Vegan Buckwheat & Fig Granola

granola 2

Granola is often thought of as a ‘healthy’ alternative to sugary cereals, but the kind you’re likely to find in the supermarkets is still mostly full of sugar and additives. By making your own, you not only know exactly what ingredients are going in to your food, but you get the added satisfaction of providing something healthy and hand made for yourself and those around you. Knowing what’s healthy for ourselves is great, but it’s even better when we share what we learn and help to look after the health of others too!

For anyone wondering what buckwheat is all about, here’s why it’s a great ingredient:

Buckwheat isn’t actually wheat at all, in fact it’s not even a grain. Buckwheat is actually a fruit seed derived from a plant of the rhubarb family. This seed can be soaked and sprouted into nutritionally dense little seeds of health, and are a great source of flavonoids (good for heart health and circulation), magnesium (important for muscle maintenance and blood flow), and fiber (essential for a healthy digestive system), as well as manganese and phosphorus. Buckwheat is gluten-free, and is often used in place of rice or pasta in many dishes. You can also use them as an alternative to porridge oats, as they give us plenty of energy and are great way to start the day.

Figs are in season now, which is why they’re included – figs are also a brilliant source of fiber and give an Autumnal warming sweetness to the Granola. (Even though yes, it’s definitely still Summer! Get practicing making this recipe now so you have it perfected by the time September rolls around……)

This granola is so simple, and the recipe makes a couple of big jars worth, so you’re able to share it with everyone who will no doubt want to try it over and over again. If you don’t have any of the ingredients with a * next to it, simply leave them out, or swap them for another healthy ingredient.

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw buckwheat groats (not Kasha, which is the pre-roasted buckwheat you might come across)
  • ½ cup oats
  • 1 handful each of the following: sunflower seeds, walnuts, flaked almonds, and macadamia nuts
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan mountain salt or good quality sea salt
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds*
  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut*
  • a few chopped, dried figs* – which are in season now (or a handful of raisins, if this isn’t available to you)
  • 2 tsp Maca* (optional, for an extra energy boost)

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 big tbsp rice syrup or honey
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applusauce or apple puree* (If you’re not using this, then use another tbsp of rice syrup or honey)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

HOW TO:

  • Preheat your oven to about 150 degrees celcius (300f) and line a big baking tray with greaseproof baking paper
  • Place the dry ingredients in to a large bowl and stir to combine
  • Add the wet ingredients and stir until everything is well combined
  • Drop spoonfuls of the mixture evenly on to the baking paper
  • Place in the oven and bake for around 45 minutes in total. Give the granola a little shuffle around about half way through. The time you’ll need to keep the mixture in the oven will depend upon your oven, and also on how often you open the oven door to check if it’s done yet!
  • When you’ve been baking for around 45 minutes, the mixture will be hot and very firm, but won’t be completely crispy yet. Taste a macadamia nut, and if it is crunchy and tastes ‘roasted’, your granola is ready.  From personal experience I advise you keep an eye on the granola at this stage to ensure it doesn’t burn!
  • Take mixture out of the oven and place on to a big plate to cool for a few hours (best left over night). Don’t leave the mixture on the baking paper, as it is likely to stick to it if left for too long, and no one wants brown paper with their granola….
  • After you’ve left the granola to cool, it will be crunchy and a lot more granola-y
  • Store in an airtight container

granola 1

 Serve with yogurt, on top of your cereal, as a topping for a smoothie, or as a snack by itself! Be warned though, this stuff is very moorish, and it won’t be long until you run out and have to make another batch!

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