Raw, Vegan Cheater’s Granola

Raw vegan cheaters granola

It’s Friday! Phew—this week felt pretty long, and in spite of that I keep having to remind myself that my more intensive coursework hasn’t even begun yet. I wonder what Juy will be like?

For the last few weeks, you’ve all patiently listened to me speculate on how I can find a breakfast option that’s super filling (has to hold me from 8 or 9 am to 3 pm, often with a workout squeezed in) but also not too hot in these summer temperatures. Smoothies, no matter how voluminous or full of fat and protein, tend not to sate me entirely (this may very well be a texture thing: I didn’t chew, so I don’t feel “full”). So I’ve been opting for big chia puddings—most recently my very berry chia hemp pudding—and also for overnight chia+grain concoctions (like my superfoods breakfast bowl). I plan on experimenting with some healthy vegan pancakes, and I even came up with at least one baked good (my blueberry oat bars) that managed not to feel like air, and tide me over for a few hours.

Right before I left for DC, I made a raw, vegan granola recipe that was truly the best I’d ever attempted (maybe one of the best I’ve eaten, too). I haven’t made any more since I got here, and I keep saying I will. Last Saturday, as I prepared for a day of hiking in Virginia, I was struck by a strong hankering for raw granola (“rawnola,” to use the parlance), but realized that I didn’t have time to dehydrate a batch of my new favorite mixture. Instead, I decided to throw together a “cheater’s” bowl of buckwheat, sunflower seeds, hemp, spices, and raisins, and to top it all off with fruit and some homemade almond milk. It had the same effect as real granola, and it tasted almost as good (though not as sweet). I figured I’d share the recipe with you all, since I know I have a lot of busy readers without time (or dehydrators) to spare.

Dehydrated or baked granola is wonderful, and I won’t be supplanting all of my granola cravings with this little slapdash method. But it’s a fast, easy solution to the question of “what can I eat for breakfast that’s filling, nutrient dense, fast, and easy?” Enjoy it.

IMG_6661 (525x350)

Raw, Vegan “Cheater’s” Granola (raw, vegan, gluten and soy free)

Serves 1 Hungry Person

1/2 cup dehydrated buckwheat (follow my method in this post)
2 tbsp sunflower seeds (raw or roasted)
1 tbsp hemp seeds
2 tbsp raisins, dried cranberries, or dried currants
1 tbsp cacao nibs
1 tsp cinnamon
1 medium banana, chopped
1/3 cup blueberries
Almond milk

1) Mix the buckwheat, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, raisins, and cacao nibs in a bowl with a tsp of cinnamon.

2) Place your banana and berries in a bowl. Pour the cheater’s granola over them, and then soak it all in almond milk.

3) Dig in.

IMG_6664 (525x350)

Raw vegan cheaters granola

I’d say this bowl is good for one person with a big appetite or a busy schedule, and good for two people as an afternoon snack. Could it get any quicker or easier? Check out how nice and messy it gets after you mix it all up:

IMG_6665 (525x350)


For the record, that is indeed a Zabar’s cup you see up there. The Upper West Side travels with me.

Coming Out As a Blogger

So, my funny experience of the week was learning that a few of my fellow post-baccs have now read my blog, or at least looked at it. This is because I told them about it, so I guess I shouldn’t feel odd, but it’s also always a shock (albeit a flattering shock) to realize that people actually care. I’m right now involved with a very special group of post-baccs as a research associate (this means we’ll all be doing research work together at Georgetown Hospital, and possibly weaving some of our findings into a real study), and my first reaction to watching them pull up my URL on their iPhones or tell me in class that they’d checked the blog out was to feel unworthy of their interest. But when a fellow RA (who had just been asking lots of questions about veganism and how it works) exclaimed “those look awesome!” to my black bean enchiladas, I felt really happy.

It’s funny: I think my blog voice is pretty representative of who I am, minus a few f-bombs and some snarkiness that I try to confine to my waking life. But I always wonder how my blog voice matches my real-life persona to the people who meet me outside of the blog. Do my fellow post-bacc students see me in my blog? I’m don’t know. I guess I hope they do, because I try to pour the best of myself into what I write here each day.

