Thursday, November 11, 2010

Vegan MoFo: Hazelnut-Chocolate GRAWnola and What's in my Kitchen

I really love granola. I make batches of it at a time and then bring it to snack on when I'm at class. This time around, however, I decided to go a little wild and crazy and make up a batch of raw granola.

Chocolately, hazelnutty, raw granola.

This recipe is super simple, and as you can see by my picture I make it in a $30 WalMart dehydrator with no problems. It makes a LOT more than that, I just took out the extra trays for clarity in the picture. It's super tasty on top of oatmeal or Cream of Wheat. In the summer I like to eat it by itself with sliced strawberries and bananas and almond milk, but it's a little too cold for that now. I really enjoy eating raw foods, but I find that I'm just not as interested in them when it's cold outside. They say you should just kick the spices up a notch and use such warming ones as ginger and cayenne, but I live in a real small town and my produce selection pretty much shrivels up during the winter. However, I think that if I lived on the West Coast and had access to more affordable, local, organic produce, I would definitely be raw. I don't even mind doing the prep work and waiting for it to dehydrate.

Anywho, let's do the recipe first because I have a photo slideshow for you! In this recipe, I measured the dry, whole hazelnuts first, then soaked them, then chopped them. Your granola might turn out a little differently if you use 1 1/2 c. pieces or something. 

Chocolate-Hazelnut GRAWnola:
1 c. dates, pitted, soaked at least 1 hour
2 1/2 c. buckwheat groats, soaked at least 1 hour, then rinsed well
1 1/2 c. whole hazelnuts, soaked at least 1 hour, then rinsed well and chopped
1/2 c. dried, unsweetened coconut
1/4 c. pepitas, soaked at least 1 hour
1 c. water (use the soak water from the dates first)
1/4 c. agave nectar (raw) or maple syrup (not raw)
1/4 c. raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. almond extract
Dash of sea salt

1. In a large bowl, combine the buckwheat groats, chopped hazelnuts, coconut, and pepitas.
2. In a food processor, process the dates with the water, agave nectar/maple syrup, cacao powder, cinnamon, almond extract, and salt until well-blended and liquid.
3. Add the chocolate-date paste to the dry ingredients and mix well to thoroughly cover all the ingredients.
4. Spread on a dehydrator sheet (may need to coat it first with parchment paper) and dehydrate four hours.
5. Crumble all the granola pieces and stir everything up. You may also need to switch or rotate trays. Let dehydrate for another four hours or so, or until the hazelnut pieces are completely dried out (you don't want the center of the nuts to still be moist from the soaking process). Enjoy!

I recently moved back in with my parents. I moved out when I was 18, and I'm 23 and a senior in college now. I have a good job, but it's only part-time and I was struggling to pay my bills. I moved back in with them to save some money, and when I graduate I'll be moving back out. Basically, what I'm trying to say here is that I got a small kitchen and my stuff already takes up half the space available. We don't have a pantry so I don't really have the room for the produce. Seriously. I buy my fruits and veggies weekly, but I'm often running out of space. I'll be able to have more raw food available for myself when I'm not so crammed in. Lol.

I know! Lets do a photo exhibit! Here's what my kitchen looks like:

 Exhibit A:
This used to hold mostly kitchen collectibles, but some of the stuff had to be cleared out for me so I'd have room to put my kitchenware (food processor, mixer, giant jar of cookie cutters...). I know also use the top to store my various flours, spice rack, and extra milks in aseptic containers (that one is hemp!). The glass bowl holds my raw food bars!

Exhibit B:
Here's our only cabinet used for food. We don't have much cabinet space and the rest is used for pots/pans, glasses, dishes, etc. The top one is mine and the bottom one is my parents. The glass jar is full of buckwheat crispies! I always dehydrate a bunch of those at once.

Exhibit C:
This is one the top rack above the fridge. The only thing that's mine is the generic Cheerios to the bran flakes. It's Arrowhead Mills organic Cream of Wheat (I love that stuff!!), cake flour, buckwheat pancake mix, and 7-grain fusilli.

Exhibit D:
This is our microwave. It's 24 years old and it just won't die. It's kind of a running joke in the family. The thing is huge and it takes like, 30 seconds to warm a biscuit (from room temperature!), but now we're all just curious to see how long it'll last. Anywho, the jar on the left contains lentils and the one on the right contains currants. As you can see, I'm all about reusing my glass jars, lol. Oh, and that Wonder bread is not mine!!!

Final Exhibit E:
The bottom row of the lazy susan is mine. It's where I keep my few canned goods and the rest of my jarred beans, seeds, and grains. You can see my Artisana coconut butter in there. Do you see the can of gravy on the top shelf? Yep. That's canned gravy. Nobody in my house will eat it, but my dad bought it to show my mom that it exists...

I'll spare you the fridge. It's a little messy in there. Basically though, the only thing I have in there is my produce (oranges, apples, broccolini, dates, and a ripe avocado), leftovers (cooked collard greens, cooked brown rice), hemp seeds, my Amazing Grass chocolate powder, various forms of flax, and my vegan butter. Oh, and my figgy jam. Mmm. Figgy jam.

And one last thing, I did happen to find an an awesome package of organic strawberries at HyVee (so these are in my fridge too, lol). Not only was it the last one, but I had a coupon for $.50 off. It was magical. I normally eat seasonal (regardless if I can buy it or not), but these berries were irresistible!

Yay! Now I have something to munch on with my granola in the mornings and you have a bright picture of strawberries stuck in your head! Have a great day!


Amber Shea @Almost Vegan said...

Buckwheat + hazelnuts + cacao = awesome. Maybe we should do a grawnola swap sometime ;)

Jess of Midwest Vegan said...

That is a most excellent idea. Especially since I was daydreaming about your raspberry-vanilla grawnola the other day... :)