Today I’m posting one of my favorite raw recipes: “grawnola.” I never eat granola because it usually has gluten in it. And, I’ve been drinking smoothies for breakfast for so long I hadn’t really thought about actually eating breakfast. But, I’m trying to get better about that too. Although my recent weight gain tells me maybe I should stick to smoothies. Anyway…this recipe is from Sarma Melngailis’ Raw Food Real World, and it is AMAZING. The orange zest and vanilla really add a flavor that’s better than any granola I’ve ever had. This recipe makes about 10 cups.
Cranberry Maple Granola
1 apple, cored and chopped
1 ½ cups date paste (I didn’t have this, so I blended real dates and a little bit of water, which I think is the same thing, and added some agave nectar to make up the difference)
½ cup maple syrup
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs orange zest
1 Tbs vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp sea salt
½ cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked 2 hours or more
2 cups raw almonds, soaked 4 hours or more
3 cups raw pecans, soaked 2 hours or more
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, soaked 2 hours or more
1 cup dried cranberries
I soaked all the nuts together for 4 hours. You need to soak the raw nuts for a few reasons. 1) It gets the bitter coating off of raw nuts that protects them, 2) Soaking leads to sprouting, and sprouted nuts have more nutrients, 3) The nuts soak up water, making them a bit easier to work with. It seems like a pain, but it’s really not a big deal.
So, here’s what you do: In a food processor, grind the apple, date paste, maple syrup, lemon juice, orange zest, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and ¼ cup sunflower seeds. Grind until completely smooth. Or in my case, mostly smooth. Move this mixture to a mixing bowl.
Add the remaining sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, and pumpkin seeds to the food processor. Coarsely chop the nuts and seeds in a few quick pulses. Add them to the bowl with the apple mixture, add the cranberries and combine well. I forgot to add the cranberries at this point, so I ended up placing them on the mixture in the dehydrator. That didn’t really work, so I basically just had sprinkled dried cranberries in every bowl.
Spread the granola mixture in a food dehydrator. I have a Nesco dehydrator, so there are a couple of thin mesh screens. I only had two of those, so I put the remaining mixture directly on the racks, but it turned out okay. The mixture is thick enough that it didn’t fall through the holes. Dehydrate at 115° for 6 to 8 hours. I set it before bed, and flip the granola in the morning when I wake up. After you flip the granola, continue dehydrating for another 8 – 12 hours, or until it’s crunchy. I think mine stayed in a total of about 20 hours. Break into pieces, and store in an airtight container in the fridge. You can keep it for several weeks that way.
It looks like this:
Now you need something to pour over your delicious granola, but you don’t want milk, right? I make almond milk like it’s going out of style. But I like my almond milk fancy. So I make Cinnamon Banana Almond Milk, from an amalgamation of recipes from Raw Food Real Word and Ani Phyo’s Raw Food Kitchen.
Cinnamon Banana Almond Milk
Makes about 6 cups
1 cup raw, soaked almonds (can be pre-soaked. I keep a container of pre-soaked and dehydrated almonds in the fridge)
5 cups water
1 vanilla bean (can substitute vanilla extract)
½ cup dates (or ¼ cup agave nectar)
pinch of sea salt
Blend all of these ingredients. My current blender is small, so after I do this, I have to transfer some milk out, and do this next part in two batches. But, when I get my newer, bigger, better Vita-Mix, I won’t have to do that!
Next, add either 1 whole banana, or about a cup of frozen banana. Blend.
Add cinnamon to taste. I like a LOT of cinnamon. Blend.
Voila! Some people like to filter their nut milks through cheesecloth or nut milk bags to make it smooth. I don’t mind the bits of almond. I like the texture.
This will keep for about 4 -5 days in your fridge.
I like it with bananas, blueberries, and raspberries. But I didn’t have any raspberries when I took this photo:
And, now for gratuitous Ophelia photos…
Drinking my favorite green juice.
She likes it, she really likes it!