Fellow bloggers, how do you feel about sharing your blog with people in your life who don’t really connect to it—coworkers, for instance, or distant family? Does it feel strange? How closely do you think your blog represents you? Is it a side of yourself that you actually reserve for the cyber-world, or is it very much an accurate portrait of your everyday persona?

I find this fascinating!

Happy wkd…


This post may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission. Visit my privacy policy to learn more.

Categories: Breakfast
Dietary Preferences: Gluten Free, Raw

Leave a Comment

Star ratings help other readers to find my recipes online. If you loved this recipe, would you please consider giving it a star rating with your comment?

Thank you for your feedback. I'm grateful for your presence in this space!


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Hi, I can’t wait to try this, along with lots of other delicious sounding recipes I have seen! I was just wondering, do you use whole hemp seeds or de-shelled hemp seed in this recipe? Thanks 🙂

  2. I do not have a dehydrator yet (‘m still recovering from spending a good bit of money on my blendtec but I have used it over 200 times already in the last five months) but I do eat raw buckwheat groats soaked and sometimes sprouted and add fresh fruit and nuts. I love to add cinammon too. A very simple but filling breakfast indeed! Goes well for canoe or backpack camping too.

    I love my morning fresh green juices but like you I need something more substantial to get me through work and school and exercise every day. I also learned a lesson not to drink my juices before my morning yoga classes because I am nearly crawling out of class to find a bathroom by the end. I dont have that problem with the cheaters granola. 🙂

  3. Hi Gena, I know this is an older post, but I wanted to tell you how much I adore this raw “cheater” granola. I have been trying to beat my pricey store-bought “Millet cereal” addiction for years. Even though my kitchen is constantly stocked with a giant jar of homemade sprouted buckwheat, I have never found a way to really enjoy it on it’s own and use it mainly as a smoothie topping or grind it into flour. Well I think I just found my new cereal replacement 🙂 I love the different textures and Earthy flavors, and as a bonus it takes me 3 minutes to prep. Thank you!!!

  4. For a long time I felt odd about having a blog – mainly because I Had a couple of friends who would do the whole “but you blogged today, why havent you had time to email me/call me back” – you get the idea. Fortunately, that has not happened in a couple of years. Paradoxically, the more I have shared about my life, the less odd I feel about the blog generally – I think maybe because now it is all of me. I do have several friends and acquaintances who say they find my meals not to their taste and/or who have gotten defensive about their food choices, but I try to remind them the blog is not about judging them.

  5. I really need to get my hands on some buckwheat. I share my blog posts on my facebook, which my friends and coworkers have access too. I feel like my blog is representative of who I am in real life, except at work. I’ve been trying to “come out” more at work so my coworker friends can see who I really am- a creative spirit devoted to wellness and helping other- and it’s feeling more comfortable. My supervisor is even getting interesting in intuitive eating!

  6. I love your real life snarkiness; however, I love your blog tone as well–and they really aren’t too different, as you say. I don’t tell to many people, for many reasons, I don’t want people I work with or that work for me seeing it. I am a little shy about it too! It’s a strange paradox that I am often more comfortable letting strangers know so much about my life, and rarely tell people I hang out with regularly.

    Back to the rawnola! it looks awesome! You’re hiking? Crazy xo

  7. Love the Zabar’s cup! I have the same one:) Did you hear about H&H bagels closing??? So depressing:(

  8. I always like to have some dehydrated buckwheat on hand (:
    There are quite a few people who I ‘really’ know who know about my blog…I did find it a bit weird first, but now not so much. Because I try and keep my blog as true to myself as possible. You put it perfectly though; it’s the very best of me.
    And you should be so proud of choosing raw!

  9. It’s funny you mention this. I never share my blog unless the conversation leads to it or the other person asks. I’ve often wondered if I was the only blogger who did that. Lol.

  10. Did I totally miss something? The cheat was to save time and not use a dehydrator, but the first ingredient is dehydrated buckwheat! We’re also supposed to follow the method in this post but I see no method. What do we do? I don’t have a dehydrator nor do I have the time to bother, that’s why I love this post but it’s not really cheating at all! I’ll try with almonds today and see how that goes. Thanks!

