Narf7’s Bolshie Blissful Buckwheat Granola Clusters

Hi All

No, narf7 hasn’t eaten some “special” green granola and is having flashbacks to the 70’s (even though those were some SWEET times 😉 )…I found a recipe on Pinterest and decided to have a go at making it. As some of you know, I am a most prolific pinner of all things interesting on Pinterest. As a vegan who likes to make as many of her own foodstuffs as possible from scratch I watch Pinterest like a hawk because the vegan community are very inventive and like to share. I have been looking for something “interesting” but UBER healthy to eat for breakfast. There are only so many buckwheat smoothies and only so much buckwheat porridge that you can eat before you start to wish buckwheat had a bit of a wider repertoire. Well it does. Aside from delicious vegan buckwheat pancakes (which are probably next on the list to tick off…) there is this seemingly benign concoction that has opened my eyes up to the wonder of buckwheat all over again.

Buckwheat is the BOMB folks. It’s good stuff. It has all kinds of excellent health benefits but the one that really floats my boat is it is a wonder food for helping regulate circulatory problems. Coupled with the magic of sesame milk and the excellent backup of dates this heady trio packs an incredible nutritional punch whilst delivering some serious benefits including lowering the risk of heart disease. When I decided to limit the grains that I ate I decided to find something to fill the niche and buckwheat was my new Russian ally. Much like its Russian fermenty mate kombucha, it is relatively late to come to the narf7 party and prior to its inclusion I was a most suspicious narf7 whenever it came to thinking about eating buckwheat even though I do love a good yeasted buckwheat pancake.

So desperation often leads to serendipity and this was the buckwheat case. I love the stuff and the earthy depth of flavour that comes from this humble, easy to grow, drought tolerant, perfect cover crop for our climate (can there BE too many superlatives for this incredible cousin to rhubarb?) has made me even more determined to include it as a staple in my diet. Enter the buckwheaty granola recipe of happiness. I decided to give it a go because why not? I did have to manufacture some sunflower seed butter but that wasn’t a problem. I just toasted the seeds in my frypan, tossed them into my trusty VitaMix and made it growl till they turned into molten seedy lava after about 5 minutes of hard grind.

I mixed everything together after realising that I needed “applesauce” and not having any, decided to hurl all of the wet ingredients into the blender along with 2 cut up apples complete with skins and blend till smooth and not wanting to use whatever strange unguent “syrup” the recipe called for I used homemade date paste and the end results of the wet blend was amazing on its own. I would spread it on toast let alone mix it with granola.

Wendy from Quarter Acre Lifestyle (LINK LINK LINK) asked me if I would share the recipe and so here I am, sharing just for you Wendy and this recipe is well worth the effort. The results are scrumptious and healthy and nutritious and I can’t wait to mess around with this recipe to customise it and make it even more narf7 friendly. How about adding cocoa to the mix? Or instead of vanilla, substituting another essence like rose water or orange blossom water? How about juicing an orange and zesting the skin and throwing that into the mix along with the cocoa? Just about any fruit puree would work mixed through this healthy cereal alternative and I, for one, am really looking forwards to breakfast tomorrow 🙂

Blissful Buckwheat Granola Clusters

Taken from this website via Pinterest…

Adapted by narf7 due to necessity and sheer unmitigated laziness and sloth 😉

I doubled the recipe because aside from being lazy and not wanting to have to make it again for at least a couple of days, I like to make things in quantity. It makes me feel rich 🙂

So here is the amended recipe

Dry Ingredients: –

3 cups of raw buckwheat kernels (groats)

1 cup of leftover sesame seed pulp from making my sesame seed milk for my tea (SCORE! I love a good reuse 🙂 )

1 cup of raw sunflower seeds (hulled)

3 tsp cinnamon (the recipe would have called for 4 but I was using Dutch cinnamon which is much stronger in flavour so cut the amount down)

1 tsp fine ground Himalayan salt

1/2 cup coconut sugar but you could make date sugar and that would be even more preferable. I haven’t made it yet but you can find a really good recipe here…

Wet Ingredients: –

4 tbs unsweetened applesauce (I used 2 whole small red apples skin and all raw, blended into the mix but feel free to use applesauce if you have it)

1 cup homemade date paste (more than what was called for but date paste isn’t as sweet as other sugars and I really wanted the mix to stick together and form clusters)

6 tbs sunflower seed butter (or any other kind of butter or tahini)

2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat your covered bbq, or if you don’t want to live on the wild side like the crazy middle aged hippies at Serendipity Farm, preheat your oven, to 150C. Now I am quite sure that our bbq doesn’t go as low as that but I watched the granola like a hawk. Line a large baking sheet with baking paper/parchment paper.


