Years ago, I produced a fun breakfast event for a client. It was a 1920s Great Gatsby inspired celebration kind of thing. Was it over the top? No, it was perfectly appropriate and absolutely fun. Complete with handsome servers holding silver trays of cold-pressed juice welcome mocktails and a coffee station with an Australian barista who created made-to-order coffee creations. As guests explored the venue a flapper troupe set the tone through their acoustic melodies and everyone enjoyed miniature breakfast canapes surrounded by brilliant white orchids and black and gold furniture. Okay, maybe a little over the top. 

The whole point is, during the tasting meeting for this event, the caterer (one of Toronto’s finest, Daniel et Daniel) presented a breakfast parfait that was so delicious I went gaga over it. Not because of the rich and creamy greek yogurt or carefully crafted berry compote (but of course that’s a winning combo), but because of the satisfying and sweet crunch on top. 

“What IS this?” I exclaimed after I took my first bite. 

“It’s a breakfast parfait, of course.” 

“I understand that, but what is THIS!?” 

“Oh . . . that is chef’s quinoa granola. The crunch is the best part.”

“YES! That’s it. The CRUNCH. It is so satisfying and fun!” 

Duly noted. 

Fast forward a few years, I always remembered that texture and taste and started playing around with my own version of the recipe. The great thing about making granola, is that you really can make it your own and it is beyond simple to prepare. This version was created during a recent cottage weekend escape tossed together with whatever was in the cupboard. Truth be told, you could make this without nuts or dried fruit, but they do add additional flavours and textures. So give it a go and play around with the ingredients in your pantry or cupboards. It also keeps well for several weeks stored in an airtight container. 

Now, let’s bring back those roaring 20s and host more fabulous breakfast events. They are perfect for celebrating just about anything! 

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup quinoa
Generous pinch of salt
½ cup crushed salted pistachios
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 
¼ cup dried fruit (we used figs, but cranberries, cherries or apricots would work very well – or any combination thereof) 
4 tablespoons coconut oil
¼ cup maple syrup 

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Mix oats, quinoa, salt, pistachios, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Drizzle in the coconut oil and maple syrup and toss everything together until well mixed/coated.
  3. Tip out and spread the mixture evenly on the baking tray
  4. Bake for 10 minutes then give the granola a stir. Continue baking a further 10-15 minutes until golden brown.

Recipe created by Gluggable.