Every once in a while, I read articles praising the health benefits of ancient grains and why we should incorporate them into our diet. I must admit that apart from quinoa and the occasional farro dish, I have not dabbled with many other kinds of ancient grains. My goal for the next few months is to incorporate more varieties of these grains into my recipes.
A few weeks ago, I saw a recipe for buckwheat granola on Food52 as part of their weekday breakfast contest. (By the way, my chocolate overnight oats recipe was chosen as a community pick!) The recipe called for buckwheat groats, and my immediate reaction was, “What the heck are groats?” After doing some quick research, I learned that these small grains that are shaped like puffy pyramids are buckwheat seeds!
I can be a picky granola eater. My ideal granola packs the right amount of crunch without being too sweet. I also enjoy eating granola clusters, but the clusters cannot be so big and firm that it hurts my gums when I eat it. One of my favorite granola brands from the Bay Area is Nana Joes handmade granola. When I first tried it several months ago, I was pleasantly surprised that their granola contained about 3 to 5 grams of sugar per 1/2 cup serving. Unfortunately, I cannot afford to make a habit of paying $10 for a pound of granola, so I decided to make my own.Print
Ancient Grains Chocolate Cranberry Granola
Start off your day with this delicious ancient grains chocolate cranberry granola! Makes about 5 cups.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Category: vegan, gluten-free
- Cuisine: breakfast
- 1/2 cup amaranth
- 1 1/4 cup buckwheat groats
- 1/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 3/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Line one or two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.
- Heat a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat to pop the amaranth. To test whether the pot is hot enough, flick a bit of water into the pot. If the water sizzles and evaporates quickly, the pot is ready to go.
- Pour about 1 to 2 tablespoons of amaranth into the pot. You probably want to cover the pot because these tiny grains can get out of control as they pop!
- Shake the pot constantly to make sure all the grains are exposed to the heat. When about 1/2 to 3/4 of the amaranth is popped, pour it into a large bowl, and pop the rest of the grains. Let the popped amaranth cool for a few minutes.
- Mix all the other dry ingredients into the large bowl.
- Melt the coconut oil in the microwave or a saucepan. Then, mix in the cocoa powder and maple syrup. Stir the chocolate sauce with the dry ingredients until everything is well incorporated.
- Spread the granola into a single layer (I used 2 baking sheets for this). Bake for about 8 minutes and give the granola a quick stir.
- Bake it for another 7 minutes and remove from the oven.
- Let the granola cool for about 10 minutes. Stir the dried cranberries with the granola in a large bowl or on top of the baking sheet.
- Store in a sealable bag or an airtight container.
1. I prefer using a silicone mat to prevent the ingredients from burning.[br]2. After burning about a cup of amaranth, I can say with confidence that you should pop only small amounts of amaranth at a time. The heat will not be evenly distributed when you have too many grains in the pot, which increases the chances of burning.[br]3. Feel free to substitute any of the grains or nuts in this recipe![br]4. If you do not have coconut oil, substitute it with other vegetable oils.
Q: What is your favorite kind of granola?