Yesterday I made raw granola using soaked and dehydrated seeds and nuts. It was my first experiment with the whole process of soaking and dehydrating nuts. Now I think I’m going to be soaking and dehydrating all of our nuts. I can’t believe what a difference it makes in their taste and texture (and from what I’ve read, it also makes it easier to digest them). And it was so easy to do!
I’ve had an Excalibur dehydrator for a few years now, and I use it to make raw crackers and “sun dried” tomatoes from our garden. I’ve also used it to dry fruit for recipes. It’s a great machine, and I decided that I should be using it more often. So on Friday, I started soaking some buckwheat for my granola. I put a about two cups of buckwheat in a bowl and added several cups of water. I let them soak overnight, and drained off the water in the morning. If you’ve never soaked buckwheat before, don’t be alarmed by the slimy consistency of the soaking water! I rinsed the buckwheat and added fresh water to let it keep soaking for several more hours. In a separate bowl, I mixed almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds (probably 2 – 3 cups total, going heavier on the seeds than the nuts) and covered them with water. I left both bowls to soak for about six hours (so the buckwheat got about 18 hours of soaking time, while the nuts and seeds got about six).
When I rinsed the buckwheat the second time, the water was still slimy, but much less than it had been the first time. I thoroughly rinsed the buckwheat and the nuts and seeds, and let them drain in a colander for a few minutes. Then I spread them on my dehydrator trays in thin layers. I didn’t use the Teflex sheets that come with the dehydrator, because everything was big enough to sit on top of the screens and I figured it would dry faster that way. But I forgot about the fact that the buckwheat would shrink as it dried, and some of it ended up falling through the screens. So I recommend using the Teflex sheets to dry buckwheat.
Anyway, I dried everything for about 5 hours on 115 degrees. It all had a wonderful, light and crunchy texture and I quickly became a fan of soaking and dehydrating nuts. My next step was to mix the buckwheat together with the nuts and seeds in a big bowl, and then I added in dried mulberries, chia seeds, and cacao nibs. (Shredded coconut would have been a great mix-in at that point, but I didn’t think of it until this morning.)
In a small bowl, I mixed together about 3 Tbsp sunflower seed butter, 1 Tbsp maple syrup, and 2 Tbsp coconut oil. Then I added the wet mixture to the bowl of dried ingredients, and mixed it well for a few minutes to make sure there weren’t any clumps of wet ingredients left.
I tasted my concoction to make sure it was on the right track, and almost grabbed a spoon to eat a bowl full right then and there…
Next, I spread the granola back on the dehydrator trays (with Teflex sheets this time) and put it back in to dry for about two more hours.
It’s amazing stuff. It’s easy to make and comes together very quickly – except for the time you spend waiting for the dehydrator to work its magic, but that’s always the case with dehydrator recipes. Don’t worry about following the recipe exactly. Use whatever nuts and seeds you like and have on hand. Try to keep the dried fruit to a minimum, since it adds a lot of sugar to a granola recipe. Here’s a rough estimate of the recipe I used:
For the granola:
- 2 cups buckwheat, soaked at least 18 hours (change the soak water at least once)
- 1/2 cup almonds, soaked 6 hours
- 1/2 cup walnuts, soaked 6 hours
- 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds, soaked 6 hours
- 3/4 cup sunflower seeds, soaked 6 hours
- 1/2 cup dried mulberries
- 1/3 cup cacao nibs
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1/2 cup dried coconut (I’m adding this now that I’ve thought of it – it will be easy to mix in to the finished granola)
Mix everything together.
Then combine these ingredients in a small bowl:
- 3 Tbsp sunflower seed butter (amazing stuff!)
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
Mix the wet ingredients with the dry and stir until well combined. Spread it out in thin layers on your Teflex-lined dehydrator trays in thin layers. Dry at 115 degrees for a couple hours or until it’s as crunchy as you like it. Store in an airtight container, and enjoy!
If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can probably use your oven with the door cracked a bit and the temperature at a low setting – maybe 250 degrees. Check on it frequently and stir it around to make sure it’s just drying out and not burning.