Granola is a wonderfully versatile food. You can eat if for breakfast with milk or yogurt, layer it in a parfait with fruit, add it to smoothies for a crunch factor, take it on the go as a healthy snack…the list goes on and on! Most store bought granola is loaded with sugar and oil so I like to make mine, replacing the refined sugars and oils with sweet fruits and protein-rich nut and seed butter. Also, when you make your own granola you have complete control of the flavor combinations! Currently I can’t get enough of this Gingersnap Buckwheat Granola. Yes, I am eating the “gingerbread” flavor in March. I love blackstrap molasses and think it should be used year round because one, it’s yummy, and two, it has such awesome health benefits! I must give a shout out to one of my amazing readers who asked if I could make a recipe for molasses cookies. I’ve been trying for a few weeks to create the perfect healthy molasses cookie, which is much harder than I thought! However, while using walnut flour to make the cookies I got the idea for this granola, and for that I am truly thankful!
Before I get into all the goodness of molasses and this granola, I want to share with you the release of a new iPad app called SideChef! It’s an app for your iPad (they are working on the release of iPhone and Android versions so stay tuned) that is basically is a large collection of different recipes that are narrated by a step by step guide so you don’t forget to add any ingredients or complete any part of the recipe. I think it’s genius because everyone has those moments, like a few weeks ago when I was making lemon chia seed muffins. I measured out all the ingredients, mixed them all together, preheated the oven, and after I closed the oven door I realized I forgot to add the honey! Needless to say the result was not as delicious as my lemon chia seed muffins usually are 🙂 The point is, everyone can benefit from this app whether you are a cooking pro, or not so savvy in the kitchen. Here is a short description from the launch of this app:
I was honored to be asked to be one of the contributing chefs on the app before the launch, above is a picture of my profile! I plan on uploading more recipes soon, and will continue to contribute recipes to this app, so check it out! When you download the SideChef app, enter the code MARGARETSDISH250 to receive 250 SideChef tokens and an additional recipe upload slot to share your recipes. This is such a fun, interactive app for foodies everywhere!
Now back to this granola. I made sure to pack it with omega-3s by including hemp seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts in the nut mix. Instead of using oats as the grain base, I chose to use buckwheat to change things up. I don’t think I have ever tried a granola that didn’t have oats in it, and I don’t know why! Buckwheat groats are delicious and a nice change from the usual oat granola. Don’t fret if you don’t have buckwheat in your pantry; you can sub oats in and will still wind up with a delicious gingersnap granola!
As I mentioned earlier, I don’t like refined sugars or oils in my granola. Pureed dates provide the sweetness while tahini adds the rich fatty flavor, while also providing many vitamins, minerals, and protein. Oil doesn’t stand a chance! Now onto the molasses. I try to use blackstrap molasses whenever possible because it is the most nutrient dense molasses. Here is why we should eat molasses year round, and not just during the Christmas season. To sum up Kathy’s well written post on blackstrap molasses, one tablespoon of the stuff contains 15% RDA of manganese, 21% RDA of copper, 18% RDA of calcium, 14.5% RDA of potassium, 11% RDA of magnesium, and about 20% RDA of iron for men and 11% RDA of iron for women. Did you know women need more iron daily then men? Start your morning with this granola, and get a running start on your daily nutrition!
Gingersnap Buckwheat Granola
3/4 cup dry buckwheat groats*
1/2 cup walnuts, diced
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup dry quinoa
1/2 cup date paste
1 Tbsp tahini (or nut/seed butter of your choice)
2-3 Tbsps blackstrap molasses
1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 Tbsp ground ginger
*you can sub rolled oats for the buckwheat groats. If you do, skip the first step in the directions.
1. Preheat the oven to 375 F and line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. Bring a small pot of water (about 2 cups) with the buckwheat groats to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain the buckwheat, then place on a dishtowel, and gently dry. Spread the grains out on the prepared baking pan and put in the oven for 10 minutes, stirring after 5. Turn oven temperature down to 350 F after removing the buckwheat groats.
2. While the buckwheat is in the oven, combine the walnuts, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, quinoa, cinnamon, and ginger in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl whisk together date paste, tahini, and molasses. Add dry ingredients and baked buckwheat groats to the wet ones and mix well. Spread out on the prepared baking pan (same one used to bake the buckwheat groats).
4. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes, stirring after 15. Turn the oven down to 300, and bake another 15-20 minutes or until the granola is crispy (it will continue to crisp up as it cools off). Store in an air-tight container.