Virtual Coffee Date #2

Picking up where we left in my previous post because it was a joy talking to you that way, I decided we should get together for tea/coffee again. For once because coffee dates with friends are always a good idea, no matter the day.

If we were having coffee,

I’d start by saying thank you to everyone who asked summer to come back and stick around a little while longer. The result? Starting on the weekend – despite forecasts predicting a 90 % chance of rain – we’ve been having the most amazing sunny days. Granted, the mornings have gotten yet more frigid but on work days I live for the afternoons in anyway. Speaking of which, I’d also tell you …

Blue bike

About the wonderful early evening bike ride I took with my mum on Tuesday. She’d originally asked me if I wanted to meet her to take a little trip to walk around a place adorned by beautiful flowers this time of the year. Yet then she ended up having to stay at work a lot longer than expected and we changed our plans. An evening bike ride through sunny fields and along a river isn’t the worst backup plan I could think of. Add a gentle warm breeze, a conversation about anything and everything – you get the recipe for pure bliss. Pity the weather forecast from now on is seeing us face a 90 % chance of rain, a huge drop in temperatures and barely any sunshine. Summer’s been good while it lasted.

If we were having coffee, I’d also …

Talk about an amazing website I’ve known for years yet somehow hadn’t used in a while until now. If you knew me in real life, you’d know I’ve never been one for online games or even game apps on my phone. This one I can get behind, though. FreeRice is an interactive vocabulary synonym game [edited to add: they’ve sinced added different subjects to quiz you on if vocabularly tests make you cringe ;)]. The clou: for every correct answer, the organisation behind the website donates  10 grains of rice to the poor. Refreshing your vocab and donating for the good cause? Killing two birds with one stone for sure.

Oh and if we were having coffee, I’d also excuse myself at least once and truly mean it – for interrupting you. Because that’s a bad habit that runs in my family. Conversations at those family gatherings are all about being the loudest at the table in the right moment. It’s tough, I’m telling you

What’s also blissful is raspberry season starting earlier this week. No, not a typo. Ever since I can remember, my mum has been growing ‘late’ raspberries in her garden. When the season is just about over for reguar ones, these are starting to grow and they’re the best. Especially the yellow ones I’m always claiming dibs on. Definitely a reason to visit my parents’ garden more often despite it being mosquito territory. This sweet happening is ever so slightly making up for the sad kabocha situation.

Red raspberries and Essie Manhattan Ave-hue nail polish

If we were having coffee, I’d …

Mention that I might be the last person to do so but watched P!nk’s Video Vanguard acceptance speech about her daughter earlier today. Whatever you think of her music, that performance was amazing. I’m not sure if it’s a general trend but I thought these acts of female empowerment might have become more frequent since a certain not-to-be-named moved into the White House? It’d proof the theory a former head teacher of mine brought up: Having a mutual enemy at times works wonders for solidarity, even among people who might not usually agree on other issues, Whether or not it’s this: it’s much in today’s society.

If we were still sipping on our beverages now, I’d express the disbelief and sadness I feel regarding the current situation in Houston. Being one of the lucky ones who haven’t been affected by natural catastrophes before, I can’t imagine what it must be like for the many people who are. When things like this happen, it sometimes feels unreal to me that I can go on about my days as usual while others are going through extreme hardship and losses. Even writing a casual blog post almost seems … wrong.

And now for the question that’d actually have been my first one: How has life been treating you lately? The good, the bad – whatever is on your mind.
Joining Amanda for the weekly dose of thinking out loud.

Happiness-inducing today: The [likely] final day of amazing summer weather.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

What would you tell me if we were having [insert beverage of choice] today?

