Nutty Buckwheat Granola Bars

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I've just gotten back from a rather special week in New York City with my dear friend Melanie. I have much to say of the week that was in the city I'd often dreamt of seeing albeit through the eyes of Woody Allen and Sarah Jessica Parker. Whilst I gather my thoughts and words for that post I want to share these granola bars. This was my snack for the flight. The remaining bars I demolished on those cold early mornings fighting jetlag. These bars are far from anything commercial as they aren't particularly sweet which is why I love them. The tahini cuts through the rice and maple syrup for a pleasing aftertaste with the brown rice adding that lovely crunch against the handful of sweet cherries. The buckwheat groats is a super healthy alternative to the commonplace oats.

Buckwheat is protein rich and a good source for iron, vitamin B6 and magnesium. Despite the name it's not a grain but a seed from a plant relating to rhubarb and sorrel. It's often used in raw food diets and gluten free baking. It's pretty versatile and I have grown to love it's nutty taste in baked goods.

Nutty Buckwheat Granola Bars
These bars maintain their crunch for the better part of a week, beyond that it starts to get a little soft.

3 cups nuts of your choice (I used hazelnuts, almonds, cashews and brazil nuts)
1/3 cup buckwheat groats
1/3 cup unsweetened crisp brown rice cereal
1 tbsp dried unsweetened cherries, chopped or kept whole
1 tbsp desiccated coconut
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp vanilla powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp tahini

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius/400 degrees fahrenheit. Line a brownie tin with baking parchment paper.

Roughly chop the nuts and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the buckwheat, crisp rice, cherries, coconut, cinnamon and vanilla powder and salt. Stir to combine.

In a small saucepan combine the brown rice and maple syrup and heat gently. Once it starts to boil remove and stir in the tahini. Mix thoroughly and add to the dry ingredients. Combine until the mix is nice and moist before transferring to the brownie tin. Press evenly using a piece of parchment paper instead of the back of a spoon, I find this is easier and less messy. Once the granola is level and snug in the tin pop into the oven. Bake for approximately 13 minutes or until the granola is golden in colour. Remove and cool in the pan before lifting out of the tin to a chopping board. Cut into generous bars, I usually end up with about 10-12 pieces.