Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa, and Blueberry Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan

The crisp, cool weather has finally arrived and you need a homemade breakfast that will warm you up and keep you energised with healthy, good for you whole grains, nuts and seeds with a sprinkling of sweetness to keep the autumn chill at bay. My Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa and Blueberry Granola is your new seasonal breakfast favourite (and you can have chocolate for breakfast!).

Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa, and Blueberry Granola | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeDid anyone else read the ‘I Spy’ picture books as a kid? They were a hot commodity in my school library, and had to be patched and repaired by the librarians as they passed from hand to hand and generation to generation. I always feel like eating granola is sort of like playing ‘I Spy’. How many goodies can you spot in each spoonful? If you look closely at my new favourite granola recipe you will see delightful morsels in every bite!

Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa, and Blueberry Granola | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI’ll go first! I spy with my little eye something beginning with B! Buckwheat! Whole buckwheat groats make up half the grains in this granola mix. The heat from the oven crisps them up and gives this breakfast a crunchy base and buckwheat is high in slowly digested carbohydrates, protein, iron, zinc, and selenium. Did you spot something beginning with A? That would be the almonds! Coated in spices and maple syrup they boost the protein and healthy fats, including Vitamin E, which is important for healthy skin, eyes, and hair. And what about the letter S? Seeds! Of three different kinds: chia, pumpkin, and sunflower! A triple-treat of vitamin-boosting, fibre-containing, cholesterol lowering delight!

Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa, and Blueberry Granola | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe buckwheat base is boosted with gluten free rolled oats, but you could use quinoa flakes if you do not tolerate oats. The oats, buckwheat, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds are tossed with cinnamon-spiced cocoa and then mixed with a kiss of maple syrup and olive oil for sweetness, stickiness, and crispiness. An important note: If you like your granola extra chunky then do not stir your granola during baking time. Press it down with the back of your spoon and just check to make sure it isn’t burning at regular intervals (see recipe below).

The chocolate here is subtle, but feel free to throw in some dark chocolate chips for an extra sweet chocolate boost. I gave a jar of this to Mum as a chocolate alternative for Easter, and even if you are over chocolate (is anyone ever over chocolate, really?) for a little while, a cheeky little cocoa treat at breakfast is just the thing to warm you up at the start of leaf change. Serve it with yoghurt and a little fruit for a quick breakfast, or grab a handful as a healthy snack on the go. This Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa, and Blueberry Granola is sure to become a favourite in your house too.

Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa, and Blueberry Granola | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa, and Blueberry Granola

Gluten Free | Vegan | Makes about 2 1/2 cups | Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup buckwheat groats (uncooked buckwheat)
  • 1/3 cup almonds
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup dried blueberries

Method

  1.  Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl stir together oats, buckwheat, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, salt, and cinnamon until well mixed.
  3. In a small jug whisk together olive oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix carefully with a wooden spoon until the dry ingredients are thoroughly coated.
  5. Spread granola over the lined baking sheet and press down slightly with the back of the spoon to encourage some clumping.
  6. Bake in pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes. Check and stir every 10 minutes to ensure the granola does not burn.
  7. Once cooked, remove from oven, stir in dried blueberries, and allow to cool completely before serving or storing.

Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa, and Blueberry Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Pecan, Buckwheat, Coconut and Date Granola | Gluten Free

I think our granola jar is going to be empty very, very soon. I can’t get enough of this spicy, honey, crunchy, munchy, nutty granola! Oats and buckwheat make friends with pecans, coconut, and dates for a healthy, gluten free breakfast that will help you nourish your mornings.

Pecan, Buckwheat, Coconut and Date Granola | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI have become very fussy about what I share with you here on my precious internet home, which is why this post is coming to you today instead of yesterday. I had a muffin recipe all ready to go, and they were good, but just not good enough. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t going in the bin, they have been stashed in the freezer for quick snacks throughout the week. But I don’t want to share just ‘good enough’ recipes with my big internet Thoroughly Nourished Life family. I want to share the tastiest, the most nourishing, recipes you get excited to step into the kitchen to make. A Thoroughly Nourished diet is one that makes you inspired to eat delicious, healthy food every day with a liberal sprinkling of sugar to keep life sweet. So, no more ‘good enough’ food – just thoroughly nourishing, thoroughly inspiring food for every time of day.Pecan, Buckwheat, Coconut and Date Granola | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeTuesday night, after my average muffin effort I knew I had to get back into the kitchen to make something truly amazing so I didn’t lose my kitchen mojo (it’s that little sparkle in every baker’s step). As I was getting breakfasts and lunches ready for the next day I realised that I didn’t feel like my usual oatmeal and fruit, or yoghurt and fruit combinations. I’m not usually an exciting weekday breakfast eater. I stick to those two combinations on rotation and just adjust the fruit to suit the season. So, it’s time to shake things up, time to have another Thoroughly Nourished option: bring on the granola! One of the reasons I stopped eating store-bought granola/muesli is that the gluten free options are Expensive (yes, with a capital E) – my favourite gluten free brand is $10 a box. Not happening.

