As part of my quest to reduce food packaging, I’ve been experimenting with new breakfast recipes. Raw buckwheat porridge was one, and this fabulous buckwheat granola is the other. I feel like buckwheat has always been on the periphery of my food consciousness, but never had a starring role. I knew about it in flour form, of course, for pancakes, but never thought about using buckwheat groats in my everyday kitchen. Now, however, buckwheat groats have found a home. Mixed with sunflower and pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, rolled oats, and hemp seeds, and coated with coconut oil and maple syrup, these buckwheat groats have amazing crunch. Throw in some raisins and whatever other dried fruit suits your fancy, and you have one serious breakfast contender.
But to answer a question I’m sure you’ve all been wondering: what are buckwheat groats, anyways? And why is groats such a funny word? Well, I’m not sure I can answer the latter (I mean, it rhymes with oats, but is somehow so much more hilarious), but with regards to the former, buckwheat groats are the hulled seeds of the buckwheat plant. If you don’t know what a buckwheat plant looks like (I didn’t!), take a quick look here. It’s a beautiful plant, with white blossoms, and it’s neat to make the connection between those little seeds and the beautiful green and white triangular bits that come in the buckwheat groats bag. Sidebar: if you’ve never googled what quinoa (also a seed) looks like, in plant form, I highly recommend it. Gorgeous, colourful – so unique-looking. But I digress.
Back to buckwheat. Buckwheat groats (different from kasha, which is buckwheat in its toasted form) are light green, brown, and cream, and, interestingly, despite its name, all buckwheat is gluten-free. The buckwheat plant is actually related to the rhubarb plant, and a quick google search tells me buckwheat’s health benefits are many: low on the glycemic index, high in crucial minerals like zinc and manganese, and full of protein and heart-healthy fibre. For all you gardener types, Mother Earth News has an interesting article here on how to grow your own buckwheat. Now THAT would be taking it to the next level – making homemade granola from homegrown buckwheat? Living the dream!
This granola is simple to put together: all the dry ingredients go in one bowl, all the wet ingredients in another, mix them together, and bake them in the oven until golden. Then add dried fruit, store in a jar, and voila! Granola deliciousness.
Crunchy Homemade Oat & Buckwheat Granola
- Author: Backyard Owl
- Recipe Notes: vegan, gluten-free (if using certified gluten-free oats), naturally-sweetened
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup buckwheat groats
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup nut pulp* (optional, but a nice way to use up leftover pulp from making homemade nut/seed milk)
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- In a large bowl, stir together oats, buckwheat groats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, hemp seeds, salt, and cinnamon.
- In a small saucepan, melt coconut oil and add maple syrup and vanilla. Stir in nut pulp, if using.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients until all dry ingredients are coated.
- Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring once or twice, until golden.
- Remove from oven, and if desired, clump together to cool (this helps form clusters); or, leave as is to cool. Add raisins.
- Store in an airtight jar or container and enjoy!
© 2014 Backyard Owl