 

 

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Virtual Coffee Date

It’s been a while so some catching up on each other’s lives seems in order. And what better way to do so than over a cup of coffee – or tea in my case?. So if we were having  coffee, tea or any beverage you prefer, I’d tell you that …

The end of summer always brings up lots of feelings for me.  While the sunshine and warmth of mid-summer days brightens my mood and lightens my thoughts, the shorter and colder the days get, the more melancholia sweeps in. Resentment about chances passed and not taken because there always seemed to be so much left of summer – until there suddenly isn’t anymore. Longing for a move, a different job. Melancholy, thinking about summers past when this was the time of the year school or later on university were about to start again. A time of change and the excitement it brings along – something I’m craving in my own life, too.

Monday felt like the first day of autumn and I wasn’t neither a fan nor prepared when I headed for work, dresses decidedly summery. Oh summer, please come back and stay with us for at least a few more weeks. Will you, please?

Tea_Cafe Gleichklang

After taking a sip because I don’t like my tea to cool down too much, I’d also tell you …

That we celebrated my dad’s birthday with pretty much the whole family the other weekend  [i.e. 10th through 12th of August]. It was a big gathering and really nice celebration despite the weather literally raining heavily on my dad’s parade. Nothing that would have dampened our overall mood, though. The family spent the whole weekend together and friends joined for the ‘official’ celebration – concert (one of my relatives is a jazz singer), dinner, dancing – at one of my parents’ favourite restaurants. Given this isn’t the most accomodating place for vegetarians, I, I wasn’t expecting much from the buffet. involved eating the most amazing vegan lentil ratatouille that I’m set on recreating. So good. No pictures because I apparently got so lost in a conversation I didn’t even think about it.

Speaking of my dad’s birthday weekend, I’d also tell you that …

I may or may not have changed my opinion on cheesecake [I wasn’t a fan prior to this]. I think this actually was my first time ever baking cheesecake, at least the American kind [German cheesecake is made from Quark rather than cream cheese and I’ve always found it too dry this way]. Using Amy’s recipe for Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cheesecake Bars,  I had my first encounter with this classic. While I couldn’t try a slice of the finished cake – no eggs for me – I sampled my fair amount of the filling before adding the egg and if that alone is any indicator of the finished products taste: so good! I quadrupled  the recipe with just a few changes:

  • Using lower-fat instead of non-fat cream cheese [we don’t do the fatfree thing in this family ;)]
  • a good tablespoon less sugar
  • a whole egg because it’d have been wasteful to use just the whites [white for the crust, yolk for the filling]
  • And it turned out beautifully.

Mmh. It was a hit with my whole family and my colleagues – I brought a few leftover pieces to work – despite it being a ‘healthier’ option. We have a winner here and I’m keen on trying to find a good sub for the egg here because I want to have my [cheese]cake and eat it, too. If you have any ideas – Aquafaba? Flax eggs? More cornstarch in the filling? – let me know in the comments. Egg-free cheesecake has to happen.

If we were having coffee, I’d also tell you …

that I bought a new cake pan. This is an accomplishment both for the fact I spent money on myself without much contemplation and for the fact it’s my first 8 × 8 inch pan. Now this might not sound exciting or special to you but we simply do not use these size pans around here. Try finding one of them in stores – or spare yourself the frustration and order it online. Now I just need to decide on the first recipe to bake in my shiny new pan. Anybody else finding those ‘first time’ uses weirdly … exciting?

If we were having coffee, I’’d …

Tell you that I harvested the first kabocha of the season in my mum’s vegetable patch on the weekend. Yet also that it’ll also have been one of the last. For some unknown reason, my mum’s kabocha plants – she’s been sweet enough to grow them for me for years now – are dying prematurely, leaving just a handful of mature squashes. It’s particularly sad as kabocha is very hard, at times impossible to find in stores over here.

Homegrown kabocha squash

And then – or actually as the very first thing; we had this conversation in reverse order – I’d ask you how -you- are. How you really are. Because I deeply believe that a true friendship is built on sharing the good and the bad in life with each other. No need to pretend there was sunshine where you currently feel clouds hanging over your head. So: How are you?

Joining Amanda in letting the thoughts dance today.

Happiness-inducing today: Reading out in the sunshine after work – it’s colder but not yet too cold for this.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

What would you tell me if we were having [insert beverage of choice] today?