Pecan, Buckwheat, Coconut and Date Granola | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe result of breakfast boredom + frugality + Nourished Life necessity = Pecan, Buckwheat, Coconut and Date Granola. This granola is addictive, and if you squint, it’s kind of like eating a spicy, nutty, coconutty cookie. The buckwheat kernels become toasty and crunchy in the oven, and are a nice addition to the typical oats.  Dates are caramel in fruit form, add some roasted pecans and toasted coconut curls and this is one indulgent and naturally sweet and healthy breakfast sprinkle. Because that’s what granola is: healthy breakfast sprinkles!

I am the only granola eater in our house (Chris is solidly sworn to the toast and peanut butter tribe) so I didn’t want a giant jar of granola that would go off before I had the chance to eat it all, or got bored and moved on to something else for breakfast. So this is a petite jar of granola. Perfect for a week or two, depending on how many granola lovers you have in your house. If you are making granola for more than one or two, this recipe is easily doubled or tripled. It also makes a great gift!

Pecan, Buckwheat, Coconut and Date Granola | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeA few important notes:

  • If you are using pecans or coconut that are already roasted you should add these at the end of the baking time when you stir in the dates.
  • If you like your granola extra chunky then do not stir your granola during baking time. Press it down with the back of your spoon and just check to make sure it isn’t burning at regular intervals (see recipe below).
  • If you don’t like pecans or dates feel free to switch them out for your favourite nut and dried fruit combination! Let me know what combinations you try!
  • If you want to make this vegan, you can swap the honey for maple syrup.
  • If you can’t find the buckwheat, feel free to leave it out or substitute another 1/3 cup of rolled oats.

Pecan, Buckwheat, Coconut and Date Granola | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifePecan, Buckwheat, Coconut and Date Granola

Gluten Free | Vegan option | Makes about 2 1/2 cups | Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup buckwheat groats (uncooked buckwheat)
  • 1/3 cup pecan halves
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried dates
  • 1/4 cup coconut chips (or shredded coconut)

Method

  1.  Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl stir together oats, buckwheat, pecans, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, salt, and spices until well mixed.
  3. In a small jug whisk together olive oil, honey and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix carefully with a wooden spoon until the dry ingredients are thoroughly coated.
  5. Spread granola over the lined baking sheet and press down slightly with the back of the spoon to encourage some clumping.
  6. Bake in pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes. Check and stir every 10 minutes to ensure the granola does not burn.
  7. During the last ten minutes of cooking stir in the dried dates and coconut and return granola to oven.
  8. Once cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool completely before serving or storing.

Pecan, Buckwheat, Coconut and Date Granola | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

10 Gluten Free Sweet Ideas for Father’s Day

Recent weekends with my Dad have included both of us romping with the dog Molly, putting our heads together to design a bar cabinet for the new house, the whole family shovelling dirt to help with my parent’s backyard renovation, and watching Monster Trucks or Austrian detective shows. You could say we are an eclectic pair. (Rocking it old school in the photos below – I would still wear that dress actually…)

Dad and I

Growing up, my Dad was the perfect father for two daughters. He taught us how to make shortbread and how to hold a hammer. He (and my Mum) was a great example of feminism: he taught my sister and I that there is nothing you can’t do as a woman, or as a man. He told bedtime stories (my favourite was Stuart Little); sang us songs that he made up on the spot (I still think of them when I can’t sleep); and fixed everything from broken jewellery to broken hearts. My Dad is my friend as well as my father, and I only hope I can live up to the example of being a great person with big ideas, big love, and a big heart that he has set me. Love you Dada, and Happy Father’s Day.

Another thing my Dad and I have in common is a huge sweet tooth. Put a bag of freckle chocolates in front of us and the only thing that will stop us is the bottom of the bag!

So when it comes to treating Dad for Father’s Day I know that sweet baked goods are the way to go. I’m working on something new for this weekend, but here are ten of my favourite gluten free ideas to help you treat your Dad to something this weekend.

When my Dad says something is ‘terrible’ it means he loves it. These Oatmeal Caramel Cookies earned that label and the batch disappeared very quickly.

