Sunday, 25 August 2013

Fig, Ginger and Cacao Grawnola

Ohhh boy, I'm totally into this chocolate for breakfast thing; so much so that it's only been a couple of days, and this batch of grawnola is already half way gone. Every mouthful bursts with the warmth of spices, the satisfying crunch of sprouted nuts and seeds, and the cheeky chewiness of ginger tea soaked figs. Splash a little bit of nut milk, add in a sliced banana or two, and bam, you've got the perfect post-workout breakfast to fuel the rest of your day. Unless you're a lot like me, because in that case, you'll be eating this for the rest of your day. Hah.

Don't sweat it though, because this super tasty cereal/granola/muesli alternative is also uber healthy for you. It's jam-packed with energy and nutrient dense buckwheat, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and raw cacao nibs to get you up and going. Since buckwheat actually contains no wheat nor gluten, this recipe then becomes naturally gluten free. Likewise, the almonds can easily be swapped with sesame seed, flaxseed, or more buckwheat for those who have nut allergies. Hurraw! 

That means that technically, without any grains, you can't really call this granola or muesli; by definition, both of those must contain oats as the main ingredient. The difference is that granola was invented by an American and has toasted ingredients, whilst muesli was invented by a Swiss and has raw oats. I myself only found that out after a bit of a confusing conversation with one of my good friends, because in New Zealand granola is almost always referred to as muesli regardless of whether the ingredients have been toasted or not. It may be a bit nit picky of me (okay, it is really nit picky), but hey, I think it's a pretty interesting food fact to have learnt. 

Of course, this grawnola contains no refined sugars, and is instead naturally sweetened with dried figs, coconut nectar and crystallised coconut sap aka coconut sugar. The dried figs, as well as providing natural fruit sugars also provides a chock-full of soluble and insoluble fibre to keep you full and clean out your system. With 3-4 pieces of these sweet nature's candies, you also provide your body with over 100mg of calcium. Pretty neat, huh? It's also great when dipped in some tahini, another wholesome food rich in calcium, as a midmorning or afternoon snack. 

Fig, Ginger, and Cacao Grawnola

1C buckwheat groats
1C sunflower seeds
1/2C pumpkin seeds
1/2C almonds
10 dried figs, soaked in 1/2C ginger tea

1/4C cacao nibs
1/2C cacao/cocoa powder
2t ground ginger
1 1/2t cinnamon
1/2t cloves
1/2t nutmeg
1T vanilla
2T maple syrup, coconut nectar, or date syrup
3T coconut sugar
1/4-1/2t Himalayan sea salt

To begin, first soak the sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and almonds in twice as much water for at least 5 hours. Soak the buckwheat groats a little bit later, since it needs only 1 hour to soak. Meanwhile, combine the cacao powder, spices, and coconut sugar into a smaller bowl.

Rinse the soaked ingredients (excluding the figs) and mix in a large bowl. Cut up the figs into small pinky finger sized pieces, and mix into the bowl containing the seeds and nuts. Add in the cacao nibs, cacao spice mixture, vanilla, and coconut nectar. Stir in the sea salt, and mix everything well. 

Transfer into dehydrator trays and dehydrate for at least 12 hours. I'd recommend doing the preparation during the day, and the dehydrating overnight. Alternatively, you could toast the grawnola in the oven, but of course in doing this it wouldn't be raw anymore. Either way, you'll end up with a super tasty and super crunchy grawnola which you can eat with non dairy milk, on top of green smoothie bowls, as a topping for ice cream sundaes, or even on their own. Have fun experimenting! 

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