If you’re finding it difficult to get excited about another granola recipe on the internet, well, I understand. I’m not offended. There are a limited number of ways to jazz up the same basic ingredients (oats, nuts, dried fruit) but this hasn’t stopped every single food blogger in the world from posting a thousand variations on a single, repetitive theme. You would be forgiven for thinking that granola has been done to death, for rolling your eyes and deleting or scrolling past this post. And yet…you’d be missing out if you did.
This granola is so good that everyone who has tried it, loves it. I’m guilty of eating it for dinner more times than I would like to admit. This is pretty exciting for granola!
The recipe comes via Amy Chaplin, who can be relied on for creative takes on old favourites; veganised and healthified (but don’t let that put you off), and always tasting good. The granola has the familiar base of rolled oats, but it is joined by buckwheat groats that have been soaked overnight to make them more digestible. Buckwheat might not be the most appealing grain when consumed alone, but here it adds a background nuttiness and satisfying crunch to an already flavoursome mix. It’s also supposed to be spectacularly high in protein, fibre and minerals, but I like to think of that as a bonus rather than the point of the whole thing.
My new best granola took four rounds of adjustment before it became perfect in my eyes. Amy uses dehydrated strawberries in her version, which didn’t appeal to me and I eventually settled on a combination of dried apricots and sultanas to provide the sweet chewability that’s essential to a good granola. I wanted to adapt it to fit what I tend to have at home, so I also replaced Amy’s flaxseed with pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and coconut syrup for maple. I successfully made the granola with shredded rather than flaked coconut, but if you can get flakes then follow Amy’s lead: their toasty crunchiness tops off the textural experience.
My new best granola, with buckwheat, coconut and apricot, definitely has the edge on my old best granola, with orange and pistachio. That one is still a winner for its spicy, wintery flavours, but this new recipe manages to be both bright and comforting. It’s lighter, less sweet and the cardamom provides an exotic background fragrance. I like it served with fresh kiwifruit or sliced pear, along with Greek yoghurt and a little milk. It’s simply, perfect.
Buckwheat Granola with Apricots & Coconut
1 cup raw buckwheat groats, soaked overnight in plenty of filtered water
2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 1/2 cups dried unsweetened flaked coconut
2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/2 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
1/3 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried apricots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sultanas, raisins or currants
Drain and rinse the buckwheat thoroughly. Spread out on tray over a clean tea towel to dry for several hours. You can speed this up by placing the tray in the sun.
Pre-heat the oven to 175° C / 350 °F and line a large, rimmed baking tray with baking paper.
In a medium bowl combine the rolled oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds (pepitas), chopped pistachios, salt, cardamom and dried buckwheat. Toss thoroughly to combine. Whisk together the melted coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir until everything is lightly slicked.
Transfer the mixture to the baking tray and spread out to an even layer. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Stir the granola and place back in the oven for 8 minutes. Stir again and bake for another 5 minutes, or until the colour is golden. You may wish to stir and bake the granola for another few minutes if the colour is not as deep as you would like, just take care that the coconut doesn’t burn.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Add the chopped apricots and sultanas or currants and mix through. The granola keeps well in an airtight jar for up to 6 weeks. Serve with yoghurt and fresh fruit – kiwifruit and pear both work beautifully.