Hands up who loved Coco Pops or Rice Bubbles for breakfast when they were kids? I for one, was a Coco Pop Princess. My day commenced with hearing the “snap, crackle, pop” of rice puffed cereal swimming in milk.
This favourite childhood snack of mine is traditionally devoid of nutritional value – cue white rice and generous lashings of white sugar and preservatives. I loved Coco Pops made into bars (similar to the Kellogg’s LCM crispy treat bars you find in the supermarkets) and set about imitating it.
But briefly, here’s some information on buckwheat. The first foods that come to mind are soba noodles and buckwheat pancakes. A reliable option for the gluten-intolerant, buckwheat flour is used in baking, replaces barley in the manufacturing of gluten-free beer and is a protein-packed nutritious substitute for rice. It’s adaptable to use in almost any recipe – buckwheat porridge or buckwheat stuffed capsicums anyone?
The health benefits of buckwheat consumption include improving blood flow, lowering blood pressure and diabetes, and the prevention of gall stones, heart disease, heart failure and breast cancer among others. The nutritional content is impressive.
- Loaded with minerals – high in manganese, fibre, copper and magnesium; contains calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, selenium
- Low in saturated fat and sodium
- No sugar or cholesterol
- High in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, protein and essential amino acids
- Vitamin-rich – thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid
Alright, without further ado is the recipe for raw veganised ‘rice crispy treats’.
1 1/2 cups sprouted buckwheat groats
1/2 cup chopped dates – soaked in filtered water the day before
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 heaped tbs tahini
1 heaped tbs coconut oil
1/4 cup chopped nuts of choice (I mixed almond and cashew together)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
A few days beforehand….
Firstly, soak the buckwheat groats in filtered water. I covered them overnight.
The next day wash the ‘sludge’ off thoroughly, drain them and give them a rinse with water. I rinsed daily for about 4 days.
You can tell when they’re done as little tails start sprouting, signifying that nutritional content is at optimum levels.
I left the sprouted buckwheat out overnight as the humidity was low and I am operating sans dehydrator. It worked a treat.
They’re now ready to be consumed!
The day before….
Soak the dates in enough water to cover them. If you’re short on time soak for about 20 mins in warm water, until they soften.
Now finally the how-to…
- Remove the dates from their water but save it in case you need some of the liquid.
- Use a food processor to blend the dates, vanilla, sea salt, tahini, coconut oil, cacao powder and cinnamon until a paste forms.
- Turn off the food processor and mix in the sprouted buckwheat and chopped nuts until well combined. Add some date soaking water if necessary, working slowly and bit by bit.
- Scoop out mixture into a pan or baking tray, flatten with a spatula or back of a spoon. You can also shape into balls if you prefer.
- Freeze for at least 30 minutes to allow it to firm.
- Cut into slices with a sharp knife. Store the bars in the freezer for extra crunch
I’ve tried making them with prunes (instead of dates) and carob powder (instead of cacao) for a slight variation on flavour as well. Tested both versions on my friends’ children – there was a flurry of seconds, thirds and enthusiastic finger-licking!
Next time I’ll try out an adulterated version, chai or coffee flavoured? Let me know what flavours you come up with.