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Tropical “Beet” Granola (raw, nut-free, vegan, gluten-free)

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Tropical-'Beet'-Granola1I can see you wrinkling your nose… yes, you! I see you!  Can I ask for a favor?  Can you just trust me on this and give it a try?  Even if you don’t care for beets, please try it.  I don’t ask for much from you do I?

The reason I feel so confident in asking a non-beet-eater to try this is… Bob, my loving husband hates, despises, loathes… dislikes beets, putting it mildly and he ended up really enjoying this granola.

I was sneaky when I presented it to him, I didn’t tell the name of the recipe nor did I explain what was in it.  I just asked if he would try it, he tilted his head back and opened his mouth… I dropped in a cluster of granola mixed with a few  dried fruits.  He chewed and swallowed.  I sat there starring at him, but trying not to be obvious about it.

I wanted to catch his unedited facial expression after tasting it.  That often tells me more than any words could.  He nodded his head up and down (always a good sign), his eyebrows lifted (another positive reaction), he gently moved his mouth around as if savoring and thinking about the flavor (I held my breath) and he didn’t go running to the kitchen to wash the taste out of his mouth.  That right there said everything I needed.  Then to confirm my thoughts, he nodded at me and said that he really liked it.  He still doesn’t know that I made it with beets and that will remain our little secret, well until he reads this post. haha

When working with red and pink beets, be prepared for beet-red stains on your hands and countertops. Because the color is difficult to remove from wood or plastic surfaces, you may want to work on waxed paper and wear gloves.  Choose small to medium beets for a sweeter flavor, and look for those with fresh looking green tops. When you get them home, store beets and greens separately.  Use the greens within two days, but you can refrigerate the beets in a plastic bag for up to two weeks.

So why use beets?  Well for starters I needed some color in my life!  Most granola mixes are in the natural tan and brown colors, which I thoroughly enjoy, but sometimes I just crave color.  I knew that I didn’t want to use any food coloring chemical so beets came to mind.  I have been making beet juice for the past week and the color always leaves me amazed just how gorgeous it is.  This recipe is a great way to use left over pulp from making beet juice, such as my  Sweet & Spicy Detox Juice.


yields 10 cups dried granola

  • 2 cups rolled, gluten-free oats, soaked
  • 1 cup buckwheat, soaked
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked
  • 6 large, pitted medjool dates, soaked  in 1/2 cup  hot water
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium red beet (92 g), rough chopped or beet pulp
  • 1 Tbsp raw agave nectar
  • 2 tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 20 drops liquid stevia
  • 2 cups coconut flakes
  • 2 cups dried pineapple, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries


  1. Soak the oats, sunflower seeds and buckwheat as instructed in the links above.
    • The oats and sunflower seeds take the longest… the buckwheat only needing 30 minutes, unless you plan on sprouting it.
    • Once done soaking the oats and buckwheat, drain and rinse them for about 2 minutes under cool water.  Hand squeeze the excess water from them.
    • Drain, discard and rinse the soak water from the sunflower seeds.
    • Place all three in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. Re-hydrate the dates by placing them in 1/2 cup of hot water.  Add the coconut oil so it melts while the dates soften. Soak for 15 minutes.
    • Soaking the dates will soften them which will make it easier for blending.
  3. Rough chop the beet and place in the food processor, fitted with the “S” blade.  Add the dates, coconut oil, soak water, agave, cinnamon, salt and stevia.  Process until it becomes a sauce.
  4. Pour the red sauce over the oats, (etc).  Mix well.
  5. Spread the batter, edge to edge on the teflex sheets that come with the dehydrator and dry at 145 degrees (F) for 1 hour, then reduce to 115 degrees (F) and continue to dry for roughly for 8 hours or until dry.
    • I used 2 Excalibur dehydrator trays.
  6. Once dry, place in a large bowl and hand mix in the coconut flakes, pineapple and cranberries.
  7. By doing this afterward, it prevents everything from turning a reddish / pink color.  I wanted a variety of color.
  8. Store in an airtight glass container on your counter for several weeks.  Enjoy with nut milk, yogurt, or just as a snack by the handful.

The Institute of Culinary Ingredients™

  • Click (here) for my thoughts on raw agave nectar.
  • Click (here) to learn why I use stevia.
  • Dates are an amazing ingredient for raw food recipes,  click (here) to read why.
  • 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.
  • Is coconut butter the same as coconut oil?  Click (here) to find out.
  • 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.

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16 thoughts on “Tropical “Beet” Granola (raw, nut-free, vegan, gluten-free)

  1. Jana says:

    I love the color, I love the ingredients and I ADORE that spoon!!!! I love eating a tasty granola but the right spoon will take it to another level!