    • Jen,

      I can see why the title’s misleading, but I think the point was that you can dehydrate the buckwheat another time in advance, and then on the day of, just throw seperate ingredients together in the bowl. (Rather than dehydrating a whole granola mixture with agave and spices etc and waiting for it to clump up into proper flavored granola.)


      • Oh! Thanks for the clarification 🙂 I don’t have a dehydrator, let alone time to use it so I made the recipe with walnuts and it was YUM!! Great and fast and room for plenty of creative variations. Thanks Gena!

  11. I’m loving your breakfast musings because I’ve been looking for a filling but lightish breakfast that keeps me going from 6am – 1pm on my early shifts.

    I always, always, always feel embarrassed about my blog. I haven’t told many that I’m back to blogging. I feel a bit of a geek with it. I just asked the husband, and he says my blog voice defo sounds like me. I’m not aware of putting on a different blog persona so I guess it is an accurate representation of me on my blog.

    Happy weekend! Hope it’s a great one for you xxx

  12. I’ve been oven toasting the buckwheat for my buckwheat bars and then throwing it on top of my smoothies like granola. Yours looks so much better 🙂 The cats out of the bag for me most of the time. But you should be proud of this blog and share it with the world!

  13. this looks awesome! I’m kind of a grab-n-go breakfaster, but I’ve been trying to make more time for it in the morning. this seems like a good option as it’s quick to prepare. and I’m now craving blueberries in a serious way.

    I was interested in seeing what you all said about people you know reading your blog. I’ve been procrastinating on starting a blog for too long, and I think in part it’s due to some fear of mine- I see so many amazing blogs all the time, I don’t know how I’ll compare, and it’s even scarier to think of people I know reading! but maybe I’ll just take it slow and not share it with everyone right away…I love all the blogs I end up on through Choosing Raw and other sites. 🙂

    also happy to see mentions of snarkiness and swearing like a sailor…I feel like I should tone down for my blog face but I’m glad many of you share those traits as well!

  14. I don’t think any breakfast could hold me over for 7 hours, especially not with a workout squeezed in! Still, this looks really tasty and just like something I’d make for breakfast. Love the use of buckwheat!

  15. I never had a problem telling friends about my blog, but I do keep work separate. It’ not that I say anything so personal I would be embarrassed… I just like to keep work at an arm’s length from my personal life.

  16. I like this breakfast idea!
    I’ve only just started my blog and it’s not something I’ve shared with anyone in the ‘real world’ yet. I’m not sure exactly what direction it’s going to take, and I’m most definitely shy about it!

  17. Oh and yeah, I don’t swear much on my blog (I try not to self-censor, but it happens), but in real life . . . well, my toddler went through a “shit” phase a while back. Ha, whoops!

  18. Dude, I swear you have a magic window into my kitchen, or vise versa. We are always SO on the EXACT same page culinarily/experimentally, it’s eerie. Seriously, it’s like I come up with something, and then you post it for me! Which is great, since I’ve been such an MIA blogger recently (deadline in 4 days ohmigod)

    Anyway, the “cheaters rawnola” has been my afternoon snack for the past few weeks. I like it with a dash of cinnamon, a sprinkling of mesquite for sweetness, and topped with chopped figs. And homemade almond milk of course!

    Okay, back into my work cave . . .

  19. This looks like a great breakfast! Was it filling enough?
    Also is there meant to be a link on how to dehydrate buckwheat? I’d love to try this recipe but I’m guessing the buckwheat needs a bit of prep? You don’t mean straight-out-the-packet raw do you?

  20. I make a similar “cheater granola” all the time. I just love it and it is great for weekday mornings when you’ve run out of the real stuff.

    I do find it a bit strange when my coworkers discover that I have a blog. I think my blog is a very good representation of who I am – but at work I have a very different role. I don’t think many people know that I spend my evenings trying to maximize natural light, arrange tiny vegan treats on my limited dish supply and reading recipe book after recipe book. My blog is very personal – it is me.

