I promise I didn’t forget how to spell coconut. this cocoa-nutty granola has an amazing collection of flavors with edges of chocolate + blackstrap molasses with a sweet subtle hint of coconut. it’s complex but not mysterious; it’s highly approachable and would do just as well in a kid’s lunchbox as on top of a grown-up frozen treat (bourbon + vanilla bean ice cream pops rolled in crunchy granola?! yes plz). it’s the delicious finger-licking kind of granola, too, that has a crazy satisfying crunch and richness all by itself. if you’d like to think more highly of yourself and your granola aspirations than hovering over the sink going at it barehanded into a bucket of this granola, then consider this: it’s perfect on plain yogurt for a wholesome snack or breakfast.
and that festive orange bit on the bottom is the +sweetpotato version of my go-to breakfast buckwheat porridge. if you haven’t tried buckwheat before, stay with me: raw, untoasted buckwheat (not kasha, which is what apparently many people associate unfavorably with buckwheat anything) is mild, sweetly grassy, and can adapt to a multitude of flavor environments. buckwheat porridge never sweets me out or leave me light-headed like a bowl of oatmeal does, and I think buckwheat’s even easier and more forgiving to prepare. I have a food crush on buckwheat and I think if you give this porridge a try you might develop one, too. with the addition of spiced sweet potato, this buckwheat porridge is elevated to pie-like status which makes for a wholesome breakfast that eats like dessert and feels like victory. at this point in the farm season we’ve got hella sweet potatoes, but pumpkin or a dense, starchy squash would work brilliantly here, too. in any case the crispety crunchety molassesy granola sprinkled on top is just the best; an invigorating and refreshing change from the squishy fruit that usually adorns a hot bowl of breakfast porridge.
sweet potato pie buckwheat porridge with coconut chocolate molasses granola
inspired by minimalist baker’s sweet potato pie oats
this recipe might seem long and multi-steppy, but the process goes pretty darn smoothly, especially if you set yourself up the night before. when the granola is done baking, it can sit in the oven overnight while the buckwheat groats soak. you can bake the sweet potato the night before or microwave it for super quick convenience. all you’ll have to do in the morning is make porridge and top it off with your delicious homemade granola, fresh from the (cold) oven.
adapted from chunky chocolate buckwheat granola via my new roots
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup buckwheat groats (raw, untoasted)
1/2 – 1 cup pecans (I didn’t have any, but I think they’d be perfect)
a handful of cacao nibs
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
2-3 tablespoons honey/brown rice syrup
2-3 tablespoons molasses (I use blackstrap)
2-3 tablespoons cocoa powder or ground cacao nibs
1/2 sea salt
preheat oven to 300F and line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. combine the oats, groats, pecans, cacao nibs, and chia seeds in a large mixing bowl. survey the mix — if you want it to be a little more oaty/nutty, make it happen. on the stovetop in a small pan over medium-low heat, melt the coconut oil. add the sugar, honey/syrup, molasses, cocoa powder, and salt, and whisk till it’s all jiving. pour the wet mixture all over the top of the dry mixture and stir gently and thoroughly to coat.
pour granola onto the lined baking sheet and pat down with your hands or a spatula to cozy it all up and encourage clumpy clusters. bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour, stirring once maybe, and judging by smell to determine doneness. it won’t be crunchy or sticky/clumpy while it’s still hot, but as it cools it turns into legit granola. see notes.
scant 2/3 cup raw buckwheat groats
water + 1 tablespoon acid: vinegar/lemon juice/whey from yogurt, etc., for soaking
1.5 cups almond milk or water (see note)
1/2 – 1 cup mashed sweet potato (see notes)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon clove
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)
sweetener, to taste (maple, sugar, etc., — probably a few tablespoons)
wash and rinse the buckwheat groats well. place in a large bowl with plenty of clean water and allow to soak overnight/eight hours.
rinse well and drain soaked buckwheat groats. if you want, pulse them in a food processor* until they’re more like broken-down oats — see notes.
place a pot on the stove over medium heat. pour the almond milk/water in and bring it to a light boil. add the buckwheat groats and stir with a spatula, gently scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking. the groats are already softened from soaking and don’t need long to cook, so once they’ve started absorbing the liquid, add the mashed sweet potato, spices, and a small pinch of salt. when the liquid is absorbed and the consistency is to your liking (adding more almond milk/water if you want it soupier), turn off the heat, add your sweetener to taste along with vanilla, if using.
serve in bowls with a handful of the crunchy granola on top. bret liked his with a splash of milk on top and I preferred mine without. do your thing and enjoy!
- I knew I wanted my granola to be a little clumpy, so after reading a bunch of tricks (here, particularly in the comments) I decided to bake at a low heat (300-325F) and after baking, leave it in the oven (off) overnight. it worked, it was super easy, and I didn’t have to use up an egg white, so I was happy. if you’re not me and you remembered to buy honey (or brown rice syrup), that’ll help you get sticky clumps, too.
- using water in place of all or part of the almond milk for the porridge will give you a more vibrant sweet potato color, if that’s what you’re after. it’s probably what I’d do next time.
- process (or don’t) the soaked buckwheat groats to be as smooth or as chunky as you’d like. I think processing them smooth would give you a crazy serious pie-like consistency which would be a fun contrast to the crunchy seedy texture of the granola.
- you can bake the sweet potato, but if you’re lazy like I was, know that microwaving sweet potatoes works brilliantly — poke a bunch of holes in the potato with a fork, put the potato on in a microwave-safe dish, cover it with plastic wrap or a damp paper towel if you want, and zap it for five minutes or so (maybe eight minutes for a big tater), turning it over after three minutes. then just separate the orange flesh from the skin and mash with a fork. (don’t put this through a food processor or blender or the starches will bind up and turn to paste. not cool, man.
- you can use pumpkin pie spice in place of individual spices, if that’s what you have on hand. you could also make this with canned spiced pumpkin for total easy peasyland funtimes.
- if you love cinnamon but don’t have so much love for pumpkinpiespice-flavor, then just skip the ginger, clove, nutmeg.
*when we have guests, they almost always ask about our food processor, which lives on our countertop since we use it so regularly. it’s been a workhorse for us and I’ve recommended it to everyone who asks and thought I’d share here, too.