This morning, I woke to the dull patter of gentle autumn rain. Rather comforting, in fact, after many weeks of radiant heat. After crawling out of bed (and unearthing myself from Loki’s pile of toys) I rubbed my eyes and shuffled towards the kitchen, where Aaron was stacking a uniform pile of Weetbix in his breakfast bowl. After applying some honey, he doused the structure (I don’t use this word lightly; Aaron is a precision Weetbix stacker) in dairy milk before habitually migrating to the couch.
Crunching followed, with an occasional clink of metal against glazed stoneware. This is Aaron’s ritual. Today the rain provided a steady backing track.
For me, breakfast is a little less predictable. In regular rotation are raw buckwheat with maca, sliced banana and almond milk (my new favourite is cold-pressed local almond milk from The Pure Press), filling overnight oats (this is my favourite recipe) and avocado toast (ALWAYS with chilli flakes and lemon oil) however I occasionally mix things up with granola or fruit toast with lashings of butter.
I adore breakfast. I’m one of those weirdos who falls asleep thinking of breakfast the next morning. Last night was no different. I wanted granola stuffed with walnuts and deep, dark cacao.
We didn’t have any.
So, back to this morning’s turn of events. I stumbled into the kitchen, deliriously hungry and leaden with sleep. The absence of granola resulted in crumbled Weetbix with maca, toasted walnuts and cacao nibs, all swimming in creamy almond milk.
Half an hour later, I made a batch of toasted buckwheat granola mixed with warm cinnamon, organic walnuts, chocolatey cacao, coconut oil and raw honey that I snaffled on a recent trip to Melbourne, Victoria.
I think today calls for a second breakfast.
Coconut Cacao Buckwheat Granola
- 2 cups (400g) raw buckwheat**
- 1/2 cup (50g) organic rolled oats
- 1 cup (75g) golden flax flakes
- 2 cups (80g) coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup (35g) coconut sugar
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (125g) walnuts
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup honey (I used Guildford Gold) or maple syrup
- 1 tsp organic natural vanilla extract
- generous pinch of flaked sea salt (equivalent to 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt)
- 1/2 cup organic cacao powder (fair trade, if you can find it)
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees f). Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper, then set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, buckwheat, coconut flakes, flax flakes and coconut sugar. Roughly chop or crumble the walnuts (you still want some reasonable size chunks) and add them to the mix.
In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, melt the coconut oil. Add the honey or maple syrup, vanilla, salt and cocoa powder. Whisk to combine until smooth.
Pour the cacao mixture over the dry ingredients and stir to coat evenly. Spread the mixture evenly over your prepared tray and press firmly with the back of a wooden spoon or spatula.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the granola starts to become golden and fragrant. Remove from the oven and flip over clumps with a spatula (don’t worry if your granola isn’t clumping yet, it will start to stick together as it later cools). Return to the oven and cook for another ten minutes, stirring every 3-4 minutes until evenly toasted* and fragrant.
Store your granola in an airtight jar or container in a cool, dry spot for up to six months (ha – like it would last that long!). You can also freeze granola, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or a (airtight) freezer bag.
I like to eat this granola with almond milk or coconut yoghurt, piled high with fresh berries or sliced banana. It’s also AMAZING with a generous drizzle of thin peanut butter or tahini.
*The dark colour of the granola makes it hard to tell whether it’s cooked or not. Go by smell – you want a toasty, sweet smelling batch of granola (your nose should be able to tell you if it’s burning!). If you’re uncertain, taste one of the larger pieces of walnut or coconut (which will take the longest to toast). If it’s golden and toasty, the mix is done.
**You can find whole raw buckwheat (often referred to as buckwheat ‘groats’) at health food shops and good grocery stores. Raw buckwheat should appear very pale green rather than dark brown (the latter version is called ‘kasha’ which has been toasted; for this recipe you require the raw version of buckwheat as you’ll be toasting it yourself).