With all my granola and muesli making, you think it wouldn't have taken me this long to figure out a like recipe with chocolate. Is there anything that isn't made better with chocolate? Ice cream, pancakes, curry. You see what I mean.
So this week, with a jar of cacao in hand, I set off to make a delicious raw chocolate granola.
And for your munching pleasure, here is what I came up with.
1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup raw almonds
3 cups buckwheat
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup coconut
1/4 cup chia
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup cacao
1 tbsp vanilla powder
1 tsp salt
1. Soak the walnuts, almonds, buckwheat, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. For individual instructions of each of these, see note at the bottom of this post.
2. One at a time, pulse the walnuts and almonds into buckwheat sized chunks in a food processor.
3. Put all the nuts and seeds into a large bowl.
4. Place the coconut oil (and honey, if it's hard) in the dehydrator to melt.
5. Combine the honey, coconut oil, cacao, vanilla and salt.
6. Pour over nut mixture and mix well.
7. Add the shredded coconut and chia seeds and mix.
8. Spread out over two dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 105 degrees for at least 24 hours, or until crunchy (the almonds especially, will need significant time to dehydrate - you can speed up the time it takes to dehydrate this recipe by using previously soaked and dehydrated almonds and walnuts in this recipe.)
9. Enjoy on it's own or with your favourite fresh nut milk andfresh berries poured over it!
A note on soaking nuts and seeds:
Nuts and seeds are covered in naturally occurring phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors to protect them until they find themselves deep under the ground prepared to sprout and grow. In the moist, dark underground these protections are released from the dormant seed, and the seed becomes 'live' again and grows.
In their dormant state, nuts and seeds can be difficult to digest at best, and toxic at worst. We learned just how bad the nuts' protection can be when we started soaking nuts last year. Thinking we would otherwise be wasting the soak water, we began watering our house plants with it. It killed our previously thriving plants in a matter of days.
By soaking and rinsing nuts and seeds you release the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors, bringing the life back into them, and create a living, nutrient rich food to eat. There are varying opinions on how best to soak and sprout nuts and seeds, but this is the method I follow for each on in this recipe:
Walnuts - Place in bowl with about twice the volume of the nuts and cover with filtered water. Soak 8-12 hours. Rinse and use in recipe, freeze for future recipe, or dehydrate.
Almonds - Place in bowl with about twice the volume of the nuts and cover with filtered water. Soak at least 12 hours. Rinse and use in recipe, freeze for future recipe, or dehydrate.
Buckwheat - Place in bowl with about twice the volume of the buckwheat and cover with filtered water. Soak over night. Rinse very well (buckwheat gets very starchy). Leaving the rinsed buckwheat in a sieve, place over a bowl and cover with a clean dish towel. Rinsing occasionally (2-3 times a day) let sit for two days, or until the buckwheat starts to sprout, and the sprouts are as long as the buckwheat themselves. Use in recipe, freeze for future recipe, or dehydrate.
Sunflower seeds - Follow the same instructions as the buckwheat.
Pumpkin seeds - Follow the same instructions as the buckwheat, but only sprout or an additional 24 hours after soaking. Pumpkin seeds will not sprout long sprouts.
Watch to make sure that whatever you are soaking does not go bad. You know it has if it starts to smell or gets slimey. Throw away rotten nuts and seeds as they will not be good for you.