Coffee or tea? Which kind/flavour?

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Flourless Vegan Zimtsterne

A cinnamon fiend’s dream: Flourless vegan Zimtsterne are a traditional German Christmas cookie gone vegan with the help of aquafaba. Dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, with no butter, oil or flour these cookies fit many diets.

First off: …

Merry Christmas! – Fröhliche Weihnachten! – Joyeux Noël! – Geseënde Kersfees! – God Jul! – Feliz Navidad!

Instead of my usual Christmas post I’m bringing you a recipe as a little gift today.

Do you know what’s funny? It’s only through blogging that I realize foods or dishes I’ve eaten for ages fit certain criteria. Like these Zimtsterne that to me were just, well , Zimtsterne but actually happen to be naturally gluten-free. No tinkering needed. However, they still needed a makeover because the traditional recipes relies heavily on whipped egg whites so isn’t vegan. In comes the magic that is aquafaba! If you haven’t heard of this superstar ingredient yet: it’s the liquid you dran from cans of chickpeas and white beans. Or rather: the liquid you won’t be discarding anymore once you see its amazingness play out.

Zimtsterne - vegan and gluten-free Christmas cookies using just six ingredients!

The flourless vegan Zimtsterne aren’t the healthiest cookie out there, I know. All that powdered sugar – whoa, huh? Here’s the deal [and it’s no revelation]: life’s all about balance. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know I like to experiment with more nutritious alternatives to traditional baking ingredients. Gluten-free oat flour instead of the refined version. Maple syrup standing in for sugar. Dates to create a luscious caramel topping. Yet – there are recipes that aren’t meant to be healthified. The memories evoked by these naturally gluten-free cinnamon cookies weren’t made eating a sugar-free #cleaneating-approved version of them.  Now if I absolutely cannot convince you to let a little sugar into your life: there’s help.  Here’s a tutorial on how to make sugar-free powdered sugar at home or a storebought alternative. Because nobody should miss out on Zimtsterne.

zimtsterne-gluten-free-and-vegan-made-with-aquafaba

Now I haven’t eaten my grandma’s Zimtsterne in years as I’m not eating eggs anymore. So I obviously had to ‘force’ 😉 my family to rate the authenticity of my vegan Zimtsterne. Verdict? Big thumbs up. Even my dad who – unlike my mum and sister – didn’t know about the fact these were vegan, much less the secret ingredient, noticed no difference. If you’re not convinced to try these yet I’m at a loss. Too bad because you’d be missing out on these delightfully soft-yet-slightly-chewy cinnamon-spiked cookies topped with a crisp sweet icing. If you’re a cinnamon fiend you will fall heads over heels for these naturally gluten-free Zimtsterne.

One more thing: Don’t let the length of the instructions intimidate you! This recipe for vegan Zimtsterne – while more time-involved – is actually very simple and fun to prepare. I just tried to make the directions as clear as possible so you, too, could have  Zimtsterne in your life. Not just for Christmas but all year round!

Flourless vegan Zimtsterne

  • 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar, sifted [180 g]
  • ¼ cup of aquafaba [60 ml]
  • 3 cups of almond meal [300 g], divided [2 ½ + ½ cup] OR 2 ½ cups of almond meal + ½ cup of gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsps of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp of amaretto*
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  1. Add the aquafaba to a tall mixing bowl and beat at high speed for 4-5 minutes.
  2. In intervals, add in the powdered sugar, beating it in well on high speed for another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Transfer about ¾ of the mixture  into a larger bowl. The remaining ¼ will be your frosting later on.
  4. Mix 2 1/2 cups of the ground almonds and cinnamon. Pour on top of the whipped aquafaba in the large bowl and mix to combine everything well with a spatula.
  5. Knead in the amaretto and a squeeze of lemon juice by hand. If your dough is too sticky, add some of your reserved almond meal/[gluten-free] flour.
  6. At this point preheat your oven to 120 °C/235 °F.
  7. Sprinkle some of the reserved ground almonds or the gluten-free flour on your work surface, place your dough ball on top, sprinkle with some more ground almonds and roll out about ¼ inch/1/2 cm thick.
  8. Cut out cookies and transfer to your lined baking sheet(s).
  9. Using a knife or baking brush, spread the reserved aquafaba on the cookies.
  10.  Bake for around 16-20 minutes or until your able to lift a cookie from the tray without bits of dough sticking to the parchment paper.

