Monday, December 3, 2012


There have been periods in my life where cereal was my go to breakfast and nothing could break me out of my rut.  At any given time I would have five boxes of the stuff in my cupboard.  There would always be something sugary like peanut butter panda puffs and something uber healthy, like sprouted seven grains for those mornings after I drank several beers and somehow managed to eat an entire pizza and felt the need for some redemption.  Raisin bran, cornflakes, shredded wheat.. I loved it all!

For anyone that eats cereal, you know that the stuff is EXPENSIVE! These days, I just can't fathom paying six dollars for a box of that will be gone in no time, because we all know that serving sizes for cereal are straight up whack.  Who eats 3/4 c. of crispy rice cereal?  I mean, really...

I thought that buying granola in bulk would be cheaper than cereal because it's alot more filling and I would eat less, but that stuff is even more pricey, especially when it contains high quality organic ingredients. I stopped buying cereal and granola and decided to eat other things like muffins, quickbreads and oatmeal.  I was doing great for awhile and then my cravings for the stuff came back.  I refused to buy boxed cereal and decided to be all DIY and start making my own granola. 

Most homemade stuff is way cheaper and more delicious (and nutritious) than anything you would buy at the store.  I experimented with lots of different granola recipes and got hooked on this one made with olive oil.  I ate in for weeks straight and then fell into a rut.  I needed something different. 

Years ago I worked in a raw food restaurant that had the BEST granola.  It was filling, super healthy and tasted amazing.  Luckily I had the recipe stowed away and decided to try making it at home now that I had a fancy shmancy food dehydrator.  Grated apples make up a bulk of this granola instead of oats.  Raw almonds, sunflower seeds and buckwheat groats are soaked and mixed together with the apples, along with some date paste and agave nectar.  The end result was a crunchy not too sweet granola that was relatively inexpensive and oh soooo good for you. 

gRAWnola (makes 8 c.)
Barely adapted from I Am Grateful

1 1/2 cups soaked almonds
1/2 cup soaked sunflower seeds
1/2 cup soaked whole buckwheat
5 cups grated apple
1/2 cup pureed dates (about 7 large dates)
1/2 cup raisins (or other dried fruit)
1/2 cup dried coconut
1/2 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon salt

Rinse and drain the seeds. Place in food processor and quickly chop to reduce size of seeds only. Place mixture into large bowl. Grate apples, add to nut mixture. Puree dates in food process with the "S" blade attachment, if the dates are a little dry, add a little apple while pureeing. Add all the ingredients to the nut mixture and stir.

Prepare three dehydrator trays with Teflex sheets. Spread the mixture out on each sheet in a single layer. Dehydrate at 145 for 1 hour and then reduce temperature to 115. When your granola is dry enough to peel off the Teflex sheets, do so and place onto the grid sheets. Continue to dehydrate until dry (48-60 hours total).

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