Dr. Greger in the Kitchen: Groatnola

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Dr. Greger whips up another of his go-to breakfast meals.

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Welcome to another edition of Dr. Greger in the Kitchen. Today, we’re going to be making “groatnola,” which arose out of my frustration with finding a healthy breakfast cereal. This is an SOS-free recipe with no salt, oil, or sugar, which is hard to find in the grocery store. There’s two last time I checked; one’s called Uncle Sam’s cereal, which is toasted, flattened wheat berries and flaxseeds. You get a little box; it’s expensive. And then, there’s some brands of muesli which don’t have any crap added, but I always find muesli kind of mushy. I love the breakfast cereal from my youth but just don’t want all that added garbage.

So, how about groatnola? Groats, of course, starting out with whole, intact grains, not just groats. Although we are actually not using a grain today at all, but buckwheat groats. Buckwheat, despite its name, has nothing to do with wheat; it’s not even a grain. It’s a starchy seed of a non-grass plant-family plant. So, we’re going to start by making these raw groats. We are going to cook a cup of them. If you have an Instant Pot, it’s one cup of buckwheat groats to a cup and a half of water, pressure cooked for five minutes. I don’t have an Instant Pot here, so we’re just going to cook it on the stove, but it only takes ten minutes. Then, we are going to nuke a sweet potato—a nice big, juicy, round sweet potato. We’re going to microwave it. It depends on your microwave…five minutes to ten minutes until it’s nice and juicy and delicious inside. We’ll be right back. And while we wait…ah, ten minutes is too much for burpees. So, I’m sorry, no burpees this time.

And we are back. Buckwheat is done. Throw that in a big mixing bowl. We have our sweet potato. Look at that beautiful color there. Don’t burn yourself. And then, use a potato masher or one of those a zigzag wire ones is a little easier, just to mash this together—the cooked buckwheat and the cooked sweet potato—until it all becomes nice and homogeneous. Okay, and then, we are going to put a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and a teaspoon of just plain cinnamon. It’s already smelling good. And then, we are going to add 12 cups of rolled oats. If you like big chunks, you can add less of the rolled oats and if you like it more like little crunchy bits, you can add more.

Now, if you have dogs at home, what I would do is wait to put the spices in until the end, and so then, you just have the three ingredients—the sweet potato, oats, and buckwheat, and you can roll them into little balls, and all four of my dogs love them. Of course, I don’t have any of my dogs here, so I just added the spices early, which makes it a little more evenly distributed throughout the mix. So, you just want to mix this until it’s down to little clumps. Now, this is going to make about three cookie trays worth of groatnola. I like making a whole big batch; so, this is one sweet potato’s worth of groatnola.

Okay, see, it’s this kind of chunky texture that you might see with regular granola. Then, take a cookie tray and put about a third of it on there, and basically you want kind of a single layer. You can smush it down. And then, put it in the oven at a low temperature: 250°F for two and a half hours. If you have a convection setting and can get some air circulating, that’s even better but optional. I put that in, and I have a tray that’s already done.

Alright, here’s the finished batch. As you can see it’s all light, crispy, medium chunky. It has the sweetness of the sweet potato; it has the intact groats from the buckwheat, the oat goodness. And then, do whatever you want to do in terms of granola. You can put it on a smoothie bowl, sprinkle it on some frozen banana soft-serve ice cream that you make in a blender or something. I just treat it like regular breakfast cereal. So, I have a groatnola base with some berries, some pumpkin seeds, some walnuts, and then, some cocoa powder, because I like everything chocolatey. Put some unsweetened soy milk on there, and you are good to go. You will have weeks of groatnola to enjoy.

Would you like some recipes? Go to the NutritionFacts.org recipe page, where you will find recipes where not just every recipe is health-promoting, but every ingredient of every recipe is health-promoting—a green light food, a whole plant food. So, wait a second, how do you make stuff sweet without sugar? How do you make stuff salty without salt? Those are some of the challenges that we took on to bring you healthy recipes at the NutritionFacts.org recipe page.

Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite go-to travel snacks. You will see me on airplanes whipping out my microwaved sweet potato. They make perfect hand warmers. I went to medical school in chilly Boston. During the winter, microwaved two sweet potatoes in the morning, put them in my jacket pockets to keep my hands nice and warm, and then a perfect, healthy snack for later on. Yeah, I love sweet potatoes.