  21. Your cheaters granola looks awesome! And the possibilities are endless when it comes to flavors. As for meeting real life people who have read your blog- this hasn’t happened to me yet, but I would assume it would feel strange. You are used to your blog being a place of cyber interaction, and I am sure you don’t sit around after you post and think about all the people out there reading it! I can totally understand feeling weird being confronted with real people in relation to your cyber life.

  22. All great questions: It does give me some anxiety when friends read my blog! I don’t know why. I’d actually appreciate that they read but would prefer they don’t bring it up, hahaha. I guess because my blog is so personal sometimes…maybe it’s just a little shyness!

  23. Oddly enough, I’ve only shared my blog with a few of my fellow nutrition students. You would think that I would feel more comfortable sharing it with health-minded people, but I think I’m actually scared that they would be MORE judgmental. I fear that they would disagree with the kind of nutrition I preach or something. I’m sure it’s all in my head, but it’s something I struggle with, nonetheless.

  24. we still have trouble sharing with family and our close friends about our blog. But if they like great, and if not, oh well. But does feel weird for us to tell others, I am not sure why it is easier knowing “strangers” read the blog, haha

  25. I believe I am the same person in-person as I am on my blog. However, I am more open on my blog because I have chosen to remain anonymous. A few friends know about my blog, but certainly not colleagues. The blog has been the opportunity for me to discuss issues that concern me (like body image) that I have been too embarrassed to talk broadly about. Reading other peoples’ blogs has made me understand that my struggles are hardly uncommon, and certainly not something to be ashamed of. Now that I have discussed some of my most personal issues with complete strangers, I feel more prepared to discuss them with those that I am closest to. Odd huh?

  26. Yum– I love making my own grain cereal and adding my favorite accruements such a s chia, flax, hemp, maca, coconut, spirulina, protein powder, etc. Keeps me super full and full of energy! I’ll have to try this one out.

    I’ve written numerous posts about how I feel when others who don’t know about my blog or healthy eating find out. It’s definitely hard to explain it to them and often I get embarrassed. I’m learning, slowly and surely, to let people accept who I am and not get to me!

  27. ‘m a lurker & rare commenter but I’m delurking to say wow, that’s exactly what I eat as cheater’s granola/cereal as well. our ingredients lists are practically identical!

    it’s kind of interesting because I know several of my friends read my blog… one of my friends (whom I didn’t know read my blog) once introduced me as “world-famous blogger sui”, to which I had to laugh. it’s interesting because I share a lot about myself candidly which I don’t necessarily bring up in everyday conversation. so I guess they know more about me than they might let on..? :}

  28. Yum, the granola looks awesome!

    It took me awhile to come out about my blog to my family and friends, nearly a year. I was still working on a direction with it and worried they might be offended by what I write. And I was worried about the writing expectations knowing they were reading it.

  29. Jl vegan u are hysterical.
    How did u get big boobs all of a sudden, do tell us ur secret!!
    I swear more too. And I am way more jaded. But I also laugh hysterically, especially after reading about jl’s renegade boobs.
    I also don’t really tell anyone I know about the blog, but my aunts do know…..
    But since I do drop the f word a lot and am so jaded, I don’t want all the people in my real life that think I am nice and sweet (the ones that don’t know me) to be in on the secret!

  30. Love that this granola is also nut-free! I’m not eating nuts this month and most granola is laden with them. I’ll have to give this a try. Thanks Gena!

  31. i actually just opened up to my immediate family last weekend about it and they were shocked haha. i’m gonna have to come clean at work soon because i’m attending HLS3 so i’m gonna need the day off! they know i “eat healthy” already so it shouldn’t be too shocking 🙂

  32. I definitely curse more in my waking life than I do on my blog. Honestly, now I’m curious whether or not the people in my day-to-day life would think my blog “sounds” like me. I don’t try to sound like anybody else…but maybe I do! I think we all sound a little bit different when we write versus when we speak, simply because writing styles often differ from speaking styles. We all probably sound a little bit smarter on our blogs because we have time to think and edit before we post. Hmmm, good question! I’m looking forward to reading what other commenters have to say about this.

