blissful eats with tina jeffers: Crunchy pumpkin quinoa cereal

I’ve been starting my mornings with a smoothie every day for the last three weeks and I felt the need to broaden my horizons just a little.  I was craving some cereal but since I am trying to not eat anything out of a box or a bag, I realized it was time to make my own.   Once you step away from processed foods you realize how much you rely on them.  It really is a pleasure to step into the kitchen and take the time to prepare your food from scratch, it takes some time but is worth every effort.  There is satisfaction in knowing every ingredient that goes into what you put on the table for your family and that is all natural.

This is a fun variation on traditional granola.  I switched out quinoa for the usual oats and added some raw millet and poppy seeds.  I am all about crunch in my breakfast cereal, I get so sad when I pour my milk in my bowl and it’s soggy by the second bite.  This cereal definitely delivers a nice hearty bite that will stay crunchy until the last spoonful.  Quinoa is high in protein and is actually a complete protein , meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids.  Pumpkin is a great way to cut fat in baked goods and lends a warm spicy note that is perfect for a cold winter morning. 

Crunchy pumpkin quinoa cereal


4 cups cooked quinoa

½ cup millet

½ cup poppy seeds

¾ cup pumpkin seeds

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¾ teaspoon salt

¼  cup natural cane sugar

1 cup pumpkin puree

½ cup applesauce

¼  cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract



Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa, millet, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds, spices and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, pumpkin puree, applesauce, maple syrup and vanilla extract until well combined.  Pour the wet ingredients into the quinoa mixture and stir until everything is well coated.  Divide the mixture evenly between the two baking sheets.

Bake for 20 minutes and then remove from the oven and stir the mixture.  Bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the cereal is golden brown and crisp.   Let cool completely and store in an airtight container. 

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