Barely adapted from Daily Vegan.

Notes

Make sure the bowl you’re whipping the aquafaba in  is completely dry and free from any fat residue as aquafaba – just like  egg whites – reacts negatively to fat [i.e. won’t whip properly].

Cover your mixing bowl with a towel for the first minute of whipping up to avoid Aquafaba splashing all around your kitchen and getting covered in it yourself.

*For an alcohol-free version sub 1 tbsp of water + ½ tsp of almond extract.

Zimtsterne - vegan and gluten-free Christmas cookies using just six ingredients!

On a last note big thanks to my sweet friend Charlotte who helped me decide on the pictures here. I obviously sent her home with a cookie bag as a little gift.

I’m sharing this with Allergy Free Wednesdays#RecipeOfTheWeek, Gluten-Free Fridays,Tasty Tuesdays,Healthy Vegan Fridays, Meatless Mondays.

Happiness-inducing today: Despite being full-on sick now the day held so many wonderful little moments. Meeting my friend mentioned above. Finding out that her on-off boyfriend finally commited to a relationship [ I asked her if I could share this because it made me truly happy].

 

Stay in touch!
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living
What’s your favourite Christmas cookie?
 

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Healthy No-Bake Millionaire’s Shortbread Bars

A buttery gluten-free buckwheat and cashew crust topped with creamy date caramel and covered in rich chocolate ganache: these healthy Millionaire’s Shortbread Bars taste decadent while containing lots of nutritious ingredients. Vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free and only eight ingredients. Paleo option, too.

Posting on a Tuesday? Me? I know it’s very unusual and actually not pleasing my mind – three posts in a row … – but even I can make exceptions. Especially when two special occasions collide. First would be today being World Vegan Day. This isn’t to force anybody into choosing a certain diet but I simply enjoy sharing delicious plantbased recipes. Secondly, today I’m collaborating with some other lovely blogging ladies for our first …

Bloggers Gonna Blog Friendsgiving Collab!

Healthy No-Bake Millonaire's Shortbread - gluten-free, vegan and only eight ingredients!

Granted, I was hesitant to join in a virtual Thanksgiving celebration. As you might know this is a holiday not celebrated in Germany. We do have the occasional ‘Erntedankfest’ [which literally translates to Thanksgiving] but it’s nothing official and I don’t know a single person honoring this day at their home. Anyway, I figured every holiday feast needs dessert and that I could do. Allow me to present: Healthy Millionaire’s Shortbread.

Healthy No-Bake Millonaire's Shortbread - gluten-free, vegan and only eight ingredients!

Way different from my recent flourless hazelnut shortbread this is it. The kind of treat you’d whip up for a holiday or take the time to really savour on an ordinary day. Funny story: my first time trying this British classic was as a special Britain-themed week at Lidl [for those not familiar with it: a discounter] of all places. Very gourmet, I know. [Read: not.] I got my whole family obsessed with these caramel-topped and chocolate-covered slices of decadence. For some reason Lidl stopped carrying the shortbread during future British weeks despite them clearly being a popular item and gone very quickly every time.

Healthy No-Bake Millonaire's Shortbread - gluten-free, vegan and only eight ingredients!

