I have been wanting to venture into the wonderful world of dehydrating food for a while. Veggie chips, homemade dried fruits, homemade jerky, and granola! I have been daydreaming for months about the things I could do with a food dehydrator, and making Bill drool in the process after telling him of my delicious foodie dreams.
We have just received our first food dehydrator, compliments of Bill’s wonderful mom. She is the queen of thrift store shopping, and thanks to her we also have a killer food processor (check your local thrift stores folks, our food processor and food dehydrator cost under 10 dollars total for both!). The dehydrator appears to have never even been used – what a score!
Okay…on to the nuts. I love nuts. Nuts don’t love me, or my waistline, unfortunately. Yes, they are a healthy primal snack, but beware ladies and gents…they can pack a killer calorie punch, so less is more when you are trying to slim it down.
One of my many foodie dreams recently has been to make a grain free granola. I like a good kitchen challenge, and this was the first time I had ever soaked and dehydrated nuts, or dehydrated any food for that matter. What I love more than a good challenge in the kitchen, is seeing the look on Bill’s face when he tries a new food that I have made, and I knew this was one that he would absolutely love.
I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to do for the granola, so I just let my foodie intuition guide me. I first read up a bit on soaking and dehydrating nuts. Soaking the nuts in salt and warm water activates their enzymes, and dehydrating the nuts preserves their enzymes, all while creating a wonderful crispy, crunchy snack. I figured that once I had my crispy nuts made, the rest would be a piece of cake. The crispy nuts are very time consuming, and inconvenient if you do not have a food dehydrator (which we didn’t at the time of making these). If using your oven, you have to roast the nuts on a very low heat, about 110 degrees for 10-12 hours. If your oven does not go this low, then you must put it on the lowest temp and leave the oven door ajar.
This was a long process, but the result was a delicious snack, and a great alternative for those of you craving a classic cereal breakfast. However, I feel that I should add again that nuts are a food to be eaten in moderation. Don’t go crazy with the granola, or you may feel the effects later on…
- 6 cups crispy nuts, we used raw sunflower seeds, raw pecans, raw walnuts, raw pumpkin seeds, and raw sliced almonds
- 1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 cup chopped medjool dates
- 1 cup raisins
** This recipe can be scaled to any size you desire. However, if you’re taking the time to do this, you might as well make more rather than less. You may also prefer to make the batch of crispy nuts and split the batch in half to use half for granola, and half of the crispy nuts just for snacking, or another future recipe.**
For the crispy nuts-
- Soak nuts in warm water and a tablespoon of salt over night for 10-12 hours.
- Drain nuts and spread onto a baking sheet (oven method) or onto dehydrator racks.
- Dehydrate in a food dehydrator as directed, or in your oven at 110 degrees for 10-12 hours (if your lowest oven setting is higher than 110 degrees, leave the oven door ajar).
- Coarsely chop crispy nuts and place in a large bowl.
- Mix in shredded coconut, chopped dates, and raisins.
- Toss lightly to evenly distribute all ingredients.
- Keep in an airtight container.
- Serve granola with unsweetened almond milk, or coconut milk.
The crispy nuts were delicious on their own, and wonderful mixed in with the other ingredients for the granola. This was a fantastic snack, and a wonderful cereal-like treat served with almond milk. This granola would be a perfect snack to have around the house for the holidays. It is one that takes some time to make, but is well worth the efforts. Give our recipe a shot, or add a twist of your own.