I heart grains. Probably more than sugar. And that’s saying something.
So when I declared March grain-free month, I knew I was going to have to find viable alternatives to appease my breakfasty-treat cravings (pancakes, granola, muffins, etc).
Enter: Grain-Free Granola.
Not an oxymoron, but a veritable feast of nutty goodness, sweetened with dates and best served on yogurt with a dash of raw honey and coconut flakes.
The original recipe came from Elana’s Pantry–which is a fantastic grain-free resource–but I made a few tweaks based on preference and what was in my own pantry.
Grain Free Granola
2 cups almonds
1 cup macademia nuts
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup dates (or raisins)
1 T vanilla extract
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t allspice
1/2 t sea salt
2 T chia seeds (or flax seeds)
1.) Soak nuts and seeds in a bowl of water overnight.
2.) Soak dates overnight in a different bowl, in about 1 cup of water.
3.) Puree dates, along with the water, in food processor until smooth.
4.) Drain and rinse the nuts and seeds; throw out the water.
5.) Add nuts and seeds to date mixture in food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. (I found it helpful to first remove the date mixture, then chop the nuts/seeds alone, then blend the two together).
6.) Add the vanilla, salt, spices, and chia seeds and stir or pulse until just combined.
7.) Pour mixture onto two parchment-lined baking sheets.
8.) Bake at 300°F for 40 minutes*, gently stirring granola and rotating baking sheets halfway through. (This will yield a slightly soft granola; for crunchier, bake a bit longer).
*To make raw granola: (assuming nuts were raw, not roasted, in the first place) dehydrate or bake in the oven at the lowest setting (no higher than 150 F) for 24 hours. This article, which draws heavily from this one, is helpful in explaining why you’d want to keep the nuts raw.
My oven only goes down to 170 F and raw nuts don’t fit in my grocery budget. So, happily, I ate my granola after 40 minutes.
Note: Nuts and seeds can easily eat up the grocery budget. Hence-
Tips for a more frugal grain-free granola:
- Buy dry roasted nuts instead of raw. Are raw ones better for you? Yes. Do they cost lots more? Yes.
- Substitute walnuts or more almonds for macadamias, which tend to be the most expensive
- Use raisins instead of dates
- Put your husband’s allotment in a separate container. Give to husband. Then hide yours.