Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Raw Granola - Hearty Breakfast And Convenient Snack. Also, The Health Benefits Of Nuts And Seeds.

Soak nuts for 4 hours, seeds for 2 hours and dates for 30 minutes.

After soaking, rinse nuts and seeds.

Lay out mixture on a Teflex sheet and dehydrate.

Once dehydrated, break up into bite-sized pieces.

Store in air tight containers and refrigerate for freshness.

The Importance of Nuts, Especially in a Raw Food Diet
Studies have shown that people who eat nuts regularly have lower risks of heart disease. Although they are high in calories, they are high in fiber, "good fats", antioxidants and protein. The nuts and seeds used in this recipe are rich in the following important nutrients:
Manganese: Important in the metabolism of carbohydrates and amino acids. Supports bone health, blood sugar balance and energy production.
Copper: Needed in the metabolism of iron, the formation of red blood cells and keeping a healthy immune system.
Magnesium: Plays a key role in the proper functioning of muscles and nerves and supports energy production.
Phosphorus: Key in the formation of bones and teeth, energy production, protein synthesis and muscle contraction.
Thiamin: Required for carbohydrate metabolism and supports the nervous system.
Omega 6 fatty acids: Required for cholesterol metabolism, growth and reproduction.

Besides containing the above listed nutrients, some nuts and seeds also are high in other key nutrients:
English Walnuts: High in omega 3 fatty acids with a good balance of omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 3 is key for proper functioning of all body tissues and is especially needed in fetal development. It reduces inflammation and is important for heart health and brain development.
Pistachio nuts: High in vitamin B6, needed for amino acid metabolism and proper functioning of the nervous and muscular system.
Sunflower seeds: Contain high levels of vitamin E and selenium, both strong antioxidants that work together to protect our cell membranes. Sunflower seeds are also high in vitamin B6, folate, niacin, zinc and iron. Vitamin E, zinc and iron are difficult to get in a raw food diet so sunflower seeds are an important food for raw foodists. Iron is needed for the formation of hemoglobin and transporting oxygen. Zinc supports growth, immunity, sexual development, detoxification and wound healing.
Pumpkin seeds: Also high in iron and zinc, pumpkins seeds are important in a raw food diet.
Flaxseeds: Very high in omega 3 fatty acids.
Tahini or sesame paste: High in calcium, needed for bone and tooth development as well as muscle contraction and nerve transmission. Calcium is also difficult to get in a raw food diet so sesame tahini is an important food for raw foodists.
Hempseeds: Hempseeds are high in omega 3 fatty acids, zinc and iron and are a very important food in a raw food diet.

Raw Granola - A Healthy Snack When You Are On-The-Go
Whether or not you are on a raw food diet, raw granola makes a great snack, especially for the kids. Just throw some in a baggy and drop it in their lunch boxes or take some to work for yourself. Don't get put off by the number of ingredients as each nut and seed offers unique benefits. But if you want to leave out pecans, just use more walnuts or cashews. Or double the sunflower seeds and leave out the pumpkin seeds. Get creative and use the nuts and seeds that you and your family like the best. This recipe was formulated to give a healthy balance of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids and provide some of the nutrients that are difficult to get in a raw food vegan diet.
Also check out my Agave Sweetened Vegan "Cooked" Granola recipe.


Raw Granola
[makes 8 cups of granola or 16 half cup servings]
1 cup raw English walnuts, (soaked for 4 hours)
1/2 cup raw pistachios, (soaked for 4 hours)
1/2 cup raw pecans, (soaked for 4 hours)
1/2 cup raw cashews, (soaked for 4 hours)
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds, (soaked for 2 hours)
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds, (soaked for 2 hours)
1/4 cup raw wheat germ (do not soak)
1/4 cup raw, shelled hemp seeds (do not soak)
2 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
1/4 cup dried, unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins
2 medium apples, cored and chopped
5 large medjool dates, pitted (soaked for 30 minutes)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons raw tahini
1/2 cup raw agave nectar, or maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

To minimize the use of bowls, I usually soak the nuts (walnuts, pistachios, pecans and cashews) for 2 hours and then add the sunflower and pumpkin seeds to the same bowl and soak another 2 hours. After soaking, rinse and drain the nuts and seeds in a strainer. Put them in a food processor and pulse 3 or 4 times until broken up to your liking. You may want to do this in two batches so the nuts and seeds don't get over processed.
Once pulsed, place in a large bowl. Add wheat germ, un-soaked hempseeds and ground flaxseeds to the bowl and combine with the processed nuts and seeds. Stir in coconut and cranberries (or raisins).
Without cleaning the food processor, add chopped apples, soaked dates, lemon juice, tahini, agave nector (or maple syrup), vanilla, cinnamon and salt and process until smooth. Pour into the bowl and stir into the nut mixture until thoroughly combined.
Spread out onto 2 or 3 Teflex sheets and dehydrate for 8 to 12 hours at 115 degrees F. Flip over onto mesh tray, remove Teflex sheets and dehydrate for another 8 to 12 hours or until dry and crisp to your liking. When complete, remove from dehydrator and let cool. When cool, break up into small pieces and store until needed in an air tight container. Refrigerated, it will last for a few weeks. Serve with berries and raw nut milk or juice or just eat by itself for a snack.

Per 1/2 cup serving: 248 calories, 16.1 g fat, 2.6 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5.7 g protein, 24 g carbohydrates, 3.9 g fiber, 1.2 g omega 3 and 6.3 g omega 6 fatty acids.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

looks perfect!