I am never one to waste or throw away food. Unless of course it is wearing a furry coat. :) If that’s the case, compost pile… here we come!
Yesterday, as I was tooling around my kitchen when I spied some darkened fruit on what I call my fruit stand. Oh dear! My bananas were on their last leg! Their coats were beyond just being covered in brown spots, they were just about to pull on that furry coat and call it good!
I grabbed the bananas and put them on the counter, what to do, what to do? I opened the fridge and started rummaging through the shelves… ACK! Bottom shelf, tucked in the very back… strawberries! Oh dear, how did I forget about those!? I pulled them out and put them on the counter. What to do, what to do?
First thing first… washed, sliced and dehydrated the strawberries. With bananas in mind and strawberries drying I walked into my pantry looking for inspiration. Do you ever watch the Food Network? You know how Rachael Ray walks around in a 3×3 foot space and piles all the bowls and ingredients in her arms before she turns around to place it on the counter?
Well, that was me, I just started grabbing stuff; coconut flakes, dried apples, hazelnuts, spices, etc. With my arms fully loaded I made my way back into the kitchen and spread everything out before me. Hmm, I sense a granola recipe brewing. Granolas are so easy to make. It just takes a little bit of this and a little bit of that and voila!
- 2 cups gluten-free, rolled oats, soaked
- 1 cup chopped raw hazelnuts, soaked
- 1 3/4 cup dried strawberries or goji berries
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup dried apple, diced or mulberries
- 3/4 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
- To start the recipe, soak the oats and hazel according the links provided above.
- Drain and discard the soaking water and rinse well. Specially the oats, this will take a few minutes.
- If you already have soaked and dehydrated nuts and oats on hand, use those. No need to soak them again. You just might need to add a little water to the batter at the end.
- Place the oats, nuts, dried strawberries, raisins, dried apple, and coconut in a large bowl.
- In a food processor, fitted with the “S blade, combine the bananas, date paste, caramel sauce, cinnamon and stevia. Process until creamy. Set aside.
- If you aren’t able to make the raw caramel sauce, use 1 cup total of the date paste.
- Pour the wet sauce over the other ingredients in the mixing bowl. Using your hands, get in there and mix everything together until it is all evenly coated.
- Drop the granola batter on the reflex sheets that come with your dehydrator in clusters. I used 3 trays (Excalibur brand).
- Dehydrate at 145 degrees (F) for 1 hour, then reduce to 115 degrees (F) and continue to dry for 10+ hours… until dry.
- Dry times will always very depending on the climate, humidity, machine model and how full it is.
- Allow the granola to cool, then store in an air-tight container on the counter for 1 week, fridge for several weeks and in the freezer for several months.
The Institute of Culinary Ingredients™
- 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.
- 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.