People want three things in life; to be happy, to be healthy and to be rich. I can’t make you rich, but two out of three ain’t bad! This column is all about food to twerk your taste buds, with a nod to the nutritional gods and sustainability queens. Yup. It’s about bringing more sass into your kitchen routine, and releasing your inner healthbitch or eco warrior (both, if I’m lucky).
This week, we’re making buckwheat crunchies — a welcome shimmy on regular granola, using an eco posterboy grain. Just to confuse you, buckwheat is not wheat at all and contains no gluten. Buckwheat is a triangular reddish-green wholegrain that tastes distinctively earthy and is pumped with slow-release carbs. Lovers of soba noodles are already familiar with its allure.
Buckwheat contains lysine — a nifty compound that can help prevent outbreaks of pesky cold sores. So it might be time you and buckwheat had a party. Here’s a recipe to get that party started.
Makes 2 trays
You will need:
80ml good coconut oil or butter
160ml maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or extract
300g whole buckwheat
150g regular oats
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons cocoa or cacao powder
4 tablespoons cacao nibs
Very generous pinch of flaky sea salt
1 Fire up your oven to 180C, 350F, Gas 4, and line two roasting trays with parchment paper. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the If You Care brand, which is chemical free and compostable after use. Supervalu and savvy stores tend to stock it.
2 Slowly melt your butter or coconut oil, whichever you prefer, with the maple syrup and splash of vanilla. Whisk until they fraternise really well.
3 Tumble through the remaining ingredients and stir until every crumb glistens.
4 Spread the mixture out between two lined trays, and bake for 18 minutes. Let both trays cool down and the crunchies harden before storing in an airtight container. Your buckwheat crunchies will last for up to three weeks if stored or hidden correctly.
We love ours with ice-cold oat milk, or on top of thick Greek yoghurt with strawberries and mint. Sometimes we drizzle 100g of melted dark chocolate over the tray after baking, letting it set before scrunching it up into storage jars for the week ahead. Other times, we get jiggy with orange rind. Chopped dates also work brilliantly well as a companion to this breakfast. And we’ve even flirted with a sprinkle of smoky sea salt for a fancy-pants edge.