Skip Sub-navigation

Healthy Living Recipes

Deb Morgan: September—the beginning of fall and the new school year—always signals new beginnings to me, so this month I offer two breakfast items to start your day. The first is our raw chocolate granola—think Cocoa Puffs gone wildly healthy and natural. This is not only a great breakfast cereal but is also wonderful as an afternoon snack or stirred into organic yogurt and topped with fresh fruit. My second offering is an Indian-inspired dish called upma, a wonderful, lightly spiced combination of veggies, nuts, and wheat or rice. It’s one of my personal favorites. Enjoy!

Raw Chocolate Granola

3 cups soaked and/or sprouted buckwheat
1 cup soaked pumpkin seeds
1 cup soaked almonds
1 cup soaked sunflower seeds
¾–1 cup agave (to taste)
½ cup raisins
¹⁄3 cup flaxseeds
¹⁄3 cup coconut (shredded or flakes)
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon vanilla powder
1 teaspoon salt

  1. Soak the buckwheat, seeds, and almonds for 6–8 hours or overnight (if you prefer sprouting buckwheat, plan ahead).
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl (I crumble the walnuts into little pieces before adding). A large spoon works well to mix everything up—but clean hands make the experience more fun! If you want a less chunky, more blended appearance, throw all the ingredients except the buckwheat into a food processor for 20–30 seconds, then transfer to bowl and stir in buckwheat.
  3. Spread on two Teflex sheets. Dehydrate at 115 degrees for 8–12 hours, or as long as it takes to get the level of crunch you like. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can turn your oven to the lowest setting and then keep the door open, using a thermometer to check for the right temperature. Technically, to be considered raw, the temperature should not go above 118 degrees.
  4. Indulge as a snack on its own or with seed or nut milk and fruit for breakfast.
Read John Bagnulo’s nutritional commentary: Buckwheat, Pumpkin Seeds, and Almonds

Because of three key ingredients, this is one of the healthiest, most nutrient-dense granolas you will find. Buckwheat, which is gluten free and more closely related to the rhubarb plant than any other, is an amazing source of the phytonutrient chiro inositol, which stabilizes blood sugar, and magnesium. Most Americans consume less than half the magnesium they need in a day, and this widespread deficiency contributes to high blood pressure, higher levels of heart disease, and a reduced ability to detoxify the blood. Chiro inositol has the ability to mimic the role of insulin, thereby lowering blood-sugar levels and providing more gradual blood-sugar changes.

Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of magnesium and an excellent source of other minerals, such as zinc. I consider pumpkin seeds to be one of the best overall nuts/seeds to supplement the diet. Almonds are also high in minerals, but additionally are approximately 72 percent monounsaturated fat, which promotes the fluidity of cell membranes and enhances cellular communication and overall function.

Upma

Makes about four servings.

2 tablespoons ghee (you can substitute safflower or grapeseed oil)
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons brown mustard seed
1 teaspoon cumin seed
Pinch of cayenne
Pinch of hing (asafoetida), if available

2 cups water
¹⁄3 cup diced potatoes
¹⁄3 cup diced carrots
¹⁄3 cup diced green peppers
2–3 tablespoons raisins
2–3 tablespoons cashew pieces
2 tablespoons organic sucanat or sugar

1 cup cream of wheat (which is traditional) or ground roasted rice (available in some stores as “rice cream”; don’t use rice flour)

Optional
Squeeze of lemon
Cilantro

First, make a broth using the water, potatoes, carrots, and peppers. Simmer until vegetables are tender. Keep it warm.

Next, heat the ghee or oil and add the spices. Stir until the mustard seeds begin to pop; be careful not to burn. Add the cream of wheat or rice and stir until it starts to become fragrant. Gradually add the broth with vegetables, plus the raisins, cashew pieces, and sucanat, until you reach the consistency you like. It will begin to lump—use a fork to fluff it. I like to keep it fluffy, but you may like it creamier.

Top with a squeeze of lemon and cilantro if you’d like.

Read John Bagnulo’s nutritional commentary: Upma

Turmeric is the single most anti-inflammatory spice identified to date. Adding two teaspoons of this spice to any dish on a regular basis can help lower a person’s risk for numerous inflammation-mediated diseases—why not start with breakfast?

Find more delicious and nutritious recipes in Kripalu Recipes.