Makes 12 cups (3 l)
Granola is an old breakfast staple, but tends to be much higher in fat and sugar than what one would expect. In this recipe, concentrated sweeteners like brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, etc. are replaced with fiber and nutrient-rich fresh and dried fruits. Concentrated oils are replaced with much healthier nut and seed butters. The granola is dehydrated instead of baked so the products of oxidation such as acrylamide are minimized. The almonds, sunflower and pumpkin seeds can be soaked or soaked and dehydrated to increase mineral availability. Double the recipe if your prefer to make a large batch.
1 cups (250 ml) pitted dates
3/4 cup (180 ml) boiling water
1/2 cup (125 ml) almond butter (or other nut or seed butters – use up to 1/4 cup (60 ml) tahini)
2 bananas, chopped
1 tablespoon (15 ml) cinnamon
1 teaspoons (5 ml) vanilla
6 cups (1.5 L) large-flaked rolled oats
1 cup (250 ml) pumpkin or sunflower seeds (or half and half)(preferably soaked for 4-6 hours or soaked and dehydrated)
1 cup (250 ml) whole or coarsely chopped almonds or other nuts (preferably soaked for 6-8 hours or soaked and dehydrated)
1/2 cup (125 ml) shredded, unsweetened coconut (optional)
1/2 cup (125 ml) flaxseeds or chia seeds (or half and half)
Soak the dried fruit in almost boiling water for about 10-15 minutes. Place dried fruits and water, almond butter, vanilla, bananas and cinnamon in the food processor and process to form a paste. You may need to scrape down the sides of the processor once more.
In a large bowl, mix together oats, seeds, nuts, coconut (if using). Add the wet ingredients and stir until well combined. Spread the granola onto 3 x 14 inch (35 cm) square dehydrator trays lined with nonstick sheets and dehydrate for about 24 hours at 115 degrees F (46 degrees C) or until dry and crispy. Break the granola apart or crumble it into chunks. (Or spread 2 cups (500 ml) of the granola mix over each of 6 dehydrator trays and you will not have to break it apart.) If you do not have a dehydrator, you can bake this granola using 2-3 lined cookie sheets at 250 degrees for about 2-3 hours or until dry. Store in airtight containers or zip lock bags in the freezer, keeping out just enough for a few days.
- Replace half the dates with prunes and/or other dried fruits.
- Replace the bananas with apples or oranges. Use one banana and one apple or orange, if desired.
- Add 1/2 cup (125 ml) of raisins or dried cherries or blueberries after dehydrating or baking.
- Replace the rolled oats with buckwheat. Use about 4 cups raw buckwheat, soaked and sprouted. To sprout buckwheat, soak in water to cover for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse, and put in a colander over a plate, to catch any water. Allow them to sprout for 12 to 24 hours, rinsing every 12 hours.