The easy part…even I can mix raw buckwheat groats in with raw hulled sunflower seeds…


This is what remains of sesame seeds after you soak 2 cups of them and make sesame milk out of them. Here you see the leftover pulp. The recipe states that the author used almond pulp and I can’t see any difference so I used this. She also said “just leave it out if you don’t have it” so that’s what I am going to say to…”just leave it out if you don’t have any” 🙂


Add cinnamon “tick”…


Add coconut sugar and sea salt “tick”


This is what it looks like at this stage

2. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. If using leftover nut/seed pulp, it will remain a bit chunky but not to worry. If you didn’t have any nut/seed pulp spare you could always add a bit of fruit puree. I am going to experiment by using pureed cooked beans but then again, I am food eccentric to say the least!

3. In a smaller bowl (or your blender like I used) mix the wet ingredients until combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until the dry ingredients are well coated and wet.


Organic vanilla, homemade date paste (of which I am NEVER without these days) and the lazy narfs “applesauce”. I did chop the apple up and remove the core but the skin went in and my vitamix did the rest


This is around about where I got to this stage and it said “add sunflower seed butter”…err…sunflower seed butter?…”SUNFLOWER SEED BUTTER!” so after a frantic trip to the freezer I found a big bag of sunflower seeds (thank GOODNESS I am too lazy to have made that cinnamon sunflower seed butter I bought them for…) and quickly threw them into a big frypan to toast them…


Then I put them into my vitamix…


And made sunflower seed butter (good save narf!)


And when you mix in the appropriate amount with the vanilla, the apples and the date paste you end up with this which tasted AMAZING! I could have eaten this with a spoon out of the container (I DID eat this with a spoon out of the container 😉 ) but most of it lived to be part of the recipe…


Add the wet mix to the dry mix…


And you end up with something approximating this

4. Spread the mix onto the prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Bake at 150C for 20 minutes, roughly toss the granola at this stage and bake for another 18 – 20 minutes, watching it like a hawk so that it doesn’t burn. It will be light golden-brown on the bottom and hardens up a lot as it cools.


If I had used molasses or honey or something other than date paste I dare say the buckwheat mix wouldn’t have looked suspiciously like I was trying to make an enormous biscuit (cookie for you northerners) but I don’t eat sugar so date paste it was.


As I had to cook this in a covered bbq that hasn’t got a good temperature regulator it was inevitably going to get slightly “caramelised” but I nibbled those bits and they were delicious…BONUS!

5. Cool completely on the baking paper lined sheet and then store in a glass container for up to 3 – 4 weeks but I seriously doubt it will last that long. It is delicious just eaten out of hand as a healthy snack


And “Voila” tasty breakfast cereal that is eminently customisable, UBER nutritious, completely delicious and a small bowl fills you up for the whole day. What’s not to like?


It might not look at it’s best here but it has date paste and homemade sesame milk and a large mug (bucket) of tea as Sancho Panza to it’s Don Quixote and together they managed to duel my internal windmills most admirably 🙂


1. Don’t worry if you don’t have any almond pulp. You could use up juice pulp here if you like

2. If you don’t have date paste feel free to use coconut nectar, brown rice syrup, honey, maple syrup, agave, rapadura or even regular sugar if you don’t have a problem with it. Brown sugar would be nice. The syrup is so that the granola sticks together but so long as you have a good ratio of “sweet” to dry mix I reckon you are pretty safe and even if it doesn’t clump, who cares! It is delicious 🙂

Ok you lot, don’t say that I don’t share anything with you. This is something that you might want to hoard it is that good. Think of all the add-ins…chopped nuts, dried fruit, fruit pulp, vegetable pulp (I LOVE being able to use up food waste to good advantage 🙂 ), various spices could be added and you could make Chai buckwheat cereal…SO many variations are possible so feel free to head off now and get stuck in with making this delightfully healthy excuse to eat breakfast 🙂

By the way…with the rest of the sunflower seed butter I am going to make this…YUM!

