Grain Free Granola and Fruit Salad – A “Parfait” Combination!

One of the aspects of my healthy lifestyle that I don’t really ever talk much about is how I keep fit and active.

Oh! not that it isn’t a very important part of my life. In fact, I work out 6 days out of the week.


I don’t do, miss workouts. Not unless I have a VERY good reason.

I guess if I don’t talk about it much, it’s because I’m not quite as passionate about it as I am about food.

Alright, I’ll be honest. I hate working out.

Still, I know that it’s good for me, and I always feel so much better after I’m done. Plus, working out allows me to eat that much more! ;)

Seriously, the fact that I don’t care much for exercise forces me to constantly find new things to do, because I get bored very easily.

A few years ago, I had picked up running and even ran a half marathon that summer. Oh, I was fairly proud of that one, and fully intended to repeat the experience! I even wanted to run a full marathon for my 40th birthday.

But you see, the thing is I HATE running. I find it way too slow, and long, and boring, and, well, let’s face it, hard! As in NON-STOP hard.

So last year, I didn’t run. I spent the entire summer training in my basement, doing P90X and sweating bullets going crazy at HIIT on my elliptical.

I really missed being out there, though, taking advantage of the beautiful days of summer, so this year, I decided that I needed to find something I could do OUTSIDE!

I think I found the PERFECT thing! Guys, please meet Vince, my new training partner!

Specialized Sequoia

Now HE can really take me places! WOW! Talk about speed!

In the 2 little hours that we got to spend together today, we devoured over 50km of road! Now THAT’S interesting.

To think that I had not ridden a bike in well over 20 years, up until just a few weeks ago.

I was really afraid to get “behind the handles” again, but I got the hang of it real fast. It IS true what they say: once you’ve learned how to ride a bike, you just never forget it.

I get the feeling that Vince and I are going to have a BLAST this summer. Let’s just hope that Sally doesn’t get jealous…

You know what though? I think that the best thing about bike rides is the post-ride breakfast!

And can you think of anything better than this beautiful Fruit Salad and Granola Parfait? It certainly satisfied me after my ride. I don’t remember ever having a harder time not digging in until the shoot was over, though. Boy did I badly want a bite of that yummy looking breakfast. Staring at it and taking pictures from all possible angles for what seemed like an eternity felt like pure torture!

I’ve always been a HUGE fan of granola, but sadly enough, most of the boxed stuff that’s available in stores is so sugar laden and high in fat that I tend to just steer clear.

Making my own is pretty much the only way to go for me now. Especially since I’ve been trying to avoid grains, you know. Ever seen grain free granola in a store, you? I know I haven’t…

To tell you the truth, I wasn’t convinced that grain free granola was even gonna work out. But I had such a craving for the stuff, I had to give it a try. And I’m real glad I did! I think it was a huge success.

The resulting cereal is super tasty, super crunchy and super satisfying. You’ve got tons of flavors and textures going on all at once, it’s like this mega party is happening in your mouth with every single bite.

And it goes absolutely deliciously well with home made fruit salad, which, conveniently I had just made a huge batch of and had a truckload of in the fridge…

Fruit Salad

Add a little bit of vanilla “custard” to the equation and you’ve got yourself this parfait breakfast…

Oh! bliss… we finally get to the point where I can dig in!!! Thank goodness, cuz I was just loosing it!

I am telling you, this foodie almost died with every single bite! Or came… not sure which! ;)

All I can say is it wasn’t long until this is all that was left on the dining room table…

Post-workout meals are just the best!!!

Exercising makes food tastes so much better, doesn’t it?

Or is it just me?

Grain Free Granola

Yield: Yelds about 8 cups

Grain Free Granola


  • 1½ cup quinoa flakes
  • 1 cup buckwheat groats
  • ½ cup kasha
  • ½ cup amaranth
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • Wet
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup unpasteurized liquid honey
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Add-ins
  • 1-2 tbsp unpasteurized honey
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup hemp seeds
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut shavings
  • ¼ cup goji berries
  • ½ cup toasted almonds, chopped
  • ½ cup dried apricots, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 325F
  2. Heat a large pot over high heat.
  3. When pot is really nice and hot, add amaranth, 2 tbsp at a time, cover with lid and quickly move pot from side to side and back and forth until amaranth starts to pop, which should happen fairly quickly.
  4. When all seeds have popped, transfer to large mixing bowl and repeat with the process with the rest of the amaranth. Don't do more than 2 tbsp at a time, else your seeds will only end up burning and will never pop. The bottom of your pot should not be completely covered and the seeds should all be in one layer.
  5. When all your amaranth is popped, repeat the same process with quinoa, again, popping no more than 2 tablespoons at a time.
  6. Add quinoa flakes, buckwheat groats and kasha to your popped amaranth and quinoa.
  7. In a separate bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together and wisk until well combined.
  8. Pour that into dry ingredients and blend with a wooden spoon or spatula until well incorporated.
  9. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spread your cereal evenly.
  10. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, tossing the cereal around from time to time.
  11. Remove from oven, drizzle honey and sprinkle cinnamon all over the cereal and mix it in real good.
  12. Add fruits, seeds and nuts and mix until well incorporated.
  13. Allow cereal to cool and dry completely in the pan, preferably overnight, before to store in an airtight container.

