This is the best granola of my life.
There. I said it. (Sorry Mom. Yours is awesome too.)
But this. This is life-changing.
Since cutting out most grains a couple of years ago, there are a few things I really miss. Popcorn was one. Grilled cheese another. And granola. Granola might be my favorite comfort food. It was hard to live withouth.
But a friend gave me the starting point for this recipe when we were on GAPS and I thought I died and went to heaven. Granola! Without the belly-ache!
I'm not sure who came up with the original recipe. It was one of those handed down friend to friend to friend deals. Over the years I've modified it heavily, so I think it's ready to share.
And besides. You need this. I just can't keep it to myself any longer.
Do go easy on this granola though, since it's mostly seeds and nuts and they are (in general) a food that our bodies have to work pretty hard to digest. Granola is a treat.
Also, the actual work-time of this recipe is short, but it takes a couple of days to go from nuts to granola, so plan ahead.
1 C pitted dates
1 large (or 2 small) apple cored and chopped (leave the peel on)
1/3 C honey or maple syrup (more or less to taste)
Juice of 1 lemon, lime, or orange
Zest of 1 lemon, lime, or orange
2 tsp salt
8 C assorted nuts and seeds (almonds, pecans, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, etc.)
2 C dessicated coconut
1 C fruit or vegetable pulp (from juicing, optional)
1 C hemp seeds (optional)
Begin by soaking your nuts and seeds in ample water and 2 TB sea salt. This helps reduce the amount of phytic acid in the nuts. Phytic acid, found in grains and nuts draws minerals from your body for digestion. Therefore soaking all grains (if you eat them) and nuts and seeds is key. (We really learned this while dealing with tooth decay for our daughter. Avoid eating lots of grains, seeds, and nuts if you are experiencing decay.)
You may want to soak the smaller seeds separatly as you'll need a mesh strainer for them. Otherwise toss them all in the same bowl.
Wait 24 hours day. (Or at least four hours. Four is good. Twenty-four is great.)
Soak dates in enough warm water to cover. Set aside and allow to soften.
Drain water off of nuts and rinse.
In a large mixing bowl combine nuts, seeds, coconut, citrus zest, and optional fruit and vegetable pulp and hemp seeds.
Strain soaking water off of dates. Reserve.
In your blender combine cored, chopped apple with citrus juice, honey or maple, and soaked dates. Add enough date water to make it easier to blend. Puree.
Pour your sweet and sassy syrup over nut and seed mixture. Stir with your hands, then lick off your fingers on your way to the sink. It's messy. But heavenly.
Dehydrate in your food dehydrator for approximately 12 hours or until completely dry. (No dehydrator? No worries! Spread on cookie sheets and bake at the lowest possible temperature in your oven. Stir occasionally to ensure thorough drying.)
I have yet to make this and not have my family snitch a good 30% of it right out of the dehydrator before it's even done. Plan on the same. The whole house will smell like heaven during the dehydrating and it's irresistible. Forgive them.
Grain-Free Granola is amazing on yogurt of with the milk of your choice. Also good out of hand as a snack.
Store in air-tight jars in the refrigerator or freezer.