When I finally got access to a dehydrator, the first thing I made was raw granola. It turned out so good, that now my family and friends don’t even bother eating it as granola, they eat it as snacks, take it with them on planes and eat it for dessert! Its really easy to make (don’t be scared of the long description, it really is super simple!), but it does take about 3 days because you need time to sprout the buckwheat.
Ingredients for the raw buckwheat granola:
Serves…a lot (makes about 2.5 dehydrator sheets)
Equipment: blender, dehydrator
For the “base”:
- 500g RAW buckwheat (sprouted)
Date paste, to stick it all together:
- 9-10 large medjool dates (or 18-20 normal, small dates) – soaked until soft
- 1 cup water
To add to the flavour:
- 1 cup walnuts (crushed)
- 1 cup almonds (crushed)
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup dry shredded coconut
- Liquid sweetener of choice, such as raw honey, coconut syrup or maple syrup (to taste – I put about 1/4 cup)
Superfoods (all optional):
- 1/4 cup maca powder
- 2 tb. sp. lucuma powder
- 1/2 cup goji berries
- 1/2 cup dried apricots (cut into small pieces)
- 1/2 cup cacao / carob powder (to make chocolate granola – yum!)
- 2 bananas (cut into small pieces – don’t make it into a paste, it becomes soggy and squishy)
- 3-5 vanilla pods
- Chia seeds (it doesn’t give any flavour, but some people like it for the nutrients)
- Spirulina (if you don’t mind eating green granola )
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
How to prepare the raw vegan granola:
Sprouting the buckwheat:
- Make sure you buy RAW buckwheat. This may sound silly, but in certain countries, like Russia, raw buckwheat is almost unheard of. I first found out that my Russian buckwheat wasn’t raw about 2 years ago, a year after I actually bought raw granola in the US and proceeded to cook it like I would with my usual one, turning it into a yucky gooey mess and grumbling to no end about “that strange American buckwheat” hahah! See the photo for the difference, raw buckwheat will be slightly greener than the roasted, brown buckwheat. In most European countries, you will find it only in organic/bio shops.
- Cover 500g of buckwheat with lots of water (it will triple in size, so make sure to give it plenty!)
- Leave it without touching for 12 or 24 hours (most people say it needs 24 hours, but by accident I found out that you can speed it up a little by just leaving it overnight for about 12 hours and it doesn’t make a difference)
- After 12/24 hours, drain the water and wash the buckwheat in a colander. Leave the buckwheat in the colander over a bowl for the next 2 days.
- This is important – wash the buckwheat every few hours during those 2 days (give it a little “shower” whilst it’s in the colander). If you don’t have a chance to do it so often, twice a day also works, but no less than that or it will smell funny.
- Soon you will see that the buckwheat will produce little tails. These can get really quite long, I usually mark the buckwheat as “ready” when the tails are about 2-3cm in length. Set this aside in a huge bowl (I didn’t have a large enough one, so I used a wok) and prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Preparing the date paste:
- This is a vital step and cannot be missed out as this is what makes the granola stick together. Start by soaking the dates in some water (you can cheat by using hot water to speed things up).
- Mix the dates and the water in a high speed blender, such as a Vitamix until it forms a paste. Set it aside for the moment.
Preparing the rest:
- The rest doesn’t need much, if you buy your almonds and walnuts whole, crush them into smaller pieces so they’re easier to bite.
- Mix the nuts, seeds, dried fruits and superfoods with the buckwheat (don’t squish, just use a spatula to gently mix it all).
- Finally, pour the date paste over the mixture and make sure its all even.
- Take out 3 dehydrator sheets and spread the granola evenly (you don’t need a teflex/baking sheet, the granola shouldn’t be too liquidy) – see photo below.
- Dehydrate for however long you wish using your dehydrator. Most recipes will say from 20-24 hours (flipping it over half way through). Personally I got used to doing it for 8 hours, this makes it go soggy after about 2 days, but in my family, it just doesn’t survive for longer so there’s no need to do it for longer but if you like yours really crunchy, then please do dry it for longer.
- Once ready, break into smaller pieces and enjoy with either some home-made almond milk, put it into your breakfast fruit puree, or just eat as is!