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Spicy Chocolate Buckwheat Granola

I have an addiction. A full blown one at that. Three weeks ago I knew nothing about granola. I bought it maybe twice in my life, and most of the time I didn’t really like it so I would give it away. Then I saw this recipe on www.mynewroots.org for Chunky Chocolate Buckwheat Granola and I just had to try it.  Sarah B (of My New Roots) includes all the reasons why you should be eating this granola but really, I just had to look at the pictures of it and I was sold.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have a sweet tooth. A big one. I sometimes think that it’s a side effect of diabetes just to drive me crazy. I’ve been trying to cut down on my snacking on processed food and I thought this would make a great substitute. I tried it and I’ve been making it every week since. I’m still giving it away but this time it’s because I’ve found something so good that I can’t bear to keep it all to myself! I did make some changes to the original recipe (even though it is so good it didn’t need me to change a thing) because I like the combo of chocolate and spice.

Ingredients:
2 cups / 300g rolled oats (gluten-free if necessary)
1 cup / 200g buckwheat
1 ½ cups / 65g coconut flakes
1 cup /125g almonds
1 cup /125g mixed dried fruit (I used mulberries and cherries)
¼ cup / 30g chia seeds
½ tsp. coarse sea salt
1-2 tsp. cinnamon
cayenne pepper (use your judgement – I used a pinch or two)
¼ cup / 35g coconut sugar
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup cocoa powder (organic, fair-trade if possible)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°F.
2. In a large bowl combine oats, buckwheat, coconut flakes, chia seeds, sea salt, dried fruit, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and coconut sugar. Roughly chop nuts and add them to the mix.
3. In a large pot over low-medium heat, melt coconut oil. Add honey or maple syrup, vanilla, and cocoa powder. Whisk to combine until smooth.
2. Pour dry ingredients into the pot with the liquid ingredients and fold to coat.  I like to do it on the stovetop on a very low heat to prevent the coconut oil from returning to solid
3. Spread mixture out in an even layer on a lined baking sheet and press firmly with the back of a spatula (or your clean hands) to ensure that the mixture is compact. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven, flip granola in large chunks, and place back in oven to bake for another 10 minutes, stirring every 3-4 minutes until toasted and fragrant.  Your whole kitchen will smell like heaven.  Test a nut if you’re unsure of whether or not it is done – it should be lightly roasted.   (I have burned the edges on this at least twice but that’s my favourite part!)  I use this on everything – my morning chia pudding, my salad at lunch or dinner time (especially the toasted buckwheat) and then of course I eat it as a snack whenever I get a craving for something sweet.  Enjoy!

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