September—the beginning of fall and the new school year—always signals new beginnings, so this week our Kripalu Recipe offers a healthy breakfast item to start your day. Raw chocolate granola—think Cocoa Puffs gone wildly healthy and natural—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.
Raw Chocolate Granola Recipe
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 plus 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon vanilla powder
1 teaspoon salt
- Soak the buckwheat, seeds, and almonds for 6 to 8 hours or overnight (if you prefer sprouting buckwheat, plan ahead).
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl (you can 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 to 30 seconds, then transfer to bowl and stir in buckwheat.
- Spread on two Teflex sheets. Dehydrate at 115 degrees for 8 to 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 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.
Nutritional Commentary: Buckwheat, Pumpkin, and Almond
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.