But we wouldn’t be bloggers if we let stores decide our food choices, right? Given my ‘history’ of no-bake brownies and bars it’s a riddle why I’d yet to try and recreate the Millionaire’s Shortbread. Luckily, I did after all and – dare I say it?  – these are even better. Buckwheat and cashews are combined with a special ingredient to create the gluten-free shortbread crust here: cacao butter. I just wanted to see if I could use it instead of coconut oil, not expecting anything. But: wow! The cacao butter, despite using a small amount only, lends a truly buttery taste to the shortbread base. Naturally sweet date caramel stands in for the typically sugar-laden variety. My favourite chocolate ganache finishes everything off for an amazing taste experience.

Healthy No-Bake Millonaire's Shortbread - gluten-free, vegan and only eight ingredients!

Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas or just an average day when you’re reading this: Make this Healthy  No-Bake Millionaire’s Shortbread and be sure to have everybody get back for seconds.

Healthy No-Bake Millonaire’s Shortbread

Shortbread base:

  • 1/4 cup [40 g]  raw buckwheat groats
  • 3/4 cup [100 g] cashew nuts
  • 1 heaped tbsp/25 g cocoa butter, melted [can sub coconut oil]
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Caramel

  • 1 cup [150 g] dates
  • 1 heaped tbsp of peanut butter [coconut butter works, too]
  • Pinch of salt [omit if your nut butter is salted]
  • 2-3 tbsps water

Ganache Topping

  • 2 oz dark chocolate
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsps coconut cream or soy cream [~ 75 ml]
  1. In a high speed blender or food processor, blend the cashews and buckwheat groats into a fine flour-like consistency.
  2. Add to a bowl and mix with the melted cacao butter, kneading to form a dough. Press into an 8 x 8 inch pan and set into the fridge to harden.
  3. Prepare the date caramel by processing the dates in your blender until crumbly, Add in the nut butter, minimum amount of water and salt and process into a smooth caramel.
  4. Spread the caramel onto your ‘shortbread’ crust and chill in the fridge again.
  5. While the base is chilling in the fridge, prepare your ganache layer. Finely chop the chocolate bar and set aside.
  6. Bring the coconut milk to a boil either on the stove or in the microwave. Pour over the chopped chocolate and (!!!) let sit for three minutes. Do NOT stir before.
  7. Stir to fully combine all ganache ingredients. Top the chilled base with ganache and refridgerate for at least 45 minutes before cutting into it.

I’m linking up with Allergy Free Wednesdays#RecipeOfTheWeek, Gluten-Free Fridays,Tasty Tuesdays,Healthy Vegan Fridays, Meatless Mondays.

.. .and because dessert alone doesn’t make a whole Thanksgiving feast don’t  miss out on what everybody else is bringing to the Bloggers Gonna Blog Friendsgiving party:

https://static.inlinkz.com/cs2.js

Happiness-inducing today: Music. It’s been an ugly grey and rainy day. Stressful with some anxiety thrown in, too. But setting out for short walk after work, just catching some fresh air and listening to brighter tunes helped a little.

Stay in touch!
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

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Flourless Hazelnut Shortbread [vegan]

Grandma’s cookies gone healthy! These gluten-free vegan hazelnut shortbread cookies are a family favourite  – but with no refined sugar, no dairy and wheat-free, too.

Who knows best when it comes to cookies? Right, grandma. She’s the avid baker supplying the whole family *with tin upon tin of cookies every Christmas season. Sounds familiar? It’s been that way in my family forever. Both of my grandmas have dedicatedly spent hours upon hours, no, days, of their lives in the kitchen during the colder months to provide many a family member, friend or neighbour  with their amazing baked goods. Each of them creating certain varities that I have yet to  seen either in stores or other families. How amazing is it to think that every family still has those recipes that are handed down from generation to generation? Just me? Oh well.

*we’re talking six children and their families in my maternal grandma’s case here

Gluten vegan hazelnut shortbread cookies - just seven ingredients, no refined sugar, easy to prepare and a family favourite!

Today’s easy hazelnut shortbread cookies are actually a kind I used to overlook and probably consider tin fillers among the more exciting varieties for years. Yet somehow the adults of the family knew better all along and enjoyed these cookies’ simplicity and nutty aroma. How right they were. Only lightly sweetened but full of hazelnut flavour which was heathened by a rim of dark cocoa. Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies are a favourite with all adults in my family, especially when accompanied by a cup of coffee. Dunk- or dipping highly recommended.

