granola

toasted buckwheat granola with tahini and dark chocolate

Buckwheat Granola with Tahini and Dark Chocolate // Image: Olaiya Land

Hello people!

Today’s the day! It's the final post in the holiday blognanza I put together for you with Megan from Cream + Honey! In case you missed them, you can check out our previous posts here:

Every year, I like to share an easy last-minute edible holiday gift recipe with you. This year, I’ve got this Buckwheat Granola with Tahini and Dark Chocolate. This one goes out to all the procrastinators among us (including myself) who are scrambling for a last-minute homemade gift idea. And to all you overachievers who want to spread a little extra holiday cheer! Whichever camp you fall into, you most definitely need to make this granola.

Buckwheat Granola with Tahini and Dark Chocolate // Image: Olaiya Land

In an effort to switch things up this year, I dialed back the oats in my go-to granola formula and decided to throw in a generous amount of lightly toasted buckwheat groats. This turned out to be a pretty good move on my part (thank you Alison Roman for the inspiration) because the buckwheat lent an earthy complexity to this granola and made it extra crunchy and sog-proof. 

I hate getting hungry halfway through my morning, so to make this more filling, I added protein-packed quinoa to the mix. I’ve got hazelnuts in there too because, duh, I AM OBSESSED WITH HAZELNUTS. (I might lay off the hazelnuts in the new year. Can’t make any promises though…). 

Lastly, I’ll admit that the super sexy tahini + dark chocolate combo could be considered showboating (mostly by people who eat bran flakes for breakfast). In my defense, however, it elevates this way beyond your basic bulk-bin affair and turns it into the sort of granola your brunch guests will ooh! and ah! about and your children will fight over. (Don’t blame me, blame the chocolate.)

Buckwheat Granola with Tahini and Dark Chocolate // Image: Olaiya Land
Buckwheat Granola with Tahini and Dark Chocolate // Image: Olaiya Land

This takes about 15 minutes of active time plus 50 minutes in the oven, which gives you just enough time to whip up a batch of Megan’s Amaro Sprtiz Punch and kick the holiday weekend off in boozy style!

I myself will most likely be subsisting on handfuls of this granola over the next 48 hours as I attempt to distribute the last of my holiday baked goods, prep the house for our AirBnB guests (so nerve racking!) and pack my bags for Paris.

Buckwheat Granola with Tahini and Dark Chocolate // Image: Olaiya Land

I’m not sure if I’ll have time to post before the new year, so I’ll take this opportunity to tell you how immensely grateful I am to all of you who joined my workshops, followed my adventures on Instagram and stopped by to read this blog. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! Your kindness and support over the past year mean so much to me. 

I wish you a beautiful, restful and delicious holiday and I can’t wait to see you in 2018!

XOXO!

Olaiya


Toasted Buckwheat Granola with Tahini and Dark Chocolate

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ vanilla bean
  • 2 cups raw buckwheat groats
  • 3 cups rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup raw hulled sesame seeds
  • 1 cup raw hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • ¼ cup avocado oil, refined coconut oil (or other neutral-tasting oil)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ cup rice bran syrup or agave
  • 6 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 cup (4 oz) shaved dark chocolate (I used Callebaut 60%)

*Note: There are two kinds of buckwheat groats--raw (or lightly toasted) and darkly toasted (also known as kasha). For this recipe you want raw or lightly toasted buckwheat groats since they're going in the oven for quite a while. These will be green or light brown and shouldn't have much of a scent to them. It's pretty easy to distinguish from kasha which is dark brown or reddish brown and has a nutty, toasted smell to it. If you can't find raw buckwheat groats where you live, feel free to substitute more oats or a mix of other dry ingredients like flax seeds, raw sunflower seeds, spelt flakes, etc.

 

Buckwheat Granola with Tahini and Dark Chocolate // Image: Olaiya Land
Buckwheat Granola with Tahini and Dark Chocolate // Image: Olaiya Land

Preheat your oven to 300° F.

Place the sugar in a small bowl. Using a paring knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise and use the sharp edge of the knife to scrape the seeds from the pod. Add the seeds to the sugar and use your fingers to rub the vanilla into the sugar, breaking up any clumps. Place the buckwheat, oats, sesame seeds, hazelnuts, quinoa, cardamom and salt in a large bowl. Add the vanilla sugar and stir to combine thoroughly.

Combine the oils, syrups and tahini in a medium bowl and whisk well to combine. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until all the dry ingredients are completely coated.

Divide the granola between two parchment-lined sheet pans. Spread the granola out and place the pans in the oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes, rotating the pans and stirring the granola every 15 minutes or so. You want to remove the granola from the oven when it's golden brown. Don't worry if it's not completely dry; it will crisp up as it sits. Place the sheet pans on wire racks to cool. When the granola is completely cool, stir in the shaved chocolate. 

Transfer the granola to an airtight container (I like a big mason jar) and store in a cool dry place. Tightly covered, the granola will keep for several weeks.

