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Monday, 7 June 2010

What to do with your buckwheat...

Some members of my family do not take breakfast seriously (the teenagers), and can go a whole morning with just a glass of water and nothing else to sustain them. Changing bad habits like that are near the top of my priority list for change in the Elefantz household. I have decided to start with a couple of old favourite breakfasts I know my kids will enjoy.

In 2006 my son was suspected of having digestive issues with wheat so I studied up on substitutes for his dietary needs, not wanting to rely on gluten-free prepackaged foods. A favourite breakfast food became Sprouted Buckwheat Granola, which we ate with my freshly cultured yoghurt. I got the basic idea from a recipe in 'Rejuvenate Your Life' by Serene Allison, and as long as you have that framework in your cooking arsenal you can alter it to suit your family's likes and dislikes. It's a very easy recipe, and very forgiving.

The other day I soaked my buckwheat kernels, then rinsed and strained them. After 40 hours of leaving them to sprout (and rinsing 4 times during those hours), you can see the little sprouts have appeared...
Sprouted foods have far more nutrients that fresh or dried. When grains sprout they are bursting with new life, living enzymes! Our bodies benefit greatly from sprouted grains.

~Sprouted Buckwheat Granola~
I soaked 3 cups of raw buckwheat kernels less than 2 days ago. Today I rinsed and drained them for the last time. After draining I put them aside while I prepared the rest of the ingredients for the recipe.

I chopped various dried fruits into small chunks - figs, apricots, sultanas (raisins), and blueberries.
 ...and placed them in a very large bowl.
 I tossed into the bowl a large handful of sunflower kernels, and some crushed raw cashews...
With my coffee grinder (that has never ground coffee) I ground up 2 tablespoons each of flaxseeds (linseeds), sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds (pepitas)...
 ...and added them. I also ground up a cinnamon quill in my coffee grinder and added the ground cinnamon to the bowl. Grinding the seeds adds a coating to the other ingredients, which when mixed with the olive oil and maple syrup (further down) binds everything together in lovely clusters.
I wish you could smell this!! My tastebuds are going crazy!
Pour into the bowl 2 tablespoons organic olive oil, and 1/4 cup organic maple syrup (you could also use honey or golden syrup)...
...then add in the drained sprouted buckwheat kernels, and mix well.
The next step can be done two different ways.
I have a dehydrator so I spread the mix onto 3 mesh dehydrator trays...
...stack them into my dehydrator...
...and set the heat to medium for 1 hour, before dropping the heat to low for another 12-24 hours. In hot dry weather this will only take 12 hours, but it's winter now so I'll leave it for 20-24 hours. 
Once it is finished I'll store it in an airtight container in the pantry and we'll probably eat it over 10 days or so. 
If you don't have a dehydrator you can still make this. Layer the granola mix onto oven trays that have been lined with baking paper. Place them in your oven on the very lowest temperature (40-45C or 85-100F) with the door slightly ajar for 12-20 hours. Same as above, if it is summer you won't need as long. Take the trays out every few hours and mix around. If the mix feels dry then it is done.
The MOST important thing with making this recipe is not to cook the kernels. Cooking will destroy the goodness of the sprouting. You are 'drying' the kernels only. 

I hope mine is made by tomorrow morning as the aroma is wafting through my entire house right now! 
In the meantime, here is a quick breakfast that Blossom loves and one that we shared today. I just need to be diligent to prepare it and she will eat (drink) it! 
Organic milk, organic yoghurt, medjool dates, ripe banana, organic natural cocoa (unsweetened). Combine in the blender....
YUM!!!
Can you believe I have a head cold???
It's time to make more stock and a large pot of chicken soup...

Healthy hugs
Jenny
xxx

PS: You can download the Sprouted Buckwheat Granola recipe HERE
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