And after the next batch (see…I am already planning on making more!) I am going to try this…

I just LOVE making things myself 🙂

If for some reason you DON’T like buckwheat (?!) here is another exemplary healthy version of breakfast cereal made with puffed rice that you could try just so’s you don’t feel left out 😉

Have a go and let me know if you like the results in the comments below 🙂

A rooster is just a set of bagpipes with feathers

Hi All,

I just finished my last Saturday’s post where I waffled about sushi and gloves. I must be getting officially “old”…if you read the post; you are obviously getting officially old as well ;). Misery LOVES company…would you like a rooster? I have 2 that love to crow under the deck at crazy hours. The sun isn’t going to be anywhere NEAR up till about 7am today and they are already crowing great guns under the deck at a place that approximates the direct area underneath my feet as I sit here typing at 4.21am. I just finished telling you about Sarah’s amazing gift of a wonderful pair of hand knitted wrist warming finger and thumbless mitts and I am wearing the mitts as I type. They are akin to when your teenager insists on you buying them a specific jumper/jacket and then proceed to cut a hole in said (very expensive) jumper/jacket about 2 ½ inches (or 5cm for we enlightened folk) from the cuff just so they can stick their thumb through it and wear their jumper/jacket as a glove as well as a coat. I love them FAR beyond their physical presence because these gloves are giving me the impetus to get knitting again where there wasn’t even an inkling of a desire to knit prior to their arrival


You can almost hear the roosters crowing in the background can’t you? 😉


Early morning on Serendipity Farm with the obvious chance of precipitation 😉

Earl needs a coat. Earl is an amazing creation of muscle and scars and bones that all combine to create something that nature surely couldn’t produce without worrying about the result as soon as she stood back to take a look at her creation. Earl also has a curious lack of hair. He comes from South Australia and to anyone who isn’t an Aussie that means he comes from the equivalent of the Gobi Desert. It’s hot there folks…hot for an extended period of the year…hot and dry and perhaps dogs are starting to go through a form of natural selection that allows them to live their lives with less hair to keep them cooler. The problem is when you move a South Australian dog that has little hair and lots of body mass down to the Australian equivalent of the South Pole and winter hits… Earl loves to walk. He would walk all day if you let him. The problem is that Earl not only has very little hair, but the hair that he does have sheds. He must grow hair like sharks grow teeth, constantly, because I spend my days sweeping our wooden floors and rugs and get the equivalent of a small red and white mammal worth of hair from these rugs courtesy of Earl each day.


Steve tapping in one of the poles for the fully enclosed vegetable garden


This shot shows you the area that we are currently working in to build our fully enclosed vegetable garden. You can see the wood shed and the glass house and the existing vegetable gardens in the shot along with lots and LOTS of rocks and the trees that we had to cut down to ensure the garden gets enough sunshine

We can’t not walk Earl…we do so at our peril because when Earl gets bored, he eats the furniture. We have been warned! Knowing almost everyone in your neighbourhood has its perils as well. When you walk daily you become part of other people’s routines. Through the week we walk at roughly the same time every day. We pass the same people on their same journeys to work and school and these people have claimed us as part of their routine…they wave at us now. We have NO idea who these people are, but we are kindred spirits on that early morning journey to and from life. We are peripherals to other people’s routines and lives and as such they think that they own us. We get stopped a lot and called to from balconies and we chat and Earl sits shivering beside us looking up at us imploring us to “MOVE!”. Earl needs a coat. I was tempted to take my newfound desire to knit and render it Earl shaped…I could use up all of my leftover bits and pieces of wool and make Earl his own coat of many colours…Earl would like that. It would last for the first couple of kilometres until Earl found a bit to chew and by the end of the walk, Earl would have unravelled most of it and there would be a long trail of evidence leading from wherever we just walked all the way to our front gate! ”Busted sunshine!”…sigh…


We are (in our minds) cleverly going to use these 2 eucalyptus trees as a basis for our gating system for our large fully enclosed garden. Here you can see Steve working on another pole and can get a bit of scale regarding the area

I won’t be knitting Earl a jumper any day soon. I am not (despite what I might seem) a stupid woman. We will pay some middle man (most probably from Korea where dogs are prized for more than their ability to guard a house 😉 ) to deliver a waterproof, cotton lined equivalent of a flak jacket made from sensible oilcloth that will lend Earl a sophisticated “Gentleman about town” look. Bezial won’t be needing a coat “thank you VERY much”. He has thick black fur that covers him entirely, courtesy of that small portion of him that shrieks “LABRADOR”. He might look like an American Staffordshire terrier…he might act like an American Staffordshire terrier, but that tiny little bit of Labrador is reflected in his fur, his appetite and his overwhelming desire to seek out water and delight in its comeliness at all times. Forget the coat; Bezial is on Labrador time…


All of the poles had been hammered into the ground here and this shot is to try to give you a bit of perspective on where the garden is going to go. The existing veggie gardens take up approximately one quarter of the area that the large new garden will give us and are situated inside the parameters of the new garden area


One of Steve’s newly concreted in poles. The branches from the felled trees are going to become a hugelkultur base for the new garden beds and the wood will be stored for next years firewood…nothing gets wasted on Serendipity Farm if we can possibly help it.

We got 3 days of rain last week and we are making hay while the sun shines and for once, Mr Jamie Oliver’s overuse of and entirely inappropriate use of the vernacular “literally” is quite honestly a reasonable word to use for our current situation. I started attempting to add porridge oats back into my morning routine now that I have hit my magic “ideal weight” but have discovered that oats give me a headache. I was wondering why I kept getting headaches. I stopped getting them when I reintroduced my morning green smoothies and they started again when I reintroduced porridge. It was the ONLY explanation and as an oat and porridge lover from way back I feel cheated. What could I eat that could take the place of the ubiquitous stomach filling long lasting humble (cheap) oat? I had to take to the internet to find out. I arrived at a few of the more exotic grains that I really didn’t want to imbibe on a regular basis (read expensive…) and bypassed them quickly. What I arrived at can be grown here on Serendipity Farm as a cover crop and loves our temperate climate… “Buckwheat”…the humble soul food of pancake creations made its über healthy self both obvious and noticeable.


Spot the little wren with an insect she found in the hole that Steve dug


I stood back to try to get you an idea of the scope of this garden but at the end of the day its just HUGE… 🙂 About the size of a standard tennis court.

Buckwheat? Who eats buckwheat! I don’t really know who eats is apart from the Russians and Canadians but now narf7 eats it as well. I decided to try making it like porridge. I got some raw groats (that’s what they are called folks) that I had in a container in our middle room pantry shelf and I ground them into buckwheat flour in my Vitamix. I then added a teaspoon of dried ginger because ginger makes EVERYTHING better for narf7. I added a couple of generous scoops of cocoa powder because choc-ginger makes a suspicious food a whole lot more tempting and hopefully the combination of flavours might just cover up any strange flavours that buckwheat might offer into the mix. I then tipped this floury brown mix into a saucepan and used some date syrup (the mix that results from the leftover date paste in the bottom of my Vitamix that I am
too lazy to scrape out and just whizz up with the date soaking water to make a thinner sweet syrupy date mix) to sweeten the mix. Date paste and syrup are nowhere near as sweet as sugar but add a subtle hint of sweetness to whatever you add them to along with a big hit of fibre and nutrition (especially iron). I started to stir the floury mix into the syrupy mix and become somewhat alarmed at the resulting gloopy looking mix. After smoothing out the lumps it had a decided slimy sort of texture…not promising folks!


We are still trying to work out what to do with that little ride on lawn mower behind the trunk of the tree on the left hand side of this shot…any ideas? Using it for it’s original intention isn’t an option due to the steep gradients and rock infested tundra on Serendipity Farm


You can tell that Steve has done this before…

I suspiciously put the pan onto the hob and stirred it all together with a wooden spoon. I figured it would react like oats do and would thicken…I was right! Buckwheat might be slimy when it is in its unheated form but as soon as the temperature reaches the equivalent of 88 miles per hour (do yourselves a favour if you don’t know what I am talking about there and watch the “Back to the Future” trilogy, thank me later…) it suddenly seizes and turns into cement. My absent minded stirring suddenly turned into a wrestling match between the buckwheat and I for possession of the spoon and I am ashamed to admit, the buckwheat won! What grain is this that can best a well-honed human bicep in an arm wrestling match and claim the spoon eh? Now I was afraid! I was just about to put this creature into my intestinal tract to see if it could tango!


In a past life Steve used to be very proficient with concrete…a skill that has come in handy more than once since we moved to Serendipity Farm


Left over concrete mix that we then decided to use to try to fill in some of the worst holes in our driveway (see Kym, we DO think of you 😉 )

I scraped the resulting “porridge” (for want of a better word), still containing my wooden spoon, into a bowl. It sat there stiffly with the spoon poking out of it at a jaunty angle and I eyeballed it closely. It seemed innocuous enough, and after pulling my spoon out of its thick mass with a primordial “schlepp” I considered how I was going to tackle this mound of buckwheat, ginger and cocoa. I decided to eat it plain, without non-dairy milk or kefir so that I could get a true representation of its “flavour”. Flavour isn’t an issue with me by the way folks, I sometimes eat strange things simply because they are good for me as a vegan and I was prepared for “strange” and willing to wear it for the sake of something that would stick to my ribs and last for half a day. I stuck a dessert spoon into the mound and got the distinct impression of when an arrow goes into a dartboard and just “stops”. I had just been warned…


We got these metal poles for free so Steve cleverly made a stanchion with some offcuts to brace this corner pole and make it a whole lot stronger. We want this fully enclosed vegetable garden to last!


Earl on patrol

I forced my way into the mass of buckwheat and started to eat. Buckwheat has a nice mild nutty flavour that is quite pleasant and after researching it prior to eating it I know it is cram packed with gluten free nutrition. I ate spoon after spoon of this dense creation with increasing enjoyment when suddenly I hit the equivalent of a runners “wall” or a career forgers “glass ceiling”…half a bowl in and buckwheat made itself known to my stomach in no uncertain terms. It told my stomach “you are now full…do NOT eat any more buckwheat…proceed to go/work and do not collect $200 because you are not going to need it, you are officially FULL WOMAN”. I don’t “fill” easily. I find it difficult to believe that half a bowl of buckwheat was going to fill me up. I foolishly carried on to finish the bowl… the equivalent bowl of porridge oats would have satiated me nicely until lunch time. This bowl of buckwheat spent the rest of the day reminding me that I should have stopped at half the bowl and that buckwheat porridge is the equivalent of eating house bricks in powdered form. I only regained “hunger” at 6pm that evening! I have learned my lesson…I will eat buckwheat porridge on a regular basis but half the amount I ate the other day. “You have bested me again buckwheat! You are a true master of seeds; I bow and concede to your superiority”


The two grey areas on our driveway were, prior to this photo, very large holes. We are attempting to try to fix the deep furrows on our driveway so that Kym can actually drive up in August, rather than park at the church and walk 😉

Every Saturday, without fail, I inflict Armageddon on the localised population of spiders that live indoors on Serendipity Farm. I guess “Armageddon” might be too stiff a word for it and a more appropriate explanation might be the end results of a very strong storm when it relocates houses and flotsam and jetsam from where they were located before, to a new location. In my case I vacuum and clean on a Saturday. I am particularly careful not to vacuum up spiders. I don’t like killing things because you just never know…reincarnation might just be part of our life cycle and I might have just hoovered up someone’s uncle Ernie. If you were a bit of a deadbeat in your past life you might end up in Serendipity Farms spider population…you weren’t bad, just a lazy person who didn’t pull their weight and who just wasted their life bumming around but because you didn’t actually affect anyone aside from yourself and your long suffering mother (especially if she was Jewish and REALLY wanted a lawyer-doctor-specialist-insert other high paying career here… for a son/daughter), you are allowed to live someplace where you are considered to be part of the ethos and given some kind of “rights”.


These 2 seedpods have made me VERY happy. This brachychiton tree was on it’s last legs a few years ago but it seems to have recovered now and had flowers for the first time in years this year and it has produced seed pods! Steve and I can now harvest these seed pods and grow some more brachychitons that are especially hardy for our local area

Bad people get reincarnated at my sister’s house. If you cheated, you lied, you broke people’s hearts and you were generally a bit of a nasty piece of work you might find yourself waking up in an arachnid’s body in the home of an arachnophobe. My sister could care less about spiders but her partner hates them…with a passion…any spider stumbling into his pathway is likely to have a VERY short reincarnation adjustment period and will return to be reprogrammed as something equally as insidious quick smart on the flat side of an enormous flip-flop (we call them “thongs” here in Australia BUT knowing that “thongs” also have another connotation elsewhere in the world I wouldn’t want ANYONE thinking that Jason wears men’s string underpants and likes to sit on spiders…kinky stuff Jase…kinky stuff ;)…most probably as a cockroach on Serendipity Farm where narf7 will reveal that cockroaches are one of the ONLY things that she hates with a passion and you will get fed to ducky quick smart…you might want to start mending your ways as after me it gets worse!


Isn’t our Japanese maple putting on a lovely show this year? Another sign that our trees think we are living in Canada and that it is going to be VERY cold this year

Anyhoo…I vacuum and I tidy and I clean once a week in earnest. Most other days I give a few rudimentary sweeps to stop Earls rapidly shed hair from accumulating too much and forming into a small rodent that might or might not predate my stocks of seed in my pantry but on Saturday I get stuck in and put the boot into the dirt population on Serendipity Farm. I have to lock the doors as Earl hates the vacuum cleaner and tries to kill it if given the chance…only when it is actually on and only when the vacuum cleaner head is off and he can grab the hose and bite it. A specific vacuum cleaner serial killer is our Earl…I have to lure him (cleverly) from room to room and then shut doors and make sure he can’t get in. Earl is clever; he can push doors open with his paws and his nose so we have little latches everywhere so that we can vacuum in peace rather than pieces.


Steve took this awesome motion blur shot with his new camera and without the aid of a tripod…apparently it’s VERY hard to take a shot like this without a tripod but when you forgot it, and you are 50km away from home, you do what you have to do 😉


Steve took this lovely autumnal shot when we were in Beauty Point taking some photos for our final Digital Imaging assessment earlier in the week and walking the dogs at the same time. I think it goes to show just how pretty the area that we live in actually is. Tassie…you might be broke, but you are easy on the eye! 😉

If I had the equivalent of hurricane Katrina hit me where it hurts and remove my house and my possessions I would head off to someplace where there were NO hurricanes, no cyclones, no earthquakes, no anything really…the Ozarks perchance…I would head for the hills and I wouldn’t come back because I have a rudimentary brain stem and I can learn things and “FOOL ME ONCE NATURE!”. Apparently spiders are either missing that rudimentary brain stem that allows them a degree of memory and thus choice, or they really ARE lazy buggers from another life who just wait for me to finish and start spinning again…”whew Bruce…that was a close one wasn’t it? She got pretty close to me today…I saw you standing up to her…you’re a HERO mate! Remind me to shout you a fly next time I catch one…” and the cycle goes on…suck down their empire on Saturday and by Sunday they are working on a new one


Steve put my new craypot (from the progressive garage sale) on the deck rail. We are still waiting for crayfish…none yet…

Steve is digging holes for Queen and country. He needs to dig 8 holes today and has been dreading it for weeks. Hopefully someone up there takes pity on him and makes the soil where he chooses to dig nice and soft and rock free and he returns at lunch time in triumph with his spade over his shoulder feeling pretty good about himself. The sad truth is that he is likely to be still working on hole 4 at 5.30pm when the sun is almost gone and his back and spirit are almost broken. I, in return for him kindly not expecting me to help him dig holes, am doing all the cleaning myself. I am baking him biscuits (cookies to you Americans), I am keeping the fire going and I am going to make him his new favourite Stromboli for his dinner tonight. I have just taken a brief hiatus to type out this final paragraph here because I formulated the second half of this post while I was vacuuming around spiders…it’s a funny world isn’t it folks! Have a great rest of your week and remember, if you suddenly find yourself waking up after being unexpectedly hit by a bus and you didn’t really do very much wrong in your life but you weren’t a shining example of humanity either, you might just find yourself a spider on the wall on Serendipity Farm ;)…I guess there are worse things to be…aren’t there Jason! 😉


The last of the liquidambar leaves just about to head south for the winter…