John and I had a great time in Barbados last week. I love that island. It’s always hot and sunny, and it’s the perfect temperature at night. I didn’t even bring one sweater or wrap (ok, I actually totally forgot, but I wouldn’t have needed it)!
The resort food was simple, but really good, and I didn’t leave feeling gross, which can happen after an all-inclusive vacation.
I had a veggie omelet or poached egg and tropical, local fruits every morning. Lunch and dinner usually consisted of fresh, local fish such as butter fish, flying fish or mahi mahi with roasted pumpkin. I also really enjoyed their local black belly lamb and of course Banks beer and their famous Mount Gay Rum (we may have sampled a few rums in the picture below).
We were even lucky enough to have fresh coconut water. The local guys would climb up a palm tree, pick a coconut, cut the top open and hand it over. It was so good, and it doesn’t get fresher than that!
The best was waking up every morning without an alarm clock, going for a jog or walk on the beach, and then jumping into the cool, clear turquoise ocean – the definition of my perfect morning.
We got back on Monday and I had some cooking and baking to make up for so I decided to experiment with buckwheat groats.
Buckwheat groats are a gluten-free seed, and can be boiled and eaten for breakfast like oatmeal or roasted and made into a crunchy granola. They can be a substitute for rice at dinner, and are also available as noodles (also called soba – make sure they are wheat-free). You can also buy buckwheat flour to make gluten-free muffins, cookies or pancakes.
Even though I don’t have a sensitivity to gluten; I like eating gluten-free grains from time to time. Gluten is a sticky protein found in wheat, which can be hard to digest, and is actually one of the most common food allergens. People who are allergic to gluten (or celiac) can experience symptoms like bloating, gas, headaches, fatigue, nausea, etc.
Give your digestive system a break, and try this recipe for buckwheat granola. It’s amazing on its own as a healthy dessert, or as a crunchy, sweet topping on oatmeal, my Homemade Cereal (I’ve been doing half oats, half buckwheat granola) or yogurt. I adapted this recipe from Oh She Glows – enjoy!
Crunchy Buckwheat Granola
1 ½ cups of buckwheat groats (available at Bulk Barn or health food store)
1/3 cup ground flaxseed
½ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup coconut palm sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp coconut or grapeseed oil
¼ cup unpasteurized honey
3 tbsp almond butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
In a small bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients until smooth.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir until combined. You may have to add a bit more almond butter and honey if your mixture isn’t sticking together.
Spread mixture out on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and loosely toss. Bake for an additional 15 – 18 minutes.
Let mixture cool on baking sheet (this is when it gets really crispy).
Once cooled, store in an air-tight container in the fridge.
Will keep for 2 weeks (if you can manage to make it last that long without eating it all).