Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Homemade Chocolate Buckwheat Cereal

Abiline gets top billing for this blog post.  Thanks, Grandma, for this awesome pirate ship. On this particular occasion, our dear dudette was caught singing "Yo ho, Abbie!"  It's not often you see a pirate with such sparkling teeth.

Now on to the recipe...

Perhaps you haven't tried buckwheat; maybe you've eaten it a time or two in pancake-form.  If you are not already a fan of this under-appreciated grain, I think this recipe will make you one. Basically, you toast up the buckwheat groats and coat them like granola, giving you a crunchy cereal that is sweet without being sugary and that is truly whole grain. While it is certainly better to eat whole grain flours than white flour, I have found that I feel much better when I eat the actual whole grain itself. Whole grains keep my tummy fuller faster and longer, which I think was key in helping me shed the baby weight and get my energy back up. Abiline loves this cereal, but you have to soak it a while in the milk before feeding it to little ones so that it is not quite so crunchy and hard to chew all the way. This recipe is based on one in The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook, which just needed some more flavor, and one in 500 Vegan Recipes, which called for coating Grape-Nuts in chocolate. Here is the compromise, which is neither too healthy nor too extravagant.

2 cups raw buckwheat groats
1/4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
1/4 cup tahini or sunflower seed butter
1/4 cup chocolate chips
pinch of salt
dash of cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. maple extract (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread buckwheat in an even layer on a large baking sheet and toast for 15 minutes, then stir around and toast for about 10 minutes more, until fragrant and golden.
2. While the buckwheat is toasting, melt the chocolate chips with the tahini or sunflower seed butter in the microwave.
3. Once you remove the buckwheat from the oven, pour it into a large tupperware (the one you want to store it in) and pour the melted chocolate mixture, agave or maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, and extracts over the cereal. Stir to coat evenly. Let cool completely before eating/ covering to store.

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