This is my favorite granola recipe. I've substituted buckwheat for oats, not only because I can't seem to find gluten free oats in local stores, but also because Megan is sensitive to oats. Buckwheat is not a grain and NOT related to wheat. It's a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel. Buckwheat is high in fiber, protein, magnesium and lysine. It's also thought to be a prebiotic, which means that it supports the growth of good bacteria in the gut. (For more information about buckwheat, go here.) I personally don't like buckwheat as a hot cereal - I prefer it crunchy. I think it's great in streusel toppings and it makes a pretty good granola, too!
2 cups whole grain buckwheat hot cereal*
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup rice bran
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. honey or maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or slivered almonds
1/2 cup raisins, currants, dried cranberries, snipped apricots or chopped dried apple, or a combination of dried fruits
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, making sure there is no overhang. Set aside.
In a medium bowl stir together the buckwheat through cinnamon. In a small bowl combine the canola oil through the vanilla. Pour the wet mixture into the buckwheat mixture* and stir thoroughly to coat. Add the nuts and toss. Spread the mixture evenly onto the prepared baking sheet.
Bake granola for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, stir and spread evenly over the baking sheet. Return to oven for 15 minutes. Repeat twice, until the granola has baked 45 minutes and is a nice golden brown. Remove from oven. Let cool in the baking sheet. After the granola has cooled, break it up into bite-sized pieces and place it in a bowl. Add the dried fruit and toss. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Serve as a cereal or as a topping for dairy free yogurt, pudding or ice cream.
*Note: Consider adding a couple of tablespoons of whole flax seed to the buckwheat mixture before baking.