Boxed cereals (even organic, “whole-grain” ones) are heavily-processed, nutritionally bankrupt foods that have to be sprayed with chemical vitamins to be remotely healthy.
For this reason, and because we are allergic to the wheat, corn, and soy common to nearly all packaged cereals, I prefer to make this sprouted buckwheat granola for quick breakfasts and snacks during the week.
Buckwheat is known as a pseudo-cereal. While many people think that buckwheat is a cereal grain, it is actually a highly nutritious fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel. It is often confused with being a grain because of the grain-like way it is cooked and used. The fact that the word “wheat” is in its name only adds to the confusion.
Buckwheat is a suitable substitute for grains for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain gluten, but may not be considered “Paleo.” It can be ground into flour and used in many different ways.
Buckwheat is high in the flavonoids rutin and quercetin, and is a good source of magnesium, manganese, copper and fiber. The protein in buckwheat is a high quality protein, containing all eight essential amino acids, including lysine.
Raw Nut and Seed Preparation
You can make it in the oven, but it will lose most of its enzymes, vitamins, and fatty acids (though not the protein and fiber) if you heat it above 118º, so I don’t recommend baking it.
With all the soaking, sprouting and dehydrating, raw granola takes about two days to prepare, but the time spent actually making the cereal is only about a half-hour.
When you prepare raw or traditional food dishes, you need to soak and sprout all of your nuts, seeds and grains. This softens them, removes harmful enzyme inhibitors, and enhances their nutritional value prior to eating.
By soaking and/or sprouting, you can eat buckwheat groats, wild rice, beans, and more without cooking them, which in turn maintains the natural enzymes and protects all of the protein, vitamins and minerals from being destroyed during heating.
Because it is a sprouted, living food, this granola naturally provides approximately 21 grams of protein, 16 grams of fiber, 160 mg of calcium and over 35% of the US RDA of copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, and thiamin.
With 3 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, and no sucrose, corn syrup (!) or cane sugar to spike your blood sugar and tax your immune system, this cereal is a naturally sweet, super-healthy powerhouse for your body.
- 1 cup pitted dates, packed
- Purified water
- 2-1/2 cups raw buckwheat groats, soaked for 8-12 hours, rinsed and drained, then sprouted
- 3/4 cup raisins, currants, dried blueberries, cranberries, cherries or goji berries
- 1/4 cup flaxseeds, soaked for 8-12 hours in 1/2 cup purified water (do not rinse or drain)
- 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds, soaked for 4-6 hours, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked for 4-6 hours, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup raw sesame seeds, soaked for 4-6 hours, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 to 1 cup raw, sliced or whole almonds, soaked for 8-12 hours
- 1/2 to 1 cup raw walnut or pecan pieces, soaked for 8-12 hours
- 1 large, pureed sweet apple
- 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
- Start in the morning or a few hours before bed. Using a 4-cup bowl, or something similarly large, cover the buckwheat groats with an inch of purified water, and let sit for 8-12 hours.
- After soaking for 8-12 hours, put the groats into a fine-screen sieve or strainer, and rinse them well. Let them sit in the strainer in the sink or over a plate for another 8 hours to sprout. (Watch them: They are best if you use them before they start to show little sprout "tails.") If you can, rinse them once halfway through sprouting, and rinse them once more before adding them to the recipe.
- After you rinse and strain the buckwheat groats (but before you leave them to sprout), put the flaxseeds and about a 1/2 cup of purified water into a bowl to soak for 8-12 hours. Put the walnuts or pecans and the almonds together into a separate bowl and cover with purified water. They will finish soaking at the same time your buckwheat has finished sprouting.
- About halfway into the soaking time for the flaxseeds and nuts, combine the pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds in a bowl and cover with purified water. Let soak for 4-6 hours, then rinse and strain. They should be done at the same time the flaxseed is finished soaking and the buckwheat is finished sprouting.
- After all the seeds, nuts and groats are done, loosely separate the dates. If they are very hard and dry, soak them in warm, purified water for a few minutes to soften them. Drain and remove any pits before using.
- Place the dates in a high-power food processor, blender or Vitamix with 1/2 cup of purified water, and puree into a smooth paste. Add more water if needed to facilitate processing.
- Combine the buckwheat groats, raisins, currants or dried berries, flaxseeds with their soaking water, and the other seeds and nuts in a large bowl. Add the date paste, apple puree, and cinnamon. Stir well or mix with your hands to make a batter.
- Evenly spread 3 cups of the batter no more than 1/4-inch thick onto a dehydrator tray lined with a non-stick silicone sheet or wax paper. Repeat until all of the batter is used.
- Dehydrate for 8 hours at 105-115º F. Flip granola onto a clean mesh dehydrator tray, carefully remove the wax paper or silicone sheet, and dehydrate for another 24 hours at 105º, until completely dry.
- Break the granola into chunks and store in a sealed glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 months, or in sealed storage bags or jars in the pantry for 1 month. Buckwheat granola is a living food, so, unlike processed cereal, it is perishable.
- Enjoy with raw cow's milk, yogurt, kefir, or fresh nut, hemp or coconut milk for the greatest health benefit.