Make it Naked

Quinoa Crunch (Gluten Free)

My sister

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and I visited Grandpa this weekend. We stopped at a bakery on the way to pick up a cake, a box of cookies and an apple turnover. We were hoping to avoid the usual Long Island bakery tour we do each time we visit. Well, within minutes of arriving we were at a different bakery picking up two pies. We failed miserably. How could we forget pie? The man loves sugar. It fuels him. For breakfast the next day we went to his favorite diner. He’s a celebrity there. Everyone knows him. Everyone comes over to the table to talk to him. Everyone knows what he wants…except our server. Grandpa ordered french toast. But then, she asked what kind of syrup he wanted. He looked at her like she was speaking a different language. “Yes, I want syrup.” So my sister tried. “No grandpa, what KIND of syrup?” “Yes, syrup.” The server said “Regular or sugar-free?” “Syrup” he said, completely confused. I couldn’t help but laugh. He was not understanding. Maple syrup is syrup. There is nothing else. It was then I realized my grandpa is a geriatric version of Buddy the Elf. I’m certain this has happened at some point in his lifetime. I only wish I was there to witness it. Ever since the diner episode last weekend, I’ve had a craving for some real, grade A, organic

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maple syrup. Something sweet but not too sweet. I had enough sugar last weekend. Something healthy. Something easy. I’m tired. I’ve been worn down by a feisty 91 year old on a constant sugar high. I got home and immediately made this quinoa crunch. It’s so simple. Four ingredients. That’s it. I recommend using sprouted quinoa. I used black quinoa at first but the texture was too hard for my liking. The sprouted quinoa worked really well. Here I’ve topped greek yogurt with warmed raspberries and this quinoa crunch. Good maple syrup is key with this recipe. There aren’t a lot of flavors going on so you can really taste it. The syrup holds the quinoa together and adds a subtle sweetness making addictive crunchy clusters. So splurge a little on the good stuff. The real syrup. The Grandpa-approved maple syrup. Quinoa Crunch (adapted from Jillian Michaels) Ingredients: For the crunch: (several servings) 1/2 cup sprouted, uncooked quinoa 1 tablespoon maple syrup 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon For the yogurt and berries: (one serving) 1 cup greek yogurt 1/4 cup frozen raspberries Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse thoroughly until the water runs clean. Shake to dry the quinoa, draining as much water as possible.
  3. In a bowl, mix all ingredients. Spread into a thin layer on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  4. Bake for 14-20 minutes or until quinoa starts browning. See note 1 below.
  5. Remove and let cool. Break into pieces.
  6. Heat raspberries until defrosted and syrupy.
  7. In a bowl top greek yogurt with warmed raspberries and quinoa crunch. Enjoy.


  1. I baked this in my toaster oven. I baked one batch for 14 minutes. It was chewy but still delicious. Baking for 20 minutes gave me the crunchy texture I was looking for. Do what you prefer.
  2. You can use any oil. I enjoy the flavor of coconut oil.
  3. If you can’t find sprouted quinoa in the store, you can sprout your own. Just soak the quinoa in some water for a few hours. You’ll see the little tails start to pop out.
  4. The options are endless here. Have it as cereal. Eat it plain. Mix with some nuts for a great grab-and-go snack. Enjoy!

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Posted on March 27, 2012

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