This Cocoa Buckwheat Granola combines nutrient dense ingredients like coconut, buckwheat groats and pumpkin seeds to create a chocolate version with cocoa powder that tastes like Cocoa Krispies. It’s nut free, dairy free and can be made gluten free too.
I first became addicted to cacao granola from my lovely Insta friend Jenn Schuetz from The Rogue Baker. She has a recipe on her blog for a nut-free cacao granola which is also grain free. I used to make this quite often. Life has gotten busy and with so many other demands, granola fell off my radar for a while.
Granola comes in a variety of combinations. There are many wonderful granola recipes out on the web.
Why make your own granola?
The beauty of making your own granola is that you can control taste, flavor combinations, sugar and ingredients.
Being a mom of children with food allergies, store bought granola is not an option for us. Many store bought varieties use nuts and cross contamination is a concern. Plus with so many added sweeteners, it has become more of a dessert than a healthy snack or breakfast option.
Can you make granola without nuts?
I’ve also found that when nuts are missing in granola, you lose a crunch factor. So I wanted to incorporate the feeling of a toasty, nutty flavor but something that was safe for all of us to enjoy. Enter Sarah Britton from the much loved blog My New Roots. She has a chunky chocolate buckwheat granola recipe which people adore. The original recipe includes hazelnuts so I added pumpkin seeds instead. I’ve never tried buckwheat groats but my kids love buckwheat flour so I was very excited to experiment. They were the perfect addition because they added the nutty, crunch factor that I had been missing.
What if I don’t like dried fruit in my granola?
This recipe is very adaptable. I’ve included some additions on the bottom to play with depending upon your preferences. Whole grain rice puffs are a recent favorite discovery. Dried fruit is added for extra sweetness but you can leave out if you are sensitive to sugar. If leaving out, increase liquid sweetener to 1/2 cup.
For a twist and because my cherries were dry, I plumped them up by soaking with sweet aged balsamic vinegar. I drained before adding into the granola. The balsamic vinegar created just the right amount of tang to the cherries. This granola makes a big batch. Eat half now and freeze the rest to enjoy later ❤️
Cocoa Buckwheat Granola
Free from: Tree Nuts, Peanut, Egg, Sesame, Dairy, Soy. Gluten free option ( *See Notes)
Serving Size: Makes about 8 cups
- 3 cups rolled oats. Use certified gluten free for gluten free option
- 1/2 cup raw hulled whole grain buckwheat groats
- 1/2 cup whole grain unsweetened rice puffs
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder or raw cacao powder.
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup olive oil or avocado oil.
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoon maple syrup or Just Date Syrup. Or 1/2 cup if leaving out dried fruit.
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup dried cherries( optional)
- 1/4 cup dates( optional)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon sweet aged balsamic vinegar( to soak cherries)
Preheat oven to 300 F. Prepare two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine oats, buckwheat, rice puffs, coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, salt and cocoa powder. Set aside.
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt coconut oil. Add olive oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Whisk to combine until smooth and coconut oil is melted. Take off heat. Let cool for a minute.
Pour maple syrup mixture over dry ingredients. Stir to combine and coat evenly. Set aside.
Spread granola on baking sheets, dividing evenly. Press firmly with the back of spatula to ensure that the mixture is compact. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until toasted and fragrant. Rotate pan once to ensure even baking.
While granola is baking, mix cherries with balsamic vinegar into a small bowl. Set aside to soak until granola is done baking.
Remove from oven. Let sit without stirring on baking sheets and let cool completely. I place my sheets on top of a wire rack.
Drain cherries in colander. Into a separate large mixing bowl, add granola, breaking up large clumps. Add cherries and dates. Stir to evenly incorporate. Transfer and store in an airtight glass jar.
Granola will last for a few weeks in your pantry. Granola freezes well.
- The original recipe was written with a 1/2 cup of coconut oil. You can use all coconut oil if you choose. I found I like it better with a mix of oils.
- The dark color of this granola makes it hard to tell if it is cooked or not, so go by smell or taste. Each oven bakes at different speeds. It will crisp up as it cools.
- Dried fruit is optional. Leave out for a less sweetened granola and increase liquid ( maple or date syrup) to 1/2 cup.
- Granola freezes well up to three months.
- If you cannot find rice puffs leave out or replace with nuts/seeds of choice.
- 1/4-1/2 cup cacao nibs
- Other warming spices such as 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom or ginger are nice
* If you purchase any of the above mentioned products, I receive a small percentage from Amazon through their affiliate program.