Grain Free Granola

Grain Free Granola

Grain Free Granola

Grain Free Granola

   Grain Free Granola

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  1. says

    That glass with yogurt and granola and fruit looks amazing! But I’m even more amazed by the recipe: pop-amaranth and pop-quinoa? I have never ever heard of anything like this. Sounds really neat! And I always boil buckwheat. You just roast it in the oven and that’s it? Does not it completely dry it? Or maybe that’s the whole point :-). I have to try that.
    p.s. have fun with Vince :-), maybe you’ll be asking Sally to give you both a ride some day, so she does not get jealous :-) Quebec’s nature is so beautiful – you are going to have a blast!

    • says

      Now there’s an idea! I hadn’t even thought of that! Although it’s a guarantee that Sally will have to take Vince and I for a ride at one point or another. And probably on more than one occasion! So you’re right, she might not get that jealous after all! ;) And you are quite right about Quebec’s nature too! We do have seriously gorgeous scenery here. Can’t wait for fall! Now that’ll be breathtaking!

      As for the buckwheat groats, you can eat them completely raw, did you know that? I often add them to my cereal, or sprinkle them over fruit and yogurt. And when you roast them in the oven, they only get a little crunchier, but they never get so hard that you break your teeth on them. You definitely HAVE to give that a try!

      Can’t wait to hear your thoughts! :)

  2. says

    It’s about time I made some granola again and this is a super healthy recipe. I can’t wait to try it! Well done on the biking! To go from no biking to 50km…I would be in agony the next day!

    • says

      Well… I didn’t go from 0 to 50! I went from 0 to 2, to 12, to 25, to 50, in a matter of 3 weeks. I might not be in agony, but let me tell you one thing: my butt is killing me!!!!! I could hardly sit for a couple of days last week! ;)

  3. Celia says

    It’s Celia- the bike ‘faller-offer,’ from FB LOL. Let me add a disclaimer that I rode the first 17 miles on the tow path in Yardley, pa without a hitch… before the fated fall in New Hope, Pa.
    At any rate here’s my question: Are quinoa flakes the same as quinoa? I definitely want to try this concoction out!

    • says

      LOL! You’re so funny, Celia! Well, I hope I won’t have too many incidents of the sort to report, but I get the feeling that I will run into a few “bumps in the road” here and there…

      As for quinoa flakes, they are not the same as quinoa. They are actually flakes made from quinoa seeds. You should be able to find them at your local whole foods or grocery store!

  4. Kalie says

    Ooh this sounds delicious! I am glad you posted this now, I am visiting “the big city” that has a Whole Foods store haha to get all the ingredients! I just finished off my favorite bag of granola this morning, it is so delicious, they add sea salt to it, so it’s got the sweet and salty thing going on. I think I’m going to try that with your recipe!

    • says

      Oooh, love the idea of sweet and salty! I’m thinking fleur de sel might be awesome in granola. Or maybe a salty component of some sort? I’ll have to give that some thought! Thanks for the inspiration! :)

  5. says

    Post-workout meals ARE the best. Is it sad that sometimes I spend my whole workout planning them?! :)

    Love Vince…I got back on my bike Friday and it felt so great. I love exercising outside now that the weather is nice. Although I went for a run this morning and it was already nearing 80..too hot for me..I should have been on a bike!

    This recipe sounds amazing, especially the fresh fruit salad!

    • says

      Oh, Anna! So happy to hear that I’m not the only one! Sometimes, when I really don’t feel like working out, my post workout meal becomes my incentive. I’m like “no work-out, no yummy post work-out meal” and then I start thinking of what AWESOME breakfast I’ll be having… that’ll get me through the toughest of workouts, guarantee!

      I remember too well running in extremly hot and humid weather, when they would send out warnings on the radio for people to stay inside, stay hydrated and not do any kind of intense work under the sun… I wouldn’t stop me from running my daily 5km, though, and people would comment as I would pass them that I was a bit crazy to be out there running in such extreme wheather conditions!

      I think that I will much prefer being on my bike, though. You get a lot more fresh air while riding than while running! ;)

  6. Donna says

    This is bookmarked for Everyday Breakfasts!….I love kasha…it reminds me of grapenuts, only better!..This is such a generous and well-timed offering since I have gone grain-free and truly missed the “crunch factor” at breakfast-time..Thanks for the giving!

    • says

      Glad you like and that the timing would be so good! I too, really missed having a great bowl of crunchy cereal in the morning. I’ve always been such a big fan! Now I can enjoy my cereal and still remain grain free! :)

      Hope you like ‘em too, Donna! Let me know how they work for you if you end up giving the recipe a try! :)

  7. Donna says

    Oops…Forgot to ask..but your fruit salad looks spectacular and as if it was positively meant to be married to your grain-free granola…Would you be willing to share it with us? Pretty please?

    • says

      You got that one right. The speed and fresh air are just unbeatable. You work up a major sweat, but don’t really get to realise it because the air dries it right off! I MUCH prefer biking to running, I can tell you that much! :D

  8. Kate says

    :(. But all of those ingredients (except buckwheat) are grains… I’m sorry I won’t be able to try it- it looks fantastic, but those of us with grain allergies can’t have quinoa or amaranth


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