Good morning and Merry Christmas to ya’ll! Depending on where you are, you might still be eagerly awaiting christmas eve and the unpacking of presents, like I currently am. The rest of the fam is out doing some last minute grocery shopping, so I decided to seize the moment to turn on some cheesy christmas jingles and get busy in the kitchen. The smell that wavered out of the kitchen half an hour later made me feel like I had landed in Willi Wonka's chocolate factory, to say the least. I’ve actually been meaning to share this recipe with you guys for a while, but I’m still struggling to take nice pictures with this gloomy winter lighting and just couldn’t get the pictures right. They finally turned out to my liking, I hope you agree.
I’ve tried several homemade granolas before and I must say that all of them were super yummy. Dangerously so. So why bother make my own recipe? Well, most times I found myself adding more liquids such as melted chocolate or agave to really get the mixture to stick. Am I the only one that has to tweak recipes? Fellow food bloggers, please tell me that your pictures are just artificially created pieces of art and that your food doesn’t always look as divine as it does on your pictures? Either way, I hope that if you try this recipe it will be spot – on and that you don’t have to do any complicated adding or distracting. If so, please do let me know as this is the whole point of the recipe!
I find that this granola has the perfect crunch to it. It’s not too chocolatey, but just enough so that the mixture sticks together nicely. It’s the kind of granola that you can eat right out of the jar by the handful. The kind that might be gone before it has even fully cooled down. I usually make a huge batch and store it in mason jars. This time around, I put a couple of mason jars aside and some very lucky people will find them under their Christmas tree tonight, but pssscht...
Our best buddy buckwheat
Although the name suggests otherwise, buckwheat does not contain any wheat and is hence a wonderful grain for anyone with a gluten intolerance or with celiac disease. It actually is a fruit seed related to rhubarb and has a nutty, rich flavor that complements many dishes. Have you ever tried buckwheat flour? And do you know what my latest obsession is? Buckwheat noodles! As you can see, these seeds are highly versatile and I'm sure it's not the last time that you will hear me praising them.
Despite what many people think, plants can have complete proteins too! Buckwheat is the perfect example for this. It is high in protein and magnesium, making it an excellent option for vegetarians or vegans. It is also known to reduce cholesterol and to lower blood pressure, which might come in handy during the sometimes stressful holiday season.
Side note: Be careful with the oats; while some people can eat oats without any problems, others may have to skip them. Although they are considered a gluten grain, they do not contain the "gliadin" protein that people with an intolerance have such a tuff time digesting. The problem is that oats are often processed in the same plants where wheat is processed, and cross contamination may occur. If you have celiac disease, check the labels before and make sure there is no risk for cross contamination.
To serve it, you can get creative. I love to sprinkle it over my breakfast bowls or use it as cereal with some almond milk. Since it’s very rich, you can easily have it as an afternoon snack and pick it right out of the jar. I’ll leave the use up to you!
Buckwheat Chocolate Granola (8 cups)
300g rolled oats
70g coconut flakes
30g chia seeds
½ tsp. fine grain sea salt
60g coconut sugar
2/3 cup maple syrup
2/3 cup coconut oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup cocoa powder (organic, fair-trade if possible)
Preheat oven to 350°F / 175°F.
In a large bowl combine oats, buckwheat, coconut flakes, chia seeds and coconut sugar. Slightly chop nuts and add them.
In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, melt coconut oil. Add maple syrup, vanilla, salt and cocoa powder. Mix until smooth.
Pour liquid ingredients over dry and mix again. Make sure to do this fast, as I've had the experience that the mixture will clog otherwise and the liquid won't spread evenly over the dry.
Spread mixture out in a layer on a lined baking sheet and press firmly with the back of a spatula so that the mixture is compact. Bake for 15-20 minutes, then flip granola around and bake for another 10 minutes (while stirring every couple minutes).