What I’ve really missed doing these last few months is writing my blog and I promised myself that I would make time to sit down and write again. So here I am, ignoring the destruction round the house with a 10 month old now on the move, ignoring the washing up, ignoring the washing that needs to go on and more importantly trying to ignore any work I should be doing in the quiet couple of hours I get to myself each lunchtime. And it feels good to be tapping away at my keyboard again.
It’s been a busy couple of months with another house move, (a yearly occurrence at the moment) all of about 200 meters from the last place. It doesn’t make it much easier just moving such a short distance and it always takes that time to settle in and make somewhere new really feel like home. But with pictures up and nearly 2 months here, it already feels like we’ve been here for years.
Seb has grown up so much in the last couple of months. Kind of stating the obvious, yes of course he’s grown, he’s a child, they grow. But it feels like he’s making such big leaps each day and now you really can’t keep your eye off him or he’s up the stairs or emptying the kitchen cupboards.
My blog has obviously been put on the backburner these last few months but my passion for cooking and baking definitely hasn’t. I’ve added to my cookbook collection and now have a lovely freestanding bookcase in the kitchen dedicated to all my cookbooks. In fact I’ll need another one before long, as it’s already full.
Whilst I’ll still go back to recipes by Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsay from time-to-time, I’ve found that the type of food I enjoy cooking has changed over the last year.
There has been a surge of cookbook writers that started out writing blogs from home just because they loved writing and cooking and wanted to share that passion with others. These are the books I find I keep reaching for now with their beautiful pictures and insightful stories around their chosen recipes. I’m currently devouring recipes from ‘Deliciously Ella’ and ‘Hemsley and Hemsley’. Forever trying out a different recipe each evening and sneaking in any extra recipes that require more baking when I can.
There has been a lot of PR around eating ‘whole foods’ and ‘raw foods’ and cutting out the processed sugar. And I’ve found ‘sought of without thinking’ that I’ve started doing this more and more. Not really for any other reason than I enjoy this type of food and cooking in this way. It’s fresh, vibrant and nutritious, what’s not to like. Don’t get me wrong, I still love to whip up cookies laden with butter, sugar and chocolate, but day-to-day our diet has slowly changed (much to my husband’s disgust when no white carbs have hit the dinner table in a while).
Old classics like shepherds pie have been given a new twist with cauliflower mash and where we used to have a pile of spaghetti, I’ve been putting the spiralizer to good use and making courgetti. I’ve introduced more seeds and ‘superfoods’ to my diet and where I used to buy protein balls like ‘Bounce’, I instead make them myself, which even if I do say so myself, are far superior.
I first came across buckwheat groats in a yoghurt granola parfait at Le Pain Quotidien and it took me a while to find them anywhere until I came across Planet Organic . Planet Organic is any foodie / health enthusiasts dream shop. Packed full of ‘raw’ ingredients with endless different flours, nuts and seeds on offer, it’s hard not to spend a fortune every time you visit.
I picked up a packet of the Buckwheat groats knowing I had to use them somehow and as luck would have it, I came across this fabulous recipe that made them the star of the breakfast.
I’ve always enjoyed making different types of granola but when I came across one using raw buckwheat groats and chai seeds as the binding agent, I knew I had to give it a try. This is literally the easiest granola to make, takes no time at all and is far better than any granola you’ll pick up in your local supermarket which of course will have added processed sugar in it and be twice the price.
Buckwheat Groats provide a real crunch to granola and whilst they take time to bake, actual ‘work time’ in the kitchen for you is minimal. Most of the recipe is just chucking the ingredients in a bowl and getting to enjoy the granola soaked in almond milk or piled on top of creamy coconut yoghurt. Alternatively, as I’m known to do, handfuls straight from the jar.
The toasted shredded coconut compliments the cinnamon flavour and the buckwheat clusters pack a massive punch of crunch. And I’m sure we’ll all agree, the reason people often love the store bought granola is that they manage to achieve the forever sort after cluster crunch. With this recipe you can’t fail.
I’ve enjoyed it with almond milk or coconut yoghurt and added extra fresh fruit depending on what we had in the fridge. It’s super versatile, easy to make and delivers on big flavours.
Make it. Enjoy it. And then make some more.
Cinnamon and buckwheat crunch granola
Recipe from Hemsley and Hemsley
Makes 1 large Kilners jar
For the buckwheat crunch:
250g sprouted buckwheat groats (you can buy these here)
3/4 tsp salt
3 ½ tbsp cinnamon
3 ½ tbsp maple syrup
2 ½ tbsp. chai seeds
2 ½ tbsp. coconut oil or butter
To add to your granola:
100g coconut flakes
50g pumpkin seeds
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and line a baking tray with parchment.
Place your sprouted buckwheat in a bowl with the rest of your buckwheat crunch ingredients and mix well so that the buckwheat is well covered and leave to sit for 20 minutes so that the chai seeds produce a gel that sticks your buckwheat together – this will help you to get the crunch.
Spread your coconut out on the baking try so that you have one layer and toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes. Every few minutes give your coconut a shake so that it is evenly toasted. Keep an eye on it though as it can go from toasted to burnt very very quickly. Set your coconut aside to cool.
Reduce the oven temp down to 140 degrees.
Spread your granola out on your second baking tray, ensuring it’s an even layer so that it bakes evenly (about 1cm thick).
Bake for 20 minutes then open the oven door to let some steam escape and then close the door and reduce the temperature of the oven again to 110 degrees.
Bake for a further 40 minutes and then leave to cool.
Once cool, using a spatula, gently turn sections of the granola so that it breaks up into chunks and clusters.
Mix your buckwheat clusters with your ‘granola extras’ and store in a glass jar / air tight container.
Serve with almond milk, coconut yoghurt, greek yoghurt or enjoy just on it’s own. You choose!