Mornings are hard. Let’s all acknowledge that and move on because I have found the solution: make a breakfast that you can’t wait to leap out of bed to eat! Cue my latest, and greatest, granola recipe: Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola! Get those bowls and spoons ready folks!I got very excited in a health food store the other day. I’m sad to report that this happens quite often, and not just in health food stores. The abundance of awesome new ingredients to try in a different grocery store has me busting into rhyme, and the taste of the first sweet summer peaches can induce worrisome dancing. If you’ve been around me and food, you have seen some manifestation of the excitement that comes from me finding something tasty or new. Anyway, what had me excited this particular afternoon was the discovery of buckwheat flakes! As in, buckwheat kernels that have been rolled into wholesome oat-like flakes, but not oats! As soon as I had a box in my hot little hands I just knew that I wanted them to feature in a new granola recipe.This gluten free, vegan granola recipe is an absolute winner and probably my best granola recipe ever. Ever. Just look at those clumps! I love chunky, clumpy granola and this recipe is perfection! It starts with a base of super gluten free grains. The aforementioned buckwheat flakes, which behave like oats in this recipe and provide a super stable base to build on, are joined by buckwheat groats (for super crunch), and raw quinoa. So much the crunch.To these grains of goodness (actually, both buckwheat and quinoa are seeds) we add walnuts, chia seeds, mashed banana, a touch of maple syrup, cocoa powder, and a dash of instant espresso powder because some mornings we need to put the coffee in our breakfast as well. Granola is one of the best things to make for yourself. Not only do you save money but you can customise it to suit your tastebuds. This granola was exactly what my tastebuds wanted. It’s crunchy and interesting, every bite brings something different. There’s crispy bits and the slightly chocolaty binding holding it all together and it’s a not too sweet a start to your morning. I paired mine with tart protein-rich Greek yoghurt and some sweet seasonal blueberries. It’s also great for snacking on, or for dessert with a sneaky square or two of dark chocolate.
Come on folks, take back your mornings and get a great start with my Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola!
Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola
Gluten free | Vegan | Makes about 5 cups | Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Note: If you do not require a gluten free diet, or you can buy certified gluten free oats where you live, you can substitute the buckwheat flakes for 1 cup of rolled oats.
Indulge in a healthy retreat to the tropics with my latest gluten free granola recipe. Filled with plump dried apricots, crunchy quinoa flakes, toasted coconut, and roasted cashews this is a little taste of the islands that will make your breakfast into an escape to a faraway locale.
I have found the secret to enjoying Monday mornings. Three little things that make the start of the working week a pleasurable experience rather than something akin to ripping a bandaid off a blistered foot. Firstly: set your alarm for ten minutes before you actually need to get up. That way you can hit snooze and not feel guilty about it. I am loving having those extra ten minutes to snuggle under the covers with Chris and I wake up feeling happy and loved. Secondly: make it easy to get out the door. Make your lunch, pack your bag and iron your clothes (or if you are like me, don’t iron your clothes) on Sunday afternoon so that on Monday morning you just need to roll out of bed, shower, and get out into the world! Thirdly, and most pertinent for today: have a delicious breakfast to look forward to when you do manage to get out of bed. Enter: Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola.
This crunchy, coconut-infused, quinoa flake granola had me bouncing out of bed this morning with a smile on my face. I knew that once I fought the traffic and made it to my desk that I had a superb, healthy breakfast waiting to fuel me through the morning. Plump, sweet dried apricots and chunks of roasted cashews are in generous supply and contrast with strands of toasted coconut, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. This mixture is coated in a touch of richly sweet golden syrup, mild olive oil, and coconut and vanilla extracts before spending some time getting golden and crispy in the oven. The result: light, crunchy mouthfuls of crispy quinoa flakes soaked in tropical coconut flavouring with a hint of sweetness from the chewy apricots and golden syrup counteracted by buttery roasted cashews and strands of toasted coconut.
Quinoa flakes are a great alternative for people who cannot tolerate oats. I have to say, the tiny crunchy flakes are just as delicious as the traditional oats usually found in granola. This is my new favourite breakfast formula! I love my granola served over thick Greek or natural yoghurt, or eaten in sneaky handfuls after I get home from the gym at night. It makes a great car tip snack too! So jump on board the granola train and make your Monday mornings shine!
Tropical Quinoa and Apricot Granola
Gluten Free | Vegan | Makes about 2 1/2 cups | Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks
1 1/2 cups quinoa flakes
1/3 cup roughly chopped cashews
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
In a large bowl stir together quinoa flakes, cashews, sesame seeds, salt, and cardamom until well mixed.
In a small jug whisk together olive oil, golden syrup, vanilla extract, and coconut extract.
Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix carefully with a wooden spoon until the dry ingredients are thoroughly coated.
Spread granola over the lined baking sheet and press down slightly with the back of the spoon to encourage some clumping.
Bake in pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes. Check and stir every 10 minutes to ensure the granola does not burn.
In the last ten minutes of cookies (about 20 minutes into the cooking time) stir in shredded coconut.
Once cooked, remove from oven, stir in dried apricots and allow to cool completely before serving or storing.