Tonight I had a helper in the kitchen… my lovely mother. We have been working in the kitchen for the past two days making Christmas gifts for our friends. What is happening is that she is spoiling me! Every time I turn around the dishes are washed. I am so not complaining but I am going to really notice her absence when she goes back home. Well, not just because of that reason alone but you have to admit that such a thing would greatly spoil a person. One of the items that I wanted to make tonight for a few girlfriends was the Maple Raising Granola.
This afternoon, I started the nuts soaking so those were all ready for us. I started coring the apples, grabbed for the date paste that I HAD in the fridge and realized that I had used it all up yesterday. No problem, I will soak some more and make another batch of date paste. Doh! I am out of dates. Thus, raisin paste was born. No problem, it’s under control. I turn to grab some oranges to zest them…I am out of oranges! Fine, I will just zest some lemons…no lemons?? Wait, there are some out of the tree in the back yard. Shew! That was when I realized that I was just going to have to recreate the original recipe and use what I had on hand. The end result… pure bliss! It turned out so yummy! I had a hard time keeping mom out of the batter. I packaged the granola in some jar containers and to really personalize it I made labels for them. It brings me so much joy to prepare food for others!
- 3 apples cored and chopped, organic
- 1 1/2 cups raisin paste (raisins soaked and then processed until smooth)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp lemon zest
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked 2 hours or more
- 2 cups raw almonds, soaked 4 hours or more
- 3 cups raw pecans, soaked 2 hours or more
- 1/2 cup raw hazel nuts
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 cups coconut flakes
- In a food processor, place the fresh apples, raisin paste, maple syrup, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla, cinnamon, salt and 1/4 of the sunflower seeds and grind until completely smooth.
- Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the remaining 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds and the other nuts to the food processor.
- Coarsely chop the nuts and seeds in a few quick pulses.
- Add them to the bowl with the apple mixture
- Add the cranberries, coconut flakes and combine well.
- Spread mixture out on the teflex dehydrator sheets.
- Dehydrate at 145 degrees for 1 hour then reduce temp to 105 degrees for an additional 10-16 hours. I know the range is large but it all depends on how dry you want your granola (this won’t dry crispy) and how your machine works.
- Store in glass, sealed containers.