Updated: May 4
I totally would if I could! But there is no need, because after you read this, you are going to make your own. 😊
Granola, or in this case, Rawnola, is an ingredient that I ALWAYS have on hand. It makes smoothies and smoothie bowls more nutritious and interesting. It adds texture, flavor, umami, and variety. It also contributes healthy fat, fiber, protein, and micronutrients. When I don’t want to pull out the blender to make a smoothie, I fill a bowl with fresh berries, chopped papaya, and a handful of granola, then douse the whole thing with fresh almond milk. It takes like 3 minutes to get together. Now, that is my favorite kind of fast-food breakfast.
And by the way, there are many other ways to use granola that are delicious as well. Have you tried granola sprinkled over any of the following?
Rawnola Combo Ideas:
· Almond butter toast
· A baked sweet potato stuffed with coconut butter
· A baked sweet potato drizzled with tahini
· Spinach and strawberry salad with goat’s cheese
· Gluten free banana pancakes drizzled with cashew butter
· Chia pudding
The possibilities are numerous and all delicious. But do keep an eye on portion size if you are watching your weight. Granola is high in calories, so stick to a 1/4th cup portion, which contains about 140 calories.
With brands like Kind and Purely Elizabeth, there are some good additive free options available at the grocery store if you would rather not make your own. But my goodness, they are pricey! Some are also quite high in added sugar (coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey), so watch out for that. Rawnola is also high in sugar, but it comes in the whole food form of dates. This is a much preferable way to get your sugar since it comes packaged with fiber, selenium, magnesium, calcium, antioxidant rich polyphenols, and potassium. Lots of good stuff going on!
In all honesty, it may take you longer to select a brand of granola from the 100 options at the store (since you are reading labels, right?), than to simply make your own at home with 100% clean and awesome ingredients.
To speed up the granola making process, or simply try something different, consider throwing together a batch of Rawnola. It’s exactly as it sounds. You don’t cook it, because well, it's raw. You simply chop, toss, and store it in a jar. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
While I think a completely raw & vegan diet is difficult to do without missing some important nutrients, like protein, iron, zinc, and B12, I do think that regularly eating raw foods is a very good idea. Some benefits to eating more raw foods include: they are nutrient dense (cooking reduces some of the nutritional content of foods), contain lots of fiber which is good for digestion, and are full of disease fighting phytochemicals. When you eat fresh fruits and vegetables, they are also