Erin McDowell

Listen, croutons have a time and place--like in a classic Caesar or at the salad bar. But when it comes to making salad toppings at home, you can do better. Enter our recipe for quinoa clusters. We mix uncooked quinoa and oats with nuts and seeds, toss it all with coconut oil and bake until crunchy. The result, which is basically a savory version of granola, will liven up any bowl of greens better than cubed bread ever could. Plus, you can add ’em to soup or yogurt, or even scoop up a handful for an afternoon snack.

Quinoa Clusters

A PureWow Original Recipe

  • Makes about 4 cups
  • Start to Finish: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

2½ cups oats

1½ cups quinoa

1 cup slivered almonds

1 cup shelled pistachios

1 cup pumpkin seeds

¾ teaspoon salt

¾ cup coconut oil, melted

2 tablespoons honey or agave

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a 13x9-inch baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, toss the oats with the quinoa, almonds, pistachios, pumpkin seeds and salt to combine. Add the coconut oil (if it has hardened in the jar, you can melt it in the microwave or on the stove over low heat) and honey (or agave). Toss the mixture until it forms clumps. If the mixture seems dry, add more coconut oil 1 tablespoon at a time.

3. Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet in a thin, even layer.

4. Bake on the middle oven rack until crispy, about 1 hour. Let cool completely, then break into clusters (this should happen easily if you gently lift the edges of the parchment). Serve over salad or store in an airtight container.

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Finishing Touches

It's the details that count! Try these tips

  • The clusters will keep for up to two weeks when stored in an airtight container. In the humid summer months, you can re-dry the granola by baking it at 200°F for 15 minutes.

  • Top our yummy goat cheese salad with a handful of quinoa clusters.

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