Walking along an ice rink road riddled with puddles, there is a whisper in the air; an undercurrent. Spring is not here yet in the north country, but there is a promise in the breeze. Hold on just a little longer, says the wind to the buds that have begun to swell on the trees. The morning sunlight has shifted, now angling gold through the bay window.
I look up and a bald eagle soars overhead, low enough that i can hear each wingbeat.
vanilla caramel cashew buckwheat clusters
i’ve been seeing photos of incredible looking buckwheat clusters on social media for awhile, topping everything from nice cream to porridge bowls to smoothies. i haven’t been able to find any in local stores, however, and couldn’t find exactly what i was looking for in my online recipe research. kitchen experimentation ensued, and this was the winner! it is inspired by recipes from oh she glows and my new roots.
when i saw how dark it got in the oven i was worried i had burnt the batch. but i trusted my nose and took a taste, and what i had achieved was a deep, delicious caramel flavor. i used coconut nectar for the sweetener and it worked beautifully (nice and sticky). that said, my experience with that sweetener is that it can go from caramel to carbon in a flash, so keep your eyes on the granola and trust your nose!
2 C raw buckwheat groats (make sure you’re not using kasha, which has already been roasted)
1/4 C coconut sugar
1 t vanilla powder
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t fine sea salt
2 T coconut oil
3 T cashew butter
4 T coconut nectar
1 t vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Mix the dry ingredients (buckwheat groats, coconut sugar, vanilla powder, cinnamon, and sea salt) in a large bowl. Set aside.
In a saucepan over very low heat, melt the coconut oil. Add the cashew butter, coconut syrup, and vanilla and stir until well-combined.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir until the groats are evenly coated.
Spread the mixture into a rather thin, uniform layer on the baking sheet. You can use your hands or the back of a spoon to help spread and flatten the mixture.
Bake for approximately 15 minutes. If you peek you will see the mixture bubbling.
Using a spatula, flip the granola in large pieces.
Bake for another 10 minutes. Keep your eyes on the granola and remove from the oven early if it seems like it is done or is going to burn.
Let it cool completely on the baking sheet; it will crisp up nicely as it cools.
When cool, break into small clusters and store in a glass jar.
Enjoy on its own, on nice cream (or ice cream!), smoothie bowls, porridge, yogurt, or as a cereal with homemade hemp milk (recipe follows).
homemade hemp milk
1/2 C hemp seeds
3 C water
opt. sweetener: 1-2 T maple syrup or 1-2 pitted medjool dates
opt. flavor: 1 t vanilla extract or powder, and/or 1/2 t cinnamon
Place all ingredients into a high speed blender and blitz for 3-4 minutes. Strain as needed through a nut milk bag, fine mesh strainer, or two layers of cheesecloth (if you use a Vitamix or blender with similar power you won’t have much, if any, pulp to strain out). Store in the refrigerator in a lidded glass container for 3-5 days.
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