Homemade raw granola [gluten-free, sugar-free, oil-free, vegan]

***This is a raw vegan recipe that uses a 9-tray Excalibur Dehydrator (a dehydrator I’ve been using for over 10 years without a problem–highly recommend!) to prepare. If you do not have a dehydrator, do everything the same except “bake” on sheet pans in your oven at 210F until done. Plan to spend all damn day in the kitchen if you’re using the oven.***

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I cook on the floor because I’m an actual animal.

I make this stuff in 25-liter batches because it’s my go-to breakfast these days and I’m not able to deal with running out on a weekday. I usually use about equal parts granola and chia seeds, add hot water, add some frozen blueberries, and viola! Breakfast of champions. I don’t have a picture of that because I stopped photographing my breakfast when I realized I had a problem.

If you have trouble picturing making granola in this quantity, it’s because nobody in their right mind makes granola in that quantity. Unless you’re like me, and you enjoy both buying, cooking, and feeding your cats in obnoxious bulk. But this raw vegan granola lasts longer than it takes me and my husband to go through. Don’t worry about it going bad. It won’t if you keep it airtight.

Granola is an art, not a science. This recipe is mostly the result of what we happen to have on hand. Throw in whatever you prefer in your granola. My favorite benefit of homemade granola is having the control of exactly what goes into it. No weird ingredients, oils, filler grains, or unnecessary added sugar.

To avoid adding traditional sweeteners like sugar, syrup, honey, or agave, which all have a high Glycemic Index (GI), I use a homemade cinnamon prune paste. The purpose of the prune paste is to soften and hold all the oatmeal, nuts, seeds, and other ingredients together. Nobody wants dry, crumbly granola. I’ve also used dates (GI: 146), but dates have significantly more sugar than prunes (GI: 25) so the added flavor and sweetener isn’t worth it for me.

Homemade Raw Granola [gluten-free, sugar-free, oil-free, vegan]

In no particular order, mix by hand all of the following dry ingredients in a massive bowl or stockpot. I used my 23-quart pressure canning pot.

  • 15 cups rolled oats (regular oatmeal)
  • 4 cups chopped walnuts (put whole walnuts in a bag and smash with your hands)
  • 3 cups raw unsweetened coconut flakes (the best price I find is at Indian markets)
  • 2 cups hemp hearts/seeds (bulk section of health store)
  • 2 cups almond slivers
  • 2 cups toasted buckwheat groats (if you can’t find toasted, buy raw and toast yourself)
  • 1.5 cups raisins
  • 1 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds/pepitas
  • 1 cup white sesame seeds
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup raw cacao nibs

In your blender or food processor, blend the following until smooth:

  • 4.5 cups dried prunes (lowest glycemic index I could find for dry fruit)
  • 4 cups filtered water (I have the Berkey filter and love it to death)
  • 3 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon ground nutmeg

Put on a snug-fitting latex glove if you don’t want to spend an hour washing your hands, use a spatula to transfer the prune paste into the dry ingredients, and mix with your little gloved hand until you think you’re done. Then scoop to the bottom corners of your pot and mix some more!

Once fully mixed, spread onto Teflex sheets (looking up that Amazon link for you, I just realized that Teflex sheets are literally 4.2% the cost of what I paid a decade ago. Incredible.). Anyway, this recipe usually takes about 8 14”x14” trays. Dehydrate for 12 hours at 135F, or until done. The temperature doesn’t really matter.

I’m not one for photography, but here’s a snap of the granola going into the dehydrator. Yummm!

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It doesn’t actually look this orange. There’s just a remarkably warm and charming light hanging above.

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