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Cardamom, Maple and Black Pepper Granola (raw, vegan, gluten-free)

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Raw Cardamom, Maple and Black Pepper Granola RecipeBlack Pepper, lately I have been on a black pepper kick.  Not sure why, but I do enjoy the kick that lingers from it when it is paired with something sweet.  I often laugh at myself when I think back to a childhood memory I have that involves black pepper.

To be honest I am surprised that I am even willing to share it, but here it goes.  Goodness, I must have been 6 or 7 years old and my mother and I were driving down the highway.  I believe we were traveling from North Dakota to South Dakota.

Back in those days, kids didn’t wear seat belts… shoot I don’t think anyone did.  Seat belts were just those things that occasionally got caught in the door or they would tangle you up as you tried to crawl into the back seat. Right?  Well, anyway, as we were traveling along the highway I was sitting on the floorboard with my tablet of plain paper and crayons , perched on the seat which was acting as my design table.  I was already a designer way back then.

I remember drawing, coloring, stopping for sodas at the truck stops, stopping to tinkle 2 miles down at the road truck stops, stopping for sodas at the truck stops, stopping to tinkle 2 miles down the road at truck stops, stopping for sodas at the truck stops.  Oh I said that already?  I meant to!   That was the pattern. haha   One stop involved a special treat at McDonald’s!  We pulled out the drive-through and after I got my Happy Meal, I nestled back down on the floor board to spread my lunch out on the seat next to mom as she drove.

Towards the end of my meal, underneath the last of the fries that had fallen to the bottom of the bag, I discovered little packets of salt and pepper.  Ohhh mini packets!  I loved and still do love small trial sized stuff.  I played with them until one of the peppers broke open.  Hmm, what to do with this open packet of black pepper?

Well I did what most demented children would do, I sniffed it!!!  Aaaah-chooo!  I sniffed again, Aaaah-chooo!  I sniffed again, Aaaah-chooo!  I sniffed again, I was having way to much fun.  I suppose it was a good thing that there was ONLY one packet in the bag otherwise I might have become a black pepper crack sniffing addict. lol  That memory has haunted stuck with me all these years. Ok, enough of memory lane, let’s get busy and make this granola!  I hope you enjoy it, please let me know either way.

Raw Gluten-Free Cardamom, Maple and Black Pepper Granola in Glass Jars Ingredients:

Yields roughly 6-8 cups

  • 4 cups gluten-free, rolled oats, soaked
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped raw walnuts, soaked


  1. Soak, drain and rinse the oats and walnuts.  You want to keep rinsing until the drain water is clear.
  2. In a large bowl mix together oats, walnuts, coconut oil, agave, maple syrup, maple extract, salt, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and pepper.
  3. Use your hands to mix this up… get everything well coated.  Besides, it’s fun!  Just be sure to remove rings.  I had to fish mine out.
  4. Place granola on the teflex sheet that comes with your dehydrator.
    • If you don’t have teflex sheets, use parchment paper (don’t use wax paper as it will stick).
    • I used 2 trays, placing 3 1/2 cups of granola batter per sheet.
  5. Dry at 145 degrees (F) for 1 hour, then reduce to 115 degrees (F) for 4 hours.  Flip the batter over onto the mesh sheet and peel the teflex sheet off and continue drying for 4-6 hours or until dry.
  6.  Allow to cool for a few minutes and break into chunks, ENJOY.
  7. I topped the granola with dried banana chips and raisins.
  8. Store in an airtight container for several weeks on the counter or in the freezer for 1-3 months.

The Institute of Culinary Ingredients:

  • To learn more about maple syrup by clicking (here).
  • Is agave a good choice?  Click (here).
  • Why do I specify Ceylon cinnamon?  Click (here) to learn why.
  • What is Himalayan pink salt and does it really matter?  Click (here) to read more about it.
  • Are oats gluten-free?  Yes, read more about that (here).
  • Are oats raw?  Yes, they can be found.  Click (here) to learn more.
  • Do I need to soak and dehydrate oats?  Not required but recommended.  Click (here) to see why.

Culinary Explanations:

  • Why do I start the dehydrator at 145 degrees (F).  Click (here) to learn the reason behind this.
  • When working with fresh ingredients it is important to taste test as you build a recipe.  Learn why (here).


One of the greatest joys when creating raw food recipes is experimenting with different ingredients… a practice that I highly encourage.  Daily I get questions regarding substitutions.  Of course we all might have different dietary needs and tastes which could necessitate altering a recipe.    I love to share with you what I create for myself, my husband, friends and family.  I spend a lot of time selecting the right ingredients with a particular goal in mind, looking to build a certain flavor and texture.

So as you experiment with substitutions, remember they are what they sound like, they are substitutes for the preferred item.  Generally they are not going to behave, taste, or have the same texture as the suggested ingredient.   Some may work, and others may not and I can’t promise what the results will be unless I’ve tried them myself.   So have fun, don’t be afraid,  and remember, substituting is how I discovered many of my unique dishes.


9 thoughts on “Cardamom, Maple and Black Pepper Granola (raw, vegan, gluten-free)

  1. Grace says:

    DELICIOUS!!!!!! Looks like the best granola ever!! I want to make it!!

  2. kate says:

    Looks good…are rolled oats raw? I’ve heard that they are steamed so the oats get soft and then they roll them….hummm….k

    • amie-sue says:

      Morning Kate,

      Sorry that it took so long to get back to you. I am doing a wedding this evening and I have behind on emails. Rolled oats are and are not raw. It depends on how you buy them. Raw ones are available but not readily. I have a post on this. Let me get the link for you… http://nouveauraw.com/special-raw-ingredients/raw-oats/.

      So, if you can find them and/or order them… that’s great. Otherwise do your best!

  3. Gabby says:

    This looks fantastic! I love pepper in sweet recipes too :)

  4. Coleen says:

    I’m new to commenting, but not new to your blog. First of all, may I thank you for providing such a valuable resource to public. Raw never tasted so good, nor was more inspired! I love granola and have made 5 of your recipes, everything from Zesty Orange Cranberry (perfect for Xmas presents), to Chocolate Banana Raison, (perfect for Valentine’s Day), and Fruity Granola Crunch (perfect standby that I’ve tweaked so many ways, I had to go back to the original to discover it again!) When this Cardamom Maple & Black Pepper batch came out of the dehydrator this morning, we were poised with our bowls & almond milk, and were NOT disappointed. You’ve opened our eyes and palates to new and interesting taste combinations and I’ll definitely be exploring more to do with pepper, beyond savory dishes.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Coleen,

      I loved received your comment this morning. I have become quite darning in my flavor profiles over the years and I am happy to hear when others enjoy them too. I just made a granola with fennels seeds and apples. Wow, I am so glad that I stretched my comfort zone and tested it. Love it! Have a blessed weekend, amie sue :)

      • Coleen says:

        Fennel and apples … I’ve got buckwheat sprouting, so I just may have to try that combination myself. BTW, I did mean to say that when I make granola, I cut up and fresh or frozen fruit that I have one hand, instead of rehydrating dried. For example, I layered slices of banana on top of this recipe once it was on the dehydrator sheets. I’ve done this with apples, peaches, blueberries, sour cherries, anything I have on hand and they have all worked out well.

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