One of my vegetarian friends is pregnant with her first child and on the hunt for protein and vitamin-filled recipes. I'm a big fan of quinoa, a grainy seed that's high in protein, and decided to adapt a delicious-sounding Martha Stewart quinoa cluster recipe for her as a treat to include wheat germ, which is high in pregnancy-nutrition musts Vitamin E and folate (folic acid), and flax seeds, which boast Omega-3 fatty acids. I added chocolate chips to the healthy clusters for little sweet-tooth appeal and packed them up in a mini mason jar as a pregnant-Hostess with the Mostess gift.
3/4 cup white quinoa
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup shelled raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup shelled raw pistachios, chopped
1 cup dried apricots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
Vegetable-oil cooking spray
OPTIONAL: Add chocolate chips, raisins, 2 teaspoons of flax seeds and wheat germ for extra sweetness and nutrition.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse quinoa thoroughly in a fine sieve; drain. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add quinoa; return to a boil. Stir quinoa; cover, and reduce heat. Simmer until most liquid is absorbed and quinoa is slightly undercooked, about 12 minutes; transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, fluffing with a fork occasionally, until pale golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in a large bowl.
2. Spread oats on baking sheet; bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Add oats to quinoa. Spread seeds on baking sheet; bake until lightly toasted, about 7 minutes. Add to quinoa mixture; let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees.
3. Toss nuts, apricots, (and any sweet treats or extra wheat germ you are adding to the recipe), sugar, and salt with quinoa mixture. Beat honey, oil, and vanilla into eggs; stir into quinoa mixture.
4. Line a 12-by-17-inch baking sheet with parchment; lightly coat with cooking spray. Spoon 1/4 cup batter onto sheet for each cluster; space 3 inches apart. Flatten to 1/4 inch thick. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until crisp, about 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Store, loosely covered with foil, up to 2 days.
- Nuts, Desserts