sauce.

Coconut butter — if you’ve never worked with this ingredient, it is basically the pureed meat of a coconut (think peanut butter made with coconut instead of peanuts). It should be fairly easy to find in most grocery stores and adds a great thickness to this sauce that wouldn’t be possible with just coconut oil.

NOTE: This sauce is absolutely killer by itself when chilled. It makes the most rich and delicious peanut butter fudge. I might continue to experiment with this and create a whole recipe around it. Stay tuned. :)

Step Three

In a large mixing bowl, pour the liquid chocolate mixture over the top and toss gently until the quinoa is completely coated. What you have now is a warm and delicious chocolate-coated quinoa. If you’re ready to eat this right away, you could easily skip the baking step and enjoy the cereal as-is. But for a firmer texture that will keep for several days…

Step Four

Preheat the oven to 350º F and thinly spread the quinoa mixture onto a baking sheet. The thiner you can spread this, the crispier it will get. Bake for at least 30 minutes until it becomes somewhat dry. This will never become super-crunchy granola, but it does firm up quite a bit. Toss in the optional almonds (or any other add-ins you’d like).

Store in mason jars in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. When ready to serve, add to a bowl with non-dairy milk and enjoy hot or cold (both are delicious!).

Quinoa Close

Quinoa Cereal