Oatmeal Caramel Cookies | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Want to give your Dad something he can enjoy for breakfast the whole week long? Try my fruit studded Breakfast Bread. Perfect with a man-size cup of tea in his new ‘Best Dad’ mug.

Breakfast Bread | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

You might not be able to send Dad away on a tropical vacation, but you can give him all the flavours of a beachy cocktail in Banana and Coconut Doughnut form, which makes it even better in my opinion.

Banana and Coconut Baked Doughnuts | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

My Dad loves coconut (can’t you tell) – definitely where my sister and I get it from, and we used to buy him coconut ice every Father’s Day. No need to buy it anymore though with this super special Sprinkled Coconut Ice (Dad tested and approved).

Sprinkle Coconut Ice | Thoroughly Nourished Life | Gluten Free

My Dad and I can easily inhale a bag of Peanut m&ms while watching car racing, and these Chocolate Peanut Cookies are the spirit of Peanut m&ms in a cookie.

Chocolate Peanut Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Now, take that Peanut m&m and turn it inside out. Add a little extra crunch and now you’ve got these Peanut Butter and Millet Cookies. I ate a whole batch on my own. You need to remember to share with your Dad this weekend!

Peanut Butter and Millet Chocolate Chip Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Are you having an extra special morning tea for Dad? These Beetroot Chocolate Cupcakes with Golden Syrup Buttercream are a perfect treat for the whole family and there are plenty to share!

Beetroot Chocolate Cupcakes with Golden Syrup Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Dad and I love to share a pot of coffee sometimes when I am home on the weekends. These Espresso Hazelnut Flourless Chocolate Cookies are perfect for the coffee and chocolate loving Dad and are so easy to make!

Espresso Hazelnut Flourless Chocolate Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Speaking of coffee, these Coffee-Vanilla Sandwich Cookies are an extra special treat if you have a little more time. Bonus points if you find an awesome biscuit tin to present them in!

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And for the grand finale, this is definitely what you should bring to the big family party. Impress them with your skills (but keep it a secret that this is super easy), and treat Dad to the perfect springtime flavour combination with my Citrus Poppyseed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Citrus Poppy Seed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (gluten free) | Thoroughly Nourished Life

I hope I’ve given you a little gluten free sweet treat inspiration for treating your Dad this Father’s Day weekend!

Tell me dear reader, what are some of your favourite memories of your Dad? Anyone else have a special ‘Footloose’ dance or is that just us?

Sprinkled Coconut Ice

I know a sweet recipe is good when my little sister, who is usually collected, healthy and wholesome about her diet, loses her control and eats two or three pieces in one fell swoop. When I was thinking about an Easter gift for Jess I knew that chocolate eggs wouldn’t be her style, and then I remembered her delight over the presence of coconut ice at a wedding we attended recently – I knew what I needed to make immediately.

Sprinkle Coconut Ice | Thoroughly Nourished Life | Gluten Free

Coconut Ice has been a tradition in our family for a long time. Every Christmas as part of our huge Christmas dessert spread there is a crystal plate filled with little pastel squares. The same at Easter, and most other family gatherings. I must admit that we usually purchase our coconut ice, but after making this batch for Jessica’s Easter present I don’t think we will be buying it any more. Coconut ice is easy to make, no pots, pans or oven required. Perfect for making with little kids, especially since they can get their hands dirty while kneading the mixture together (this appeals to big kids too). This colourful offering is an old-fashioned sort of treat, but whenever you bring a dish people can’t help but smile.

Sprinkle Coconut Ice | Thoroughly Nourished Life | Gluten Free

The hardest part about making coconut ice is waiting for it to set, and I am not ashamed to admit that I did nibble at a few stray crumbs after I had pressed the majority into the baking tin. (I did go for a run beforehand, balance people). The addition of sprinkles here is entirely extraneous to the flavour, but it certainly adds a festive element. You can leave them out, but when given the opportunity to use sprinkles I think one should always seize upon it. Also, I just happen to be in a sprinkle mood: Exhibit A, my cookies from last week. Jess’s eyes lit up with delight and the jar was soon opened and shared. The sprinkles weren’t extraneous at all, not when I saw Jess’s smile.

Sprinkle Coconut Ice | Thoroughly Nourished Life | Gluten Free

 

Sprinkled Coconut Ice

Gluten Free – Check that your icing sugar and sprinkles are gluten free. I use Dollar Sweets Bright Sprinkles because they are certified gluten free. 

