History repeats itself–breakfast history, particularly.
Let’s hurtle back to the turn of the 20th century. Before that, Americans were farm-workers, and they needed serious sustenance in the mornings. Eggs, meat, puddings, pies, and cheese were standard 8am feast materials. But around this time, desk jobs came into fashion, and sedentary lifestyles combined with the fatty fare to give the country a bad case of indigestion.
Within a few years, two companies, Kellogg and Post (recognize the names?) were both selling grain-based cereals meant to help wean their countrymen from scrapple, bacon, and sausage for breakfast. That’s when granola (then known as granula) entered the scene, too–it was simply one crispy baked cereal on a burgeoning shelf of health-food products. Sounds a little bit like today!
This granola has a couple of ingredients that are coming into their own today, just as grain-based breakfasts were gaining popularity back then.
First, we’ve got buckwheat. You might have seen buckwheat flour or buckwheat noodles (aka soba) at the grocery store. Whole buckwheat groats are the nutritious little seeds from which that flour is made; when toasted they become crunchy and nutty. Although “wheat” is contained within the word, buckwheat is naturally gluten-free and contains a ton of protein and amino acids. That plus the protein in the almonds makes this a nutritionally beneficial and satisfying breakfast.
Next up, coconut oil. Solid at room temperature, the buttery oil delivers a subtle hit of coconut. Many people believe that the high dose of saturated fat in unprocessed coconut oil is good for you!
Chia seeds used to be famous only for the topiaries they could grow. Today, health-foodies snatch them up for their high calcium and omega-3 content.
Almonds, oats, maple syrup, and flakes of sea salt round out this marvelous granola that’s no less delicious for being right on trend–both today and way back in time.
So get ready to jump in by making this deliciously fragrant granola, which will fill your kitchen with aromas reminiscent of chai tea. Serve with yogurt or with milk, and if you choose milk, you may find yourself slurping the chai-like remains straight from the bowl.
Get the recipe below.
Cardamom & Chia Seed Granola
4 cups rolled oats (if you’re keeping the granola gluten-free, make sure your oats say gluten-free on them!)
1 cup raw buckwheat groats
3/4 cup raw almonds
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup coconut oil
2/3 to 1 cup maple syrup (depending how sweet you’d like it to be)
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons sea salt flakes
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the dry ingredients: Coarsely chop the almonds. In a large bowl combine the rolled oats, buckwheat groats, coconut flakes, chia seeds, and chopped almonds and toss to mix thoroughly. Set aside.
In a microwave-safe bowl or non-reactive pot combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, cardamom, and vanilla extract. Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or just until the coconut oil has melted and everything is thoroughly combined. Remove from the heat.
Pour the coconut oil mixture over the oat mixture, sprinkle with the sea salt flakes, and gently mix to thoroughly combine all the ingredients.
Line a baking sheet with parchment if you have some around. Pour the granola onto the sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven to 400°F, stir the granola to ensure even browning, and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, stirring again after 10 minutes, and keeping a close eye to be sure the granola doesn’t burn. Allow the granola to cool on the baking sheet for at least 1 hour…if you can! Enjoy with yogurt, milk, and fruit.