    As for your granola, obviously it looks wonderful. Like always. I’ve been using hemp seeds recently. They’re my new favorite ingredient! I’ve been topping my smoothie bowls with them, but it would be fun to use them in another way…like in this granola. (Or in your hemp hummus that I shamefully still have bookmarked!)

  33. mmmm. this looks tasty. I love granola but can never find a good one. I will have to attempt this recipe. About the blog voice. I try to write like I was speaking to my friends and family. Sometimes that is offensive to some. I notice I started holding back my true me in my blog and it caused me to write posts that I was not 100% comfortable with. I have recently been inspired by fellow bloggers to be myself and not worry what others think. If they don’t like it, they don’t have to read it. right?

  34. Love how we’re all coming out as potty mouths 😉

    I would like to think that what you see is what you get on my blog and in person but, yes, in person I have more of an edge (would be curious to what some of my blogger friends who I’m met in person think about that). I have a work friend who recently started reading my blog and is commenting and participating which makes me happy. I also have a personal friend who is doing the same. I think some of my colleagues/friends think it’s not relevant to them because of the vegan angle but then they realize you don’t have to be vegan to enjoy a vegan dish or meal. I do tell friends and colleagues about my blog. I think because I’m proud of my evolution over the past year with my health, fitness, viewpoint, etc.

    Loving this conversation and can’t wait to read what others say.

    I zeroed in on that Zabar mug immediately! 😉

    • P.S. I recently met a blogger friend in person for the first time. Upon sitting down to lunch I said “I have two things to tell you: 1) I cuss like a truck driver and 2) I can’t control these boobs, I lived 45 years with little breasts, decided to stop dieting and now I have them and when I wear my old clothing I can’t control them” I felt I needed to explain the ridiculous tank top cleavage situation….I don’t talk that directly on my blog 😉

  35. More f-bombs and snarkiness on the blog please! 🙂 I tended to keep mine a little cleaner since my parents and parents friends and god knows who else was reading. but i let my hair down more often on twitter.

    I used to eat a bowl full of buckwheaties kind of like that daily either as a supplement or in addition to a smoothie or as a snack. but buckwheat is not always my friend in the digestion department. it can vary. meals like this let people know that raw vegan is not tons of work or all smoothies and salads. thanks again for spreading that message so well.

  36. Love this one! And it’s very close to my go-to “cereal” solution. In addition to what you have here, I add in freshly-ground ginger, a handful of goji berries, about 3 drops of liquid Stevia, and I also toss in about 1 heaping Tbsp of chia seeds, stirring and then letting the whole concoction sit while I jump in and out of the shower. By the time I’m out? Thick, yummy, still-crunchy, definitely hearty, delicious mess! 😀 Thumbs up, thumbs up, thumbs up, Gena!

  37. Raw, Vegan “Cheater’s” Granola = I love the name. I have Cheater’s Guacamole that I recently posted about. I am all about anything that’s an easy fix, quick, practical, and oh yes, easy 🙂

    I love that you just threw a bunch of things together, called it granola, and called it a day. That’s pretty much my method, too! Whatever dried fruit, seeds, nuts, odds and ends, that’s my granola. Or trail mix, or whatever. All about the on-hand stuff.

    And blogging voice and how one is in person vs. the blog. The blog is more of a PG version of me. In real life, I swear more, tell more jokes, and *instantly* just cut to the chase. Whereas on my blog, I dont swear, I dont know if my jokes translate so I don’t try to be as funny as I wish I could be b/c lots of things ARE lost in the translation and I’ve learned that the hard way…and I am even more blunt, i.e. “real” in person. So yes, it’s totally me on the blog, but you get the uncensored me in person 🙂

    After talking to you on the phone, I’d say that you are sort of the same. Definitely you, just scaled back a tad on your blog 🙂 Need to make the in-person meetup happen!

  38. I share my blog when people ask but don’t go out of my way to promote it. I am slightly shy about it, just as you seem to be. I find that for people who are not interested in food, they just won’t follow it, so it doesn’t matter much in the long run. I know my mom is a loyal reader, though. 🙂