Makes about 64 pieces (2.5cm square)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups dessicated coconut
  • 1 x 390 gram can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut essence
  • 2 tablespoons milk (may be required)
  • 1/3 cup multicoloured sprinkles (see head note)
  • Pink food colouring

Method

  1. Line an 8-inch square cake tin or baking dish with baking paper.
  2. Sift icing sugar into a large bowl. Gently whisk in dessicated coconut.
  3. Add condensed milk, vanilla and coconut essence. Mix well until all dry ingredients are included. If your mixture is too dry and you can’t get everything to incorporate you may need milk. You may need to wet your hands and knead the coconut ice by hand.
  4. Divide coconut mixture in half. Knead sprinkles into one half. Colour the other half with pink food colouring to desired tint.
  5. Press sprinkled half into prepared tin/dish. I roll a flat sided glass across the top to banish my finger dents. Then press pink portion on top and roll glass across to flatten.
  6. Cover dish with cling wrap and place in refrigerator for three hours, or until set.
  7. When set remove from fridge and cut into small slices to serve. I cut mine into 2.5cm x 2.5cm.
  8. Coconut Ice will keep in fridge for up to three weeks.

This would make a lovely gift for Mother’s Day! Simply place in a jar and wrap with a big pink ribbon. This would definitely be welcomed by my Mum and Mormor.

Sprinkle Coconut Ice | Thoroughly Nourished Life | Gluten Free

Gluten Free Christmas Baking and Gifting

Tis the season to be baking! And giving away baskets and bags and tins and tinsel wrapped parcels of our baked goods. There is nothing I love more than giving gifts from my kitchen. Brownies for a work morning tea, jars of biscuits to our head office, spice biscuits for neighbours, and some special treats for my nearest and dearest (no sneak peeks here guys, sorry). But what about the intolerant or allergic among your friends and family? Never fear, I have compiled a list of gluten free friendly recipes that are perfect for gifting. So spread a little Christmas cheer without worrying about causing sore tummies or rashes. Bake something up today that the whole family can enjoy.

christmas tree

Firstly, a few tips for gluten free safety. I live in a household where I am the only one who cannot eat gluten (this doesn’t stop the cookies from disappearing into gluten-able mouths though…) and my grandmother is a diagnosed coeliac so whatever I bake, I like to make sure she can eat when she visits, so I take extra care in making sure I keep gluten free goods completely gluten free. (Disclaimer: these are my personal tricks for keeping the kitchen safe, but should not replace advice from a registered professional or professional organisation.)

  1. Wash all utensils carefully before you start using them to make gluten free food. There is no need to buy a completely new set, but make sure that you scrub them thoroughly. Check crevices carefully.
  2. Wipe down you bench and other cooking surfaces with disinfectant spray and paper towel.
  3. Only use products that are labelled gluten free. Wheat free does not mean gluten free so check carefully.
  4. Be wary of hidden sources of gluten: cornflour, icing sugar, pre-packaged sauces, and chocolate are some that I have been caught out by recently.

Now, onto the baking! Cookies are a perennial favourite at this time of year and some of my favourites that could easily be made into holiday gifts are:

Almond Butter Shortbread cut into seasonally appropriate shapes. Little gingerbread people, reindeers, Christmas trees – your choice!

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Coffee-Vanilla Sandwich Cookies would be a sweet and fancy surprise inside a festive biscuit tin.

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If you bring a warm plate of these Chunky Dunkers as a gift for your gluten free hostess/host they will invite you back again and again.

Quick breads make a great gift to bring with you when visiting someone’s house for a Christmas party. This way they have something they can eat for breakfast the next morning, or serve to their next guests. Or perhaps as dessert, lightly toasted with some ice cream…

Coconut Banana Bread is a staple in our home all through the year, and if the recipient can’t eat it now, it freezes and defrosts brilliantly.

This Zucchini, Hazelnut and Cranberry Bread blends the best of the season here in our summery Christmas and the spices evoke calm as their scent wafts from the oven.

Blood orange cake

A wreath-shaped Blood Orange Poppyseed Cake is festive in so many ways try other citrus fruits if blood oranges aren’t available.

For something extra decadent try these treats:

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Laced with white chocolate chips and spiked with Frangelico and spices these Spirit of the Season Blondies ‘taste just like Christmas’ as my friend Melissa said in her review.

This Sugary Chocolate Fudge is just as it says: sugary. Be careful to brush your teeth carefully after a piece of this.

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These Honey Caramels entice even the most reluctant dessert eaters like my boyfriend’s father who had more than one piece as soon as he realised their sweet appeal. I hope this list will help with your baking and gifting.

It really is the most wonderful time of the year, so why not spread a little joy with homemade treats. The most important ingredient of course is your love.

For more information on gluten free safety have a read of this quick guide from Cooking Light about how to make a safe gluten free kitchen and this resource from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness.