Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Week of Love: Chocolate Love Granola Featuring Sprouted Buckwheat, Flax and Berries

To spend a morning drinking tea and eating this love granola with my toddler as I read my devotional and she plays with her duplos legos... With that, I am content. This is love at its most peaceful. Memories I'll always remember with a smile.

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You can't have a week of Valentines-inspired recipes without featuring chocolate. The cocoa bean is a well-known aphrodisiac. But, it's so much more than that. The caffeine in chocolate can be revitalizing and energizing but the nostalgia of this much-loved treat is soothing, like warm socks or a fuzzy blanket. It can also increase serotonin - a boon in these still cold, sunless winter days.

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And when I speak of memories that surround food, granola is one of my favorite. I have no idea why - it's not glamorous or life-changing. Granola is granola. It's something you can depend on. It's comforting. From humble beginnings to rich memories, this love granola is the exotic cousin who likes to tango and wears red lipstick.

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Buckwheat stars in this recipe. It's name may be deceiving but it has no relation to gluten. It's actually a seed and a complete protein at that! We soak it overnight for best nutrition and then when roasted, it crisps creating a great cereal. I had the idea for this granola when I made the chocolate buckwheat sprinkles.

We add freeze dried berries for a more shelf stable option so you can make and give to friends. Although I recommend consuming this within a week. Freeze dried fruit is available at your local health food store, Trader Joes, Target (their Archer Farms brand) and amazon.

This granola is nut-free but feel free to add a handful of nuts if you like! Hazelnuts would be divine. Pumpkin seeds as well! The recipe is also soy, dairy, and gluten free along with being vegan!

Chocolate Love Granola
1/2 cup buckwheat
1 cup oats (GF certified if sensitive)
1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
1/4 cocoa powder
3 TB flaxseeds, ground
Couple pinches of salt

3 TB coconut oil
3 TB applesauce, unsweetened *
3 TB maple syrup

1.5 oz bag of freeze dried berries
1/2 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate bar (dairy-free)

*For a sweeter and more shelf stable option, use more maple syrup instead of the applesauce.

1. Soak buckwheat in two cups of filtered water overnight.
2. After soaking, drain and rinse buckwheat. Pat dry. Add to bowl with remaining dry ingredients. Stir.
3. Stir coconut oil, applesauce, and maple syrup together. Then add to dry ingredients, stirring all ingredients into the wet.
4. Line a tray with parchment paper and crumble/spread over the tray with your hands (works better than spatula).
5. Bake in 350 preheated oven for 30 minutes, tossing halfway through.
6. Let cool. Add freeze dried berries and chocolate.
7. Ladle into jars and seal tight or enjoy with your own choice of milk!

Here's to LOVE, baby! And granola!

And don't forget to enter the lenspen giveaway or the lotion bar giveaway. If you need another gift, here is a list of books for any and every Valentine.

Below is jars of the love preparing to go to friends and family members...

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