    XOXO from the silverware loving Jana ;)

  2. Cindy O'Donnell says:

    As with all your recipes, Amie Sue, this granola sounds fabulous. May I ask why you use gluten-free oats? I have Quaker oats and Irish steel-cut oats on hand and am wondering whether I can substitute either one of them and achieve the same effect? Thank you!

    • amie-sue says:

      I use gluten-free because both Bob and I are gluten-free. You can use other oats if you wish… just be sure to put them through the soaking process. :) Have a great weekend, amie sue

  3. Jesse Gabriel says:

    Hallo Amie Sue.
    Oh das ist wieder eine wunderbare Idee, für ein tolles Rezept.
    Es ist herrlich, dass sie immer eine kleine Geschichte dazu schreiben und man ist gespannt, wie die Geschichte ausgeht.

    Ich liebe Rote Beete, schon als Kind, ja ich weiß, ich bin ein komisches Kind das Rote Beete liebte.

    Ich muss es ganz schnell nach machen!

    Viele Liebe Grüße,

    • amie-sue says:

      Google translate for Jesse:
      Hi Amie Sue.
      Oh, this again is a wonderful idea for a great recipe.
      It’s wonderful that they always write a little story about it and you’re excited to see how the story ends.

      I love beets, even as a child, so I know I’m a weird kid loved the beetroot.

      I need to quickly get to!

      Many Greetings,

      Thanks Jesse. :) I love beets too… I think it is wonderful that you enjoyed beets as a child. :) Have a blessed weekend! amie sue

  4. Jesse Gabriel says:

    Das habe ich noch vergessen zu fragen, darf ich morgen zum Frühstück kommen, ich bringe auch etwas mit, oh das wäre so schön! Lächel.
    Liebe Grüße,

    • amie-sue says:

      Google translate for Jesse:
      I did not forget to ask, I may come tomorrow for breakfast, I’ll bring something, oh that would be so nice! Smile.
      Best wishes,

      lol Jesse… come on over, bring the nut milk! hehe

  5. Jesse Gabriel says:

    Hallo Amie Sue.
    Danke fürs übersetzten!

    Google hat ein wenig verdreht übersetzt, ich habe schon als Kind Rote Beete geliebt.

    Okay, ich bringe die Nuss Milch mit, haben sie einen Wunsch? Lächel

    Viele Grüße,

    • amie-sue says:

      Google translated for Jesse…
      Hi Amie Sue.
      Thanks for translated!

      Google has translated a little twisted, I loved as a child beetroot.

      Okay, I’ll bring the nut milk, they have a desire? Smile

      Best regards,

      lol Jesse

  6. florencia says:

    Hello Amie Sue

    I did it yesterday and I tried it today, and you were right about the flavour of the beet, it is almost completely gone!

    Very delicious and crunchy, (especially with almond milk =P)


    • amie-sue says:

      That is great Florencia… thank you trying the recipe out and taking my word that you wouldn’t taste the beet. :) I appreciate you sharing. Blessings and hugs, amie sue

  7. Nancy says:

    Since I tend to have a year round garden with beets (I live at 3700 ft in Hawaii) I will be trying this one out soon. I will likely try to force it into a bar and am wondering (1) if you think it might work and (2) if you think just about any granola recipe could become a bar? I just wonder if there is something standard re the difference in the recipes as I cannot detect one. The main difference seems to be in whether a bar is formed pre-dehydration or not. Can you clarify this for me please amie-sue? Thank you so much. Be well.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Nancy… ya caught me just as I was about to head to bed. :) This recipe, along with my other granola recipes, should be just fine to press into bars if desired. The main ingredient needed is a “glue”… in the recipe the dates should help the bar hold together. I have two other bar recipes that almost seem like they won’t hold in a bar, but they do… so I am confident that this one will too! It is best to shape into bars prior to dehydrating, that is my experience.

      I have come to love my bar press (sushi press) http://nouveauraw.com/store/pans_forms_molds/spam-musubi-sushi-rice-press-k5sps/. It makes it so easy to make them the same size and nice and compact, pressing all the ingredients together, good and tight.

      I hope this helps. Have a wonderful day, amie sue

  8. jessicanoel says:

    Hi Amie-Sue,

    Do you think maple syrup would work here in place of the stevia? Based on your stevia guide I was thinking a little under 2tbs of maple syrup in place of the 20 drops of stevia.

    Many thanks for all the great recipes and inspiration.


    • amie-sue says:

      Oh you bet Jessica. You can use any liquid sweetener that wish. Instead of really trying to figure out what equates to the stevia amount… just add a little bit at a time and taste test as you since we all perceive tastes (sweets) so differently. :) Enjoy and have a blessed day, amie sue

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