Valentine’s Day is coming up so I’ve been working on a little project making healthy, yummy, raw granola to send to my loved ones. I’m not a raw foodie per se, but I love playing with some raw recipes. Raw granola is a delicious and protein-packed breakfast. I sprout buckwheat as the base for my granola. Sprouting grains is a great way to up their nutrient contents and make them more digestible. Sprouting helps release stored up nutrients (primarily B and C vitamins), it increases the protein content and rids the grain of anti-nutrients such as phytic acid (which prevents the absorption of minerals) and lectin (a hard-to-digest chemical). Sprouting starts the digestion process for you because it works to convert the plant’s starch into sugar. Raw and sprouted grains still contain the plant enzymes that are so beneficial for your digestion. I love this raw granola because it is crunchy, nutritious and packed with healthy fats from soaked nuts and seeds.
Making raw foods can be somewhat time intensive. You need to think ahead a few days, in order to sprout the buckwheat and soak assorted seeds and nuts. Currently I am borrowing a dehydrator from a friend who is in India for 6 months (lucky girl!). A dehydrator is a huge help but is not essential. If you do not have a dehydrator at your disposal, you can spread the granola on Silpats on cookie sheets and put them in your oven at the lowest possible temperature. Even the lowest temperature is hot enough to kill the live enzymes, so it is necessary that you leave the oven door ajar so you don’t fry your little buckwheats. With this method it might take 5 to 7 hours of dehydrating. If you are using a dehydrator set at around 105 degrees (live foods setting) you will probably want to leave your granola in for around 12 hours.
For more information about how and why to sprout grains check out this blog www.thesweetbeet.com
I use a great sprouting tray for my buckwheat, but you can easily sprout in mason jars (which is what I do for almonds and other nuts).
You can try different seeds and nuts, and customize your granola to your personal tastes, but here is my most recent recipe:
– A few cups of sprouted buckwheat (can be bought at most health foods store in the bulk section, make sure it is raw not roasted!)
– Soaked almonds – chopped up in little pieces
– Soaked macadamia nuts – chopped in chunks
– Soaked sunflower seeds
– Soaked walnuts – chopped up
– A few tablespoons of raw, unfiltered honey (you might want more honey than that…you will just have to try it out to be sure)
– 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom
– Cup of dried fruits – I used goji berries and unsweetened dried cranberries this time because I wanted Valentine’s Day appropriate colors!
Mix all of the ingredients together minus the dried fruits. If you want you can add a little raw coconut oil in as well or dessicated coconut if you are one of those people who loves coconut. Mix it well and then dehydrate for however many hours in takes for the buckwheat to get a nice crunch. Then toss it all in a big bowl (or pot if you make a lot – see the photo!) then add the dried fruits, mix it all up and store in Mason jars ’til it’s time to feast!
Try mixing your raw granola with yogurt and berries or with almond milk and bananas! Sometimes we blend our raw granola with sprouted Ezekial cereal or we toss a bit on top of hot multi-grain cereal or oatmeal for a little raw crunch.
Enjoy and be well!