Buckwheat Granola with Tahini and Dark Chocolate // Image: Olaiya Land

apple-rosemary granola

Apple-Rosemary Granola // Milly's Kitchen

We’re off to a slow start around here.

In the holiday preparedness department, that is. We don’t have a Christmas tree. We haven’t hung a festive wreath on our door. We have drunk zero mugs of peppermint hot chocolate with little marshmallows on top.  

It only just hit me today is December 9th and if I intend to do any wreath-making or tree-decorating or delicious-holiday-beverage-drinking, I had better get it in gear. So my mind has finally turned towards Christmas. This morning I tracked down my favorite holiday cookie recipe (lebkuchen!). Now I’m dreaming of filling the house with the smell of candied orange peel and cardamom. And I can’t wait to pick out just the right tree. After all these Christmases, I still experience a childlike delight each morning as I tiptoe in to sit quietly by the twinkling lights and breathe in the piney smell of the forest.

Apple-Rosemary Granola // Milly's Kitchen

Alongside the sharing of meals, the making and giving of homemade gifts is the heart of the season for me. I’ve offered many over the years: rosemary shortbreads and coconut macaroons and spicy cheddar cheese straws and carrot-cardamom jam. One year, I thought my poor hands were going to be forever useless from piping sheet pan after sheet pan of peanut butter meringues. Another year, I nearly bankrupted myself making a mountain of pistachio-apricot bark with Valrhona dark chocolate and Theo cacao nibs.  

Apple-Rosemary Granola // Milly's Kitchen

But I’ve learned my lesson. And with each passing holiday season I’ve grown a bit wiser in my holiday goodie-giving. So now, one of my go-to gifts is homemade granola. It’s simple to make. It stores and ships marvelously well. It’s inexpensive (at least compared to Valrhona dark chocolate bark!). And everyone loves good granola.

This year's flavor is apple-rosemary. I have yet to meet a homemade granola I didn’t like, but the subtle sweetness and savory notes in this version are especially pleasing to me. The sweet-tart apple brightens the earthy walnuts and the rosemary adds a slight herbaceous note. The warm spices make this granola perfect for the holidays.

Apple-Rosemary Granola // Milly's Kitchen

There are infinite possibilities for improvising here: pear in place of the apple, sesame instead of flax, almonds in lieu of walnuts. I hope you’ll make this recipe your own. I also highly recommend baking up an extra batch so you have some for your own cupboard. It is delicious on top of creamy yogurt with a sliced pear or apple. If you’re feeling especially festive, swirl in a few spoonfuls of chestnut jam and elevate the whole affair to something brunch-worthy.

Apple-Rosemary Granola // Milly's Kitchen

I hope you’ll join me and indulge fully in the holiday spirit. Hang a wreath. Drink some cocoa. Hell, splash a little bourbon in there--it’s the holidays! Bake up a jar of granola. And enjoy the beauty of the season.


Apple-Rosemary Granola // Milly's Kitchen

Apple- Rosemary Granola

  • 1 recipe wet ingredients (see below)
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup rye flakes (also known as rolled rye. If you can't find rye flakes, just use all rolled oats)
  • 2 cups raw walnut pieces
  • 1 cup flax seeds
  • 1 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt

Wet ingredients:

  • ¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup (preferably grade B, which is darker and more delicious)
  • ¼ cup honey (If you can get your hands on buckwheat or chestnut honey, it will make your granola extra special)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3-4 cups dried apple slices (about 3 medium apples if you are drying your own)

If you are drying your own apples, position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 200° F. Slice the apple very thinly--using a mandolin helps for this. I don’t bother to core the apple as the seeds just fall out as you slice. Place the apple slices on a parchment lined sheet pan and bake for 1 hour. Turn the apple slices over and rotate the pans. Bake for another hour. Test the slices to see if they are crisp. If so, remove them from the oven and let the apples cool completely before removing them from the pan. If not, bake the apple slices for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until completely dry and crisp. These will keep for several weeks in an airtight container.

To bake the granola, preheat the oven to 300° F. 

Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a paring knife. Place the sugar in a small bowl and add the vanilla seeds. Using your fingers, rub the seeds into the sugar; this will keep the vanilla from clumping together in the granola.

Place the vanilla sugar in a large bowl. Add all the dry ingredients (not the dried apple slices) and stir to combine thoroughly.

Combine the wet ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk well to combine. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until all the dry ingredients have been coated.

Divide the granola between two parchment-lined sheet pans. Spread the granola out and place the pans in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes, rotating the pans and stirring the granola every 10 minutes or so. After 45 minutes the granola will be golden but not completely dry. Don’t worry about that, it will crisp up as it sits. Place the sheet pans on wire cooling racks and give the granola a final stir so it doesn’t dry into big clumps. When the granola is completely cool, stir in the dried apple slices. Transfer it to an airtight container (I like a big mason jar) and store in a cool dry place. Tightly covered, the granola will keep for several weeks.

Makes about 10 cups

Apple-Rosemary Granola // Milly's Kitchen