Friday, December 3, 2010

Buckwheat Granola

I am a snacker at heart. I eat snacks pretty much all day long (my grandpa calls them, "snackies"). I've always been this way, and come to find out, it's good for helping with my hypoglycemia. My nutritionalist advises that I eat protein with every meal or snack. So I am always looking for a good, high protein, delicious snack to keep on hand at home, in car or purse or diaper bag, etc. This recipe is great for all of the above. It keeps well stored in a sealed container and travels well too.

While we were in Oklahoma a few weeks ago, my husband and I stopped at one of their health food stores so I could pick up some snackies to keep on hand. I discovered this amazing buckwheat granola made by Kaia Foods and it was to die for. (But it was mucho dinero!) When I got home, I remembered I had some buckwheat groats just hanging out in my pantry, ready and waiting to me to use them in a granola of my own.

One of the great elements about this recipe is that it is dehydrated so it doesn't lose any nutrients in the process (let's just hope our bodies can absorb as many of those nutrients as possible). Now I wouldn't have a dehydrator if not for my brief episode of being a raw vegan, so if you didn't go through one of those crazy phases yourself where you bought a dehydrator, and rather just stick to your good ole', trusty oven for means of cooking, then by all means, still make this (I offer an alternative for the dehydrator below). Your mouth will be super happy you did.

Buckwheat Granola

1 cup buckwheat groats
1 cup each almonds, walnuts, and pecans
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup dried cherries or raisins (or a combo of both)
1/2 cup agave or brown rice syrup
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons cinnamon
pinch salt

Soak buckwheat groats in a bowl covered with water overnight or for 8-12 hours. Drain buckwheat and add to a medium size bowl. Chop almonds, walnuts, and pecan into bite size pieces. Add to bowl along with remaining ingredients. Stir a few times to make sure all pieces are evenly coated with liquids and seasonings.

Pour onto Teflex lined dehydrator sheets and dehydrate at 110 degrees for 8-10 hours. Break apart and store in a sealed container.

If using an oven, heat to lowest heat setting. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Pour granola onto sheets and bake in the oven until granola is dry and set (could be up to 8 hours).

If you want to use the express method, bake in an oven heated to 250 degrees for 1-2 hours.

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