Monday, July 27, 2009

Emerald and Ruby Grawnola

This is the best grawnola ever! Its base is crunchy and nutritionally-dense buckwheat, which makes for a really satisfying raw breakfast cereal. Then its studded with gorgeous little jewel-like cranberries, apricots, pistachios and pumpkin seeds. The contrast of the deep ruby cranberries and dark amber apricots with the glistening green pistachios and pumpkin seeds is visually stunning - and don't forget, we eat with our eyes before we even taste a morsel.

What really makes this grawnola shine - both in appearance and taste - is a coating of olive oil and a dark/light sweetener combination. The oil and sweetener act as a glue to hold the mixture together, and they really amplify the flavors of the ingredients. I've used two sweeteners to give more depth to the flavor and to create a more broad mineral profile. I used a beautiful local raw honey with a sweet, mild flavor and dark agave in my mixture, but feel free to experiment with the fruitier flavor of yacon syrup or the complex sweetness of maple syrup.

You could use another oil if you prefer, but I like the savory flavor of olive oil (along with a bit of Himalayan salt, my favorite) in contrast with all the sweetness in this recipe. I'm a big fan of combining sweet and savory - I love the big punch of a broad flavor profile on my tongue. I guess I'm a bit of a flavor junky! Try it for yourself and see if you don't become an addict, too.

Emerald and Ruby Grawnola

3 cups buckwheat, soaked overnight
1 1/2 cups pistachios, soaked overnight
1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds, soaked overnight
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried apricots, cut into quarters
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup strong sweetener (dark agave, B or C grade maple syrup, yacon syrup, strong honey)
1/2 cup light sweetener (light agave, A grade maple syrup, mild honey)
1 tsp Himalayan salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Drain and rinse buckwheat, pistachios and pumpkin seeds. Combine in a large bowl. Add olive oil, both sweeteners, salt, cinnamon and cardamom. Toss to coat thoroughly. Mix in cranberries and apricots. Spread over teflex dehydrator sheets and dehydrate for 36-48 hours, until buckwheat is crunchy and mixture is mostly dry (will still feel a bit sticky). Place in a cool spot for a couple of hours, and the granola should harden so that is is completely crunchy and no longer sticky.

Stored in airtight containers, it will keep for a few weeks. Serve with nutmilk and fresh fruit, or just eat it on its own as a snack. Yum.

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