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Maple walnut granola! Need I say more …

This granola is gluten-free and makes for a quick and easy breakfast or a satisfying snack. I like to eat it with milk in the morning and greek yogurt in the afternoon. Just what’s needed for the early rises and marathon writing sessions in store for me this winter.

Maple Walnut Granola
adapted from Quinoa 365 by Patricia Green & Carolyn Hemming
The original recipe is titled The Ultimate Granola. I wanted a simplified granola so I pared  the recipe down significantly and increased the amount of walnuts and raisins. Green & Hemming call for pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, dried coconut, and dried cranberries. It can be tricky to find coconut and cranberries that do not contain extra oil and added sugar so I rarely keep them in my pantry. The pure maple syrup adds just enough sweetness without turning your granola into dessert.   
2 and 1/2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup whole almonds
1/3 cup quinoa (uncooked)
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
generous sprinkling of cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins (use 3/4 cup if you appreciate a generous hand with raisins!)
Combine oats, almonds, quinoa, and walnuts in a large mixing bowl.
Combine the maple syrup and vanilla in a small bowl.  
Pour the maple syrup mixture over the oats, almonds, quinoa and walnuts. Stir until the maple syrup is evenly distributed.
Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and stir again.
Spread the granola evenly onto a large baking sheet and bake for 1 hour at 225 degrees. Although the original recipe does not indicate that you should lightly coat your baking sheet with canola oil or perhaps use some parchment paper, a little insurance in this department would not go amiss. The first time I made this granola some serious chiseling action was required and demanded a strong spatula, significant elbow grease and duty-bound determination!  
Remove granola from baking sheet immediately and set aside to cool before adding the raisins.
You can store the granola in a sealed container in your pantry for up to 4 weeks but it will certainly be eaten and enjoyed long before then!