I love breakfast. I think it’s probably my favourite meal of the day. I love that feeling of waking up sleepy and hungry, sitting down with my family all together over some delicious food and a cup of coffee with radio Scotland on in the background.
Also, you may have noticed, that I love grains. I love trying to come up with recipes using a variety of weird and wonderful grains and flours. I love the different flavours and textures that you can get with them, and I love the abundant whole-grain energy that they provide.
So really for me the combination of grains and breakfast is just the best, and the best of the best is granola.
I make granola fairly frequently and love it equally with a bit of milk or with yogurt. I’ve been feeling though that recently I’ve fallen into a bit of a granola rut. Every time I make it I tend to use oats, whatever seeds or nuts I have to hand, sweetened with honey and vanilla, and finished off with some raisins. It’s delicious, and I love it, but I have felt that the time has come to expand my granola horizons and see what I could concoct. I decided to banish the oats and vanilla simply for the sake of creative pursuit, and to turn instead to the bags of grains that I hoard in the back of the cupboard waiting for a purpose. Today I found rye flakes and buckwheat.
Rye flakes, I figured, would make lovely granola. They’re very close in texture to rolled oats, so obviously would work well, and would start my day with a great dose of fiber, substantially more than their oaty counterpart!
But what about buckwheat groats? Can you eat toasted buckwheat just like that? It turns out that you can. In fact as I started looking I discovered that many of the best healthy eating blogs out there have already got their own versions of buckwheat granola, including Deliciously Ella, Madeline Shaw, and Kath Eats Real Food. That settled it, with the added fiber and heart healthy nutrition to be gained from this lovely grain, not to mention the earthy flavour it brings, it was definitely making it into the mix too.
Then I decided to go a step further and to ditch the honey and instead try sweetening the granola with apple juice and maple syrup. Add some almonds and dried apricots, flavour the whole thing with a bit of almond extract and presto! New granola. Apricot and almond are a classic and natural pairing. In fact, did you know that amaretto is usually made from apricot pits, and not almonds at all? Also apricots, among other things, contain a good amount of iron so are a great choice for an energizing breakfast.
I’m really pleased with the way that this rye and buckwheat granola turned out. It’s a really nourishing change from my go-to recipe, is subtly sweet from the maple syrup and apple juice, earthy from the rye and buckwheat, the latter of which also gives it a lovely crunch, offers a good amount of protein from the almonds (I threw in some ground almond too just to get some more in there without them being overpowering), and is a wonderful choice for a breakfast that will keep you going until lunch time!
- 300g rye flakes
- 150g buckwheat groats
- 150g whole almonds, roughly chopped
- 3Tbsp ground almond
- 150mL apple juice (make sure it’s real apple juice with no added sugar)
- 75mL maple syrup
- 50mL coconut oil, warmed a bit so that it’s liquid
- 1tsp almond extract
- 100g dried apricots, chopped
- Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius.
- In a large bowl combine the rye, buckwheat, chopped and ground almonds.
- In a jug combine the apple juice, maple syrup, coconut oil and almond extract and stir until well combined. If your apple juice is straight from the fridge the coconut oil might solidify when added to it. If this happens heat the mixture a bit until it’s liquid.
- Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients and stir well until it’s all well coated.
- Divide the granola into two large roasting trays and place them in the oven.
- Allow to gook until dried out and golden brown, about 25-35 minutes. Check it fairly frequently so that it doesn’t burn, and stir it every 5 or 10 minutes to make sure it cooks evenly. You may need to rotate your trays to get them to cook at the same time.
- When it’s all crispy and toasted, remove from the oven, stir in the apricots, and allow to cool completely and then store in an airtight container.