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Nutty Cranberry Apricot Trail Mix Clusters (raw, vegan, gluten-free)

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This recipe works great as a snack as well as a cereal.  Once dried, crumble the clusters into a bowl along with your favorite milk and you have one hearty, filling, and nutritious cereal!

This past Fall I found that I really enjoyed the combination of allspice, cinnamon and black pepper.  There is a certain depth to it that really makes a recipe, what’s the word I am looking for… grounded?  earthy? savory?  With those flavors rolling around, mixing it up with the sweetness of the dried fruits, well I just find it a wonderful balance that makes your taste buds come alive.

This recipe is hearty, filling, comforting, crunchy but chewy.  I love the complexity of it.  I developed this treat for my dad who is a long haul truck driver.  He needs foods that can keep in the semi, and don’t require much fuss.  It also needs to sustain him and I want it to nourish his body. Mission accomplished!

I can picture him already, bouncing down the highway, a bag of these in his lap, munching away and, knowing him, savoring each little morsel.  It is such a joy to prepare foods for loved ones.

Nutty-Cranberry-Apricot-Trail-Mix-Clusters101Ingredients: yields 7 cups batter

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw almonds, soaked
  • 1 cup raw pecans, soaked
  • 3/4 cup raw walnuts, soaked
  • 1 Tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 cups rolled, gluten-free oats, soaked & dehydrated
  • 1 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
Wet Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, diced
  • 1 cup mission figs, dried and diced
  • 1/2 cup raw agave or maple syrup
Hand Mix In:
  • 1 cup raw  pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, soaked

Preparation:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl add the dried cranberries, apricots, and figs enough hot water to cover so they can rehydrate a bit.  Set aside
  2. Place the almonds, pecans, and walnuts into the food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, and chop to a medium size.  We want crunch so don’t go to small.
  3. Add the cacao, cinnamon, allspice, black pepper, salt, oats and coconut flakes.  Pulse together.  Pour into a large bowl.
  4. Drain the soaking dried fruit and place the fruit into the food processor.  Add the agave and pulse together several times.  Break down the fruit but don’t over process making a puree out of it.  Pour this mixture into the large bowl with the dry ingredients.  Add the raw pumpkin seeds as well.  With your hands, massage everything together.
  5. Drop the batter onto the reflex sheet that comes with the dehydrator and dehydrate at 145 degrees  (F) 1 hour, reduce the temp to 115 degrees (F) for an additional 6 hours or until desired dryness is achieved.
  6. Store in a sealed container.

The Institute of Culinary Ingredients™

  • To learn more about maple syrup by clicking (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).

Substitutions:

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.

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4 thoughts on “Nutty Cranberry Apricot Trail Mix Clusters (raw, vegan, gluten-free)

  1. Cheryl says:

    I just want to tell you I sooooo totally love your recipes and I really look forward to seeing your emails when they are sent…

  2. Cilla Collett says:

    I just absolutely adore all your recipes, you are an amazing CHEF and I have great admiration for your work and you always give me so much inspiration – Many Blessings Cilla x

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Cilla… I appreciate your sweet words. It is such a blessing to share my passion with others. Have a glorious day! amie sue

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