Gluten vegan hazelnut shortbread cookies - just seven ingredients, no refined sugar, easy to prepare and a family favourite!

Because grandma’s cookies are neither vegan nor gluten-free, much less healthy I adapted her recipe. They’re still cookies, not health food but with whole grains and less refined sugar these Gluten-free Hazelnut Shortbread Cookies are a more nutritious alternative to the usual offerings in the cookie jar. Oh and another note: while the long instructions make it look like a complicated recipe it’s actually beyond simple. Win-win!

Gluten-free Vegan Hazelnut Shortbread

(yields ~ 30+ cookies)

1/2 cup of hazelnut meal [60 g; can grind your own in a high speed blender]
1 cup oat flour* [125 g]
1/4 cup of coconut sugar [50 g] + 1 tsp of cornstarch
Scant 1/4 cup of cornstarch [50 g]
1/2 cup of coconut oil, softened but not melted [125 g]
1 tsp vanilla
~ 1/4 cup [20 g] of unsweetened cocoa powder

*use certified gluten-free if necessary

  1. Place the coconut sugar and 1 tsp of cornstarch in a blender. Pulse until the sugar reaches a powdery consistency and lighter colour. Voilà, you just made your own powdered coconut sugar. Set aside.
  2. Combine the flour, hazelnut meal and cornstarch.
  3. Using a stand or hand mixer, beat together the coconut oil, sugar and vanilla on high speed.
  4. Slowly add in the flour mixture while mixing constantly until a smooth dough forms. You might need to knead with your hands to get everything well combined.
  5. Place your dough into the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
    In the meantime, line a sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Once the dough is ready, preheat oven to 300 *F/150 *C. divide dough evenly and roll into two logs.
  7. Coat a large plate or cutting board with enough cocoa – you don’t want to see your surface anymore. Roll dough logs in cocoa until thoroughly coated.
  8. Slice logs into coin-sized cookies. Place on the baking sheet.
  9. Bake cookies for about 20 minutes. The centre of the cookies might still be a bit soft at this point but they harden as they cool.
  10. Let cool completely before eating.  Don’t try to pick up cookies right away to avoid ending up with crumbs all over the place!

Gluten vegan hazelnut shortbread cookies - just seven ingredients, no refined sugar, easy to prepare and a family favourite!

I’m linking up with Allergy Free Wednesdays#RecipeOfTheWeek,#StrangeButGoodGluten-Free Fridays,Tasty Tuesdays,Healthy Vegan Fridays, Meatless Mondays.

Happiness-inducing today:  Getting to pick up a few things from another place while at work, hence getting some fresh air and movement in. A much appreciated break from sitting at my desk for hours.

Stay in touch!
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living
What’s your favourite Christmas cookie?
Tell me one ‘special’ kind of cookies your grandma/mum/any other family member makes and is a must for you every year!

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Healthy Maple Buckwheat Granola [gluten-free, vegan]

With just the right amount of sweetness, heart-healthy buckwheat, oats and nuts this is a nutritious granola you can feel good about eating. Bonus: it takes a mere few minutes to mix together, is vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free + uses just six ingredients.

buckwheat-granola_3

The story behind this recipe is both a little embarrassing and saying a lot about me. For months, one of my colleagues would bring bag after bag of expensive organic  [but still sugar-laden] granola or Müsli [okay, muesli for you English speakers but I just like the German way so much] to work. One day when she was eating some I remembered how fun making granola at home is and offered to make a batch of homemade one for her – an offer she happily took up. Well … if you know me you also know about my indecisiveness. Long story short I bought random granola ingredients here and there, telling myself I’d make some soon. Yet wanting to create the perfect  kind lend to stressing myself so much it never happened. Until now, that is.

buckwheat-granola_1

For some reason currently unbeknownst to me I picked up a bag of buckwheat at random. Then I remembered I’d heard people – likely on Instagram – mention buckwheat granola and the ominous ‘caramelized buckinis’. Boredom turned granola on a rainy – that even is an understatement – Sunday afternoon. Actually, I didn’t even have high hopes for it yet boredom has turned into a delicious recipe before so maybe it was meant to be? Anyway, my kitchen smelled amazing and I couldn’t wait to have a try. Liking it I needed the ultimate taste test and scooped up a little cup full of buckwheat granola for my mum to try.

I’ll be honest in saying I expected her to maybe reluctantly take a sniff and a few crumbs at highest, then sending me off again to toss it but: she took a spoonful, grabbed the cup and kept eating, saying she’d leave some for dad to try in his breakfast the next day. Verdict? Winner.  My colleague was also smitten, probably not expecting me to ever turn up with some granola anymore. Sorry!

buckwheat-granola_2

This isn’t the cluster-packed kind of granola I usually prefer but trust me when I say it’s amazing in its own right. Just lightly sweetened with maple syrup the natural flavor of every ingredient shines through. The buckwheat lends a special nutty crunch factor that won’t make you miss the clusters.  As if deliciousness wasn’t enough of a selling point all three of its main ingredients – oats, buckwheat and nuts – are heart-healthy. Turning this easy homemade granola into one you can feel good about eating all day long.

Okay, before we get to the recipe I want to quickly highlight a few other benefits of buckwheat in case it’s not been making an appearance on your plate [regularly] before, either.

  • Despite the ‘wheat’ in its name buckwheat is actually not a grain making it a great fit for gluten-free eaters  [probably the best-known fact here, I know].
  • While low in vitamin buckwheat is high in manganese (necessary for healthy metabolism, antioxidant defense etc.), copper (), magnesium (athletes will be happy to hear this),
  • High in fiber = happy healthy gut.
  • Contains several novel nutraceuticals which are plant compounds that boast health benefits like lowering LDL (aka: the bad) cholesterol as well as your blood pressure, preventing histamine production (i.e. may help lower risks of developing inborne allergies or food intolerances)
  • May lower blood sugar levels which hence why it’s considered a great option for diabetics.

Sources: 1, 2

Okay, enough nutrition talk! Let’s get to the recipe already!

Healthy Maple Buckwheat Granola

  • ½ cup + 1 tbsp quick oats [50 g]
  • ¼ cup + 1 tbsp raw buckwheat [50 g]*
  • ½ cup mixed nuts [I used almonds and cashews; 60 g]
  • 2 tbsps maple syrup
  • 1 tsp coconut oil [~7 g]
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F/175 °C and layer a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Chop nuts to your preferred size for granola [I find preferences vary here; I liked mine on the smaller side].
  3. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  4. In a small pot, melt the coconut oil. Add maple syrup and stir to combine.
  5. Pour the liquid over your dry ingredients and mix well to make sure everything is coated.
  6. Spread your granola on the baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  7. After about 10 minutes, open the oven and stir the granola. This helps avoiding the edges to burn. Repeat this every 5-10 minutes [depending on your oven].
  8. Once the granola is lightly browned – don’t let it bake for too long; it’ll crisp as it cools – take the sheet out of the oven and set aside to cool down.

 

Notes:

*the gree-ish looking kernels; not roasted as this will change the flavor.

 buckwheat-granola_4

 I’m linking up with Allergy Free Wednesdays#RecipeOfTheWeek,#StrangeButGoodGluten-Free Fridays,Tasty Tuesdays,Healthy Vegan Fridays, Meatless Mondays, .

See? Nothing weird about this little pseudo-grain. Here’s to making buckwheat more popular [outside of pasta] – or just to making granola.

 

 

Happiness-inducing today:  Walking around outside soaking up the summery smell of the air. Can I bottle that scent up for colder months to come?!

 

Stay in touch!
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living
 

Have you tried buckwheat before? In which kind of dishes?

What’s your favourite granola?

 

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