Truth be told, I’ve never been a cereal fan. There was that brief love affair with Honey Bunches of Oats during university years. But besides that, I’ve never gravitated toward it or willingly eaten it.
Cereal is usually overly sweet and/or overly bland. I don’t know how, but cereal seems to taste simultaneously like hyped-up sugar crunchies and cardboard. I have to admit, the best part of cereal is that crispy, crunchy thing going on. But just a few minutes sitting in milk destroys that delightful texture. You’re forced to eat breakfast more rapidly than you’d like, yet the end is still a soggy mess.
Then there’s the nutritional content of cereal. Sugar, Corn Syrup, and Modified Corn Starch are not the building blocks of nutrition. Plus, have you ever eaten a bowl of sugary cereal and found yourself ravenously hungry an hour later? Yep, me too. Cereal is not very filling.
What I do love about cereal is its convenience and ease. The only utensils needed are a bowl and spoon. The instructions are even easier: Pour cereal into bowl. Pour milk. Eat. This is a breakfast my 6 year old can make independently. Plus, it’s the fastest breakfast to put on the table each morning for a busy family of 5.
This dark chocolate buckwheat granola solves all my cereal dilemmas. Here is a breakfast that’s fast enough in the morning yet still tastes good and is also good for you, too.
I like to serve this granola with plain yogurt and a drizzle of honey.
Or doused with almond milk. Either way, you can’t go wrong. You’ll still get a bowl full of crunchy, intensely chocolate-y, delicious, good-for-you fuel to start the day.
True, making homemade granola is not as convenient as buying a box of cereal at the store. But it’s so much better for you. In under an hour, you can make a big batch of granola that provides long lasting energy and all kinds of nutrients and vitamins that leave you feeling and looking your best. The trade off is worth it, no?
I’ve tried to make a straight-forward recipe that’s easy to follow. Most of the ingredient list can be found at the local grocery store, except for the buckwheat. I bought mine at Whole Foods, but I’m guessing you could also find it in the bulk foods aisle in a larger grocery store? You could also make this without the buckwheat (just add another cup of oats) but the buckwheats add such a delectable crunch. If you don’t make it with buckwheats this time, definitely try it the next time!
Dump dry ingredients into a large bowl (oats, buckwheat, coconut, nuts, chia seeds, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, cinnamon, salt.)
In a small saucepan, heat coconut oil until (mostly) melted. Add maple syrup, cocoa powder, and vanilla. Whisk until well combined.
Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients.
Mix until well combined.
Spread onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes, until it smells nutty. The color should not change much.
Cool on baking rack. For looser granola, stir from time to time until completely cool to create a loose texture. For bigger clumps, leave as is. When the granola is mostly cool, break up into chunks. The granola will harden as it cools.
When completely cool, mix in the dried cranberries and/or cherries. Transfer to an airtight storage container.
Serve with natural yogurt and a drizzle of honey or almond milk. Enjoy!
A grown-up granola with dark chocolate, oats, buckwheat, coconut, and cranberries that you can feel good about eating and serving.
- 2 cups rolled oats (not the instant kind)
- 1 cup buckwheat
- 1 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
- 3/4 cup pecans roughly chopped (almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts work too)
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup dried cranberries or cherries
Dump dry ingredients into large bowl (oats, buckwheat, coconut, nuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, salt).
In a small saucepan, melt coconut oil until (mostly) melted. Add maple syrup, cocoa powder, and vanilla. Whisk until well combined.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix until well combined. Spread on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 325 F for 25-30 minutes, until it smells nutty. The color should not change too much.
Cool on baking rack. For looser granola, stir from time to time until completely cool to create a loose texture. For bigger clumps, leave as is. When the granola is mostly cool, break up into chunks.
When completely cool, mix in dried cranberries and/or cherries. Transfer to an airtight storage container.
Serve with natural yogurt and a drizzle or honey or almond milk.
This recipe is gluten-free. Oats are naturally gluten free but are often cross-contaminated with trace amounts of gluten. Look for gluten-free oats if you want a "pure" gluten-free granola.
This recipe is also dairy-free, if you serve with almond milk or dairy-free yogurt.