Pacific Wellness Toronto News

SEASONAL RECIPE: Grain-Free Granola

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Grain free oat free paleo granola: mixed nuts, seeds, raisins, honey and coconut oil, white wooden background

by Dr. Bianca Drennan, ND

If you’re like me and you avoid consuming grains, or if you’re simply trying to reduce your consumption of grains, it can be a challenge finding a decent granola recipe.

Most granolas involve a significant amount of oats or other alternative grain. Unlike most granolas (grain-free or not), this recipe requires you to soak your nuts ahead of time and bake low and slow. The purpose of soaking nuts ahead of time and allowing them to dry out in the oven slowly is that it improves the digestibility of the nuts. Nuts and seeds can be very hard to digest, especially when they are the focus of a recipe. Nuts and seeds, as well as coconut are high in incredibly healthy polyunsaturated fats which are anti-inflammatory, great for skin, brain function, heart health, and mood. It is a great recipe to have on hand, especially when getting back to the routine of the fall. Use it to top chia puddings, smoothies, or enjoy on its own or with some nut milk. Also feel free to personalize it to your taste – your favourite nuts or spices or adding in cacao powder for a chocolate version.

Grain-Free Granola Recipe

 (adapted from Against All Grain)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups raw mixed nuts of your choice (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews, etc)
  • 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp whole flax seeds
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit (raisins, chopped apricots, chopped dates, etc)

Method:

Soak all of the nuts and pumpkin seeds in a bowl with enough water to cover. Cover the bowl and let sit overnight.

Preheat the oven to 250F. Drain the nuts and seeds and place on a paper towel to absorb the remaining water.  Place all of the nuts and seeds in the bowl of a food processor or blender and pulse until they are chopped and begin to look like the size of oats.

Add the flax seeds, coconut oil, cinnamon, maple syrup, vanilla, and sea salt. Pulse until combined.  Remove the blade and mix in the shredded coconut (or dump granola mixture into a bowl first). Depending on the size of your baking sheets, turn the mixture out onto 1-2 parchment covered baking sheets. Spread it evenly into a thin layer.

Bake the granola for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. The granola should be dried out and golden brown when it is finished, so depending on your oven it make take less time or more time. The granola will continue to dry out and become more crisp as it cools. Once cool, stir in the dried fruit.

The granola will stay fresh in an airtight container for 2-3 weeks. If you want to keep it longer than that (or if you have made a double batch), store it in the refrigerator.

Dr. Bianca Drennan ND, has been providing nutritional consulting and naturopathic medicine services at Pacific Wellness and is available for appointments.  If you would like to detoxify and trim your body, improve your lifestyle or address certain health concerns please call us at 416-929-6958 or submit your online appointment request to arrange your initial appointment.  The naturopathic appointments are covered by most employee benefits.

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