As I got older, kids at school called me a "crunchy granola girl" or "tree hugger". I didn't realize they were teasing me, I just thought they were stating the obvious. (I guess they were doing both.) It's funny because granola is seen by many as some super healthy magic food. But it's not too different from other cereals. Yes, it does have whole grains, and generally fewer nonsense ingredients, but it still has a lot of sugar and oil, often contains gluten and dairy and is very high in fat. Fat itself isn't bad, it just depends on the quality of fat. Most commercially produced granolas have bad fat.
Here's a recipe that is not too sweet, full of sprouted grains, good fat, fruits and veggies. Don't be scared by the high vegetable content, you'd never know by tasting it. It's great with coconut yogurt, almond mylk or a bowl of fruit. I've been snacking on it all by itself all morning, too.
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 1/2 cups raw, hulled buckwheat groats, sprouted for 2 - 3 days and rinsed
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
2 1/2 ripe bananas
1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight and rinsed, then chopped
1 cup pumpkin seeds, soaked overnight and rinsed
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup purified water
1 cup cashews, soaked
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt
8 drops liquid stevia
Combine zucchini, carrots, buckwheat, coconut, almonds and 1/2 of the chopped pumpkin seeds in a big bowl and mix well. Combine apples, bananas, water, cashews, cinnamon, salt, stevia and the other half of the pumpkin seeds in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the apple sauce over the zucchini nut mixture and mix really well. Spread the mixture over Teflex or parchment paper. (The granola mixture should be spread in a way that makes it easy to break into small pieces after it dries. I like to spread it and then scored it with a spatula.) Dehydrate at 104 degrees for 4 hours or until dry enough to flip. Dry for an additional 2 hours or until fully dry. When it is fully fried, break into smaller pieces and store in an airtight container.
Makes 10 cups of granola.