Video produced by Adam Peditto. Motion graphics by Avo Media

Welcome to another edition of Dr. Greger in the Kitchen. Today, we’re going to be making “groatnola,” which arose out of my frustration with finding a healthy breakfast cereal. This is an SOS-free recipe with no salt, oil, or sugar, which is hard to find in the grocery store. There’s two last time I checked; one’s called Uncle Sam’s cereal, which is toasted, flattened wheat berries and flaxseeds. You get a little box; it’s expensive. And then, there’s some brands of muesli which don’t have any crap added, but I always find muesli kind of mushy. I love the breakfast cereal from my youth but just don’t want all that added garbage.

So, how about groatnola? Groats, of course, starting out with whole, intact grains, not just groats. Although we are actually not using a grain today at all, but buckwheat groats. Buckwheat, despite its name, has nothing to do with wheat; it’s not even a grain. It’s a starchy seed of a non-grass plant-family plant. So, we’re going to start by making these raw groats. We are going to cook a cup of them. If you have an Instant Pot, it’s one cup of buckwheat groats to a cup and a half of water, pressure cooked for five minutes. I don’t have an Instant Pot here, so we’re just going to cook it on the stove, but it only takes ten minutes. Then, we are going to nuke a sweet potato—a nice big, juicy, round sweet potato. We’re going to microwave it. It depends on your microwave…five minutes to ten minutes until it’s nice and juicy and delicious inside. We’ll be right back. And while we wait…ah, ten minutes is too much for burpees. So, I’m sorry, no burpees this time.

And we are back. Buckwheat is done. Throw that in a big mixing bowl. We have our sweet potato. Look at that beautiful color there. Don’t burn yourself. And then, use a potato masher or one of those a zigzag wire ones is a little easier, just to mash this together—the cooked buckwheat and the cooked sweet potato—until it all becomes nice and homogeneous. Okay, and then, we are going to put a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and a teaspoon of just plain cinnamon. It’s already smelling good. And then, we are going to add 12 cups of rolled oats. If you like big chunks, you can add less of the rolled oats and if you like it more like little crunchy bits, you can add more.

Now, if you have dogs at home, what I would do is wait to put the spices in until the end, and so then, you just have the three ingredients—the sweet potato, oats, and buckwheat, and you can roll them into little balls, and all four of my dogs love them. Of course, I don’t have any of my dogs here, so I just added the spices early, which makes it a little more evenly distributed throughout the mix. So, you just want to mix this until it’s down to little clumps. Now, this is going to make about three cookie trays worth of groatnola. I like making a whole big batch; so, this is one sweet potato’s worth of groatnola.

Okay, see, it’s this kind of chunky texture that you might see with regular granola. Then, take a cookie tray and put about a third of it on there, and basically you want kind of a single layer. You can smush it down. And then, put it in the oven at a low temperature: 250°F for two and a half hours. If you have a convection setting and can get some air circulating, that’s even better but optional. I put that in, and I have a tray that’s already done.

Alright, here’s the finished batch. As you can see it’s all light, crispy, medium chunky. It has the sweetness of the sweet potato; it has the intact groats from the buckwheat, the oat goodness. And then, do whatever you want to do in terms of granola. You can put it on a smoothie bowl, sprinkle it on some frozen banana soft-serve ice cream that you make in a blender or something. I just treat it like regular breakfast cereal. So, I have a groatnola base with some berries, some pumpkin seeds, some walnuts, and then, some cocoa powder, because I like everything chocolatey. Put some unsweetened soy milk on there, and you are good to go. You will have weeks of groatnola to enjoy.

Would you like some recipes? Go to the NutritionFacts.org recipe page, where you will find recipes where not just every recipe is health-promoting, but every ingredient of every recipe is health-promoting—a green light food, a whole plant food. So, wait a second, how do you make stuff sweet without sugar? How do you make stuff salty without salt? Those are some of the challenges that we took on to bring you healthy recipes at the NutritionFacts.org recipe page.

Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite go-to travel snacks. You will see me on airplanes whipping out my microwaved sweet potato. They make perfect hand warmers. I went to medical school in chilly Boston. During the winter, microwaved two sweet potatoes in the morning, put them in my jacket pockets to keep my hands nice and warm, and then a perfect, healthy snack for later on. Yeah, I love sweet potatoes.

Video produced by Adam Peditto. Motion graphics by Avo Media

Doctor's Note

Are my babies ADORABLE or what?! 

You can find the written version of this recipe here: Groatnola. And while you’re at it, check out our ever-growing collection of recipes, where all the ingredients are green-light and health-promoting.

My other “In the Kitchen” videos are My New Favorite Dessert, My New Favorite Beverage, and another of my breakfast favorites, Cran-Chocolate Pomegranate BROL Bowl. 

We also have a few recipe videos made by fans! Check them out:

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