Hello everyone, I hope you’re having a lovely Monday and start to this beautiful week to come! It’s officially Fall as of last week and I welcomed the transition into Fall by rooting myself with more me time to reflect and absorb this short but stunning season! I attended one of my favorite events, a Bend and Brunch aka yoga and food all in one, it truly is heart and belly filling. The brunch is always different and deliciously imaginative, this week I was inspired by the brunch which had some delicious granola, I was then on a mission to perfect a healthy granola that included some of my favorite flavors and textures while remaining free of refined sugars, because most granola’s are packed with unnecessary sugar! So my next recipe I’d love to share with all of you is my Crunchy Buckwheat Cacao & Dark Cherry Granola, it’s UNREAL!
I love cacao, cinnamon and dark cherries together, especially in this season, so I went with those flavors for this granola, you really can get creative with the flavors or additions in your granola, but this combo was my fav, I can’t get enough of it. If you are wondering what raw cacao nibs are, they come from the seeds of the fruit of the cacao tree, it is the purest form of chocolate you can consume and raw cacao is actually a super food due to their high antioxidant levels, iron and magnesium levels, bonus! Cacao is also supposed to enhance your mood… so we now have an excuse when we’re feeling a little down to eat this granola by the giant spoonful, nom nom, all in the name of happiness! Oh, where do I find these lil raw cacao nibs you ask? I find them in the bulk section of Planet Organic, Community Foods and I’ve seen them at a few other natural health food stores.
This granola is legit, and really, what beats a batch of freshly baked granola and made at half the cost of store-bought? So the star ingredients for this Crunchy Buckwheat Cacao & Dark Cherry Granola are all of my favorites, nutty earthy buckwheat, fragrant roasted cacao, chewy tart dark cherries, shredded coconut (duh, a must in all of my granola’s), sunflower seeds, comforting cinnamon and vanilla, to hold it all together is a date and banana paste that turned out magical. Also, if you’re not a banana person, it just barely has a banana hint, the cacao and cherry rule the flavors here. One moment please as I hit up my pantry for some of this granola… yum!
Ready to make your own fresh batch of granola! Let’s get granolaing, it’s a word okay.
What you will need for this Crunchy Buckwheat Cacao & Dark Cherry Granola:
1.5 cup raw buckwheat groats whole (soaked)
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup cacao nibs (i get these at planet organic/community foods bulk section)
2 tbsp chopped dried tart cherries
10-12 pitted dates (soaked)
1/2 large banana
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
How the heck do you make granola, keep reading:
Prior to starting your granola, soak your buckwheat groats in warm water, enough to cover the groats completely for a minimum of 3 hours, you can skip this part but I found the buckwheat gets very crunchy/hard after baking, soaking it makes it more chewy and granola textured.
Heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Add hot water to your dates to soak in (5-10 minutes).
Combine the drained buckwheat, shredded coconut, sunflower seeds, cacao nibs and cherries in a bowl.
Drain your water from the dates and throw into your blender with the banana, vanilla, cinnamon and salt, blend until a smooth paste is made.
Pour your paste into your granola base and mix thoroughly until well coated.
Pour granola onto your lined sheet, spread out the mixture, but not too thinly so chunks of granola form!
Bake 15-20 minutes then flip and bake another 15 minutes or so, watch carefully near the end so you don’t burn your granola. I find when you go to flip it half way, flatten out the mixture with your spatula to help it stick together and create clumps.
Remove from the oven and let it cool completely (don’t be tempted, cool completely!), it’ll begin to harden, when cool, it’s ready to eat!
Store in an airtight container up to 3 weeks (probably more, mine is always gone prior to then!)
Now, just a warning, do not attempt to transport your granola on the parchment paper only to another location like I did. The paper folded and ripped as I was half way through my kitchen and half my granola went flying throughout the kitchen, like a granola grenade had gone off and a high-pitched scream of disbelief rang through my kitchen as I dropped to my knees in order to try salvage those perfect granola clumps, my husband thought I had cut off a finger, nope just precious granola hitting the floor, a tragedy! My next warning, this Chewy Buckwheat & Dark Cherry Granola is HIGHLY ADDICTIVE, okay I warned you, if it’s gone in a day or two, not my fault. I think that’s all I have to warn you about this time 🙂 I hope you try out my granola and I’ve inspired you just a little! Thanks for checking out my post and granola recipe, let me know how it goes, I love to hear from all of you! Have a beautiful week, happy granola crunching, XOXO.