Ok, so I know it has been a quite some time since I have posted. My family and I have been busy the last few months relocating to California temporarily for a work related project. Although it seems to be taking me some time to settle into a routine, we are pretty excited to be here! If you’re anything like me you will be able to relate. I love my routines, finding comfort in them as they keep me grounded and focused. I know that as we create a home here I will be able focus once again. I have actually had this post for you for a while, so here you go.
Granola is one of my absolute favourite go-to’s in our kitchen! There is something so very comforting and peaceful about the ritual of baking granola using pure organic, wholesome ingredients that make you feel like you’re in your grandmother’s kitchen. For years I have been obsessed with the fragrant aroma of thoughtfully chosen ingredients coming together into crunchy delicious clusters. If the fragrance is not enough to convince you, I can assure you that the flavour of the perfectly blended ingredients of this recipe will. I do admit that at times I have to limit my portions…or I graze on it all day long ! I know you can relate. I mean….why not?
Granola really can be so full of nourishing, nutrient dense, good for you ingredients when you take the time to whip up a batch yourself. Something to think about, soaking and sprouting is an option when you think of it a few days ahead, or even 12 hours ahead. The soaking action removes the phytic acid coating that actually is known to cause more digestive upset than the actual nut/seed or grain itself. Many people are able to digest soaked and/or sprouted nuts, seeds & grains that normally would cause them great discomfort. If you have the time to soak for a longer duration, I highly recommend it! Allowing the grains to sprout turns them into healing nutrient power houses. It is a truly a special gift to your body.
I know I have mentioned Sarah Britton over @mynewroots quite often, She is honestly one of my absolutely favourite inspirations. The granola recipe of Sarah’s I am going to share with you is one of my most adored food items I keep on hand in the kitchen. It is perfect on its own or with a plant based mylk. We love both almond and coconut in our kitchen. I also like to sprinkle it all over my oatmeal, chia seed pudding, a bowl of fruit and even some coconut Nice cream. I often pack up a small container when I am heading our for the day to snack on for those hungry times. Honestly the options are truly endless!
I have replaced the hazelnuts with almonds since I have a slight intolerance to hazelnuts…in addition to this I also double up the quantity of vanilla and added cinnamon because I love cinnamon and I can never get enough vanilla! I also soak the buckwheat and almonds when I have time because it works better for my digestive system.
Let’s talk about the ingredients and the many reason why this granola is over-flowingly abundant with nutritious goodness.
Oats are one of the most nutritious whole grain foods ever. In addition to being high in magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, iron and many other minerals, they are packed with fibre rich heart healthy antioxidants. Magnesium is an incredible little mineral that has many attributes promoting wellness and healing. It is known to increase energy, calm the nervous system and anxiety, as well as relieve muscle aches and pains. It is considered extremely beneficial for the all inflammatory conditions in addition to maintaining overall optimal health. If oats are not a part of your regular diet, I would highly recommend finding a way to incorporate them into your nutrition plan.
Contrary to what we believe Buckwheat is not a grain but a seed and as a member of the rhubarb family is a highly nourishing gluten free superfood. Abundantly high in protein with high levels of Rutin, as well as containing all of the essential amino acids Buckwheat is not only a wholesome plant based protein but may also treat blood pressure.
Coconut flakes are known for with the highly beneficial heart healthy fat Lauric Acid. The Lauric Acid found in coconut flakes balances the metabolism, your hormones ,your energy levels and are seriously yummy. I really enjoy using the coconut flakes for the body they add to the granola, however if you have coconut shreds in the pantry, they are great too.
Both the hazelnuts Sarah uses in this recipe and the almonds I use are quite simply put, plant based goodness. Making them a heart healthy addition to any plant based meal. Amazingly high in unsaturated fats (awesome for metabolism), omega-3 fatty acids ( this is good!), fibre, and vitamin E.
Oh Chia Seeds…these tiny little seeds are another nourishing superfood powerhouse of nutrients. Omega-3’s, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, fibre and plant based protein are just a few of the nutritional benefits of this incredible little seed.
Coconut sugar is a lower glycemic plant based alternative to the refined options out there. A definite must have in our pantry.
We love both Honey and Maple Syrup which are also considered great sweetener alternatives to stock in your pantry. Honey is total wellness in a jar and the one exception I make in my almost completely plant based diet. Honey contains anti-microbial, anti-bacterial properties and is often used in holistic treatments for wound healing, to treats ulcers, and as a natural cough or sore throat remedy. It is full of the much needed energizing B vitamins and immune boosting vitamin C. I recommend you purchase your honey from a local farmer in its raw form free from pasteurization. The heating pasteurization process strips the honey from some of its nutritive values.
Maple Syrup is a delicious nourishing addition all on its own with beneficially high levels of antioxidants and phytochemicals…and we know we cannot get enough of those!
Cinnamon is another ingredient I am obsessed with! An abundant source of fibre and iron, Cinnamon is loaded with powerful blood sugar balancing antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, is wonderful for fighting infections and repairing tissue damage.
All there is to say about Vanilla is that I love it. I like to use Vanilla bean whenever I can as I find the flavour much more intense, that said we use a lot of Vanilla Extract too.
Coconut Oil is over flowing with incredible health benefits. As a natural saturated fat it increases the healthy cholesterol in our bodies while converting the LDL ( bad) cholesterol into good cholesterol. In addition to the heart healthy benefits of Coconut Oil may also slow the progression of some disease, balance our hormones, and calm our digestive issues. This tropical oil is one of the most versatile and healthiest superfoods out there and may even be used to nourish both the skin and hair.
Cacao I must admit is my absolute favourite food item ever. It is actually a comfort food for me. Native to the Amazon Forest this powerful superfood is abundantly rich in antioxidants and minerals contributing to overall amazing health. It may also provide relief from high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity, and in treating copper deficiency. All of this means is that it is completely beneficial for you to use on a regular basis, just be sure to purchase the unprocessed raw Cacao powder or the unprocessed raw cacao nibs from your natural health food store or health food section of your local grocery store.
The flavours for this granola blend beautifully with the just right amount of sweetness and delicious texture I am certain you will love.
Thank-you Sarah for this amazing recipe!
CHUNKY CHOCOLATE BUCKWHEAT GRANOLA Makes 8 Cups
2 Cups Rolled Oats I use Gluten Free
1 Cup Soaked Buckwheat
1 1/2 Cup Coconut Flakes
1 Cup Soaked & Roughly Chopped Hazelnuts or Almonds
1/4 Cup Chia Seeds
1/2 Tsp Fine Grain Sea Salt
1/4 Cup Coconut Sugar
1/3 Cup Honey or Maple Syrup
1/3 Cup Coconut Oil
1-2 Tsp Vanilla Extract or 1 Vanilla Bean
1/2 Cup Cacao Powder ( organic & fair trade if possible)
- Preheat oven to 350ºF /175º C
- In a large bowl combine the Oats, Buckwheat, Coconut flakes Chia seeds and Coconut sugar. Stir in the roughly chopped nuts of your choice.
- Melt the Coconut Oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once melted whisk in the Maple Syrup, Vanilla, Salt and Cacao Powder.
- Fold the wet ingredients with the dry until well coated.
- Spread the granola mixture out in an even mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. With a spatula press firmly down on the granola to flatten it out evenly.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes. Remove from the oven, using the spatula once again to flip the granola over, be sure to flip it in large chunks. Place the granola back into the oven to bake for an other 10 minutes until toasted. NOTE/ I have accidentally baked this delicious recipe for too long before. Sarah does recommend testing it by tasting a hazelnut as they take the longest to bake. Once cooled I like to store mine in a large glass jar. I find it stays fresh for a much longer period of time.
The wholesome ingredients in this delicious recipe all contain the anti-inflammatory properties you need to give your body just the right amount love. If this is your first time making granola, have fun with it, enjoy the process, be creative, substitute if you need and nibble as you go! I promise you will make it over and over again!
It is that time of year again, when all recipes taste seriously more delicious with gingerbread flavour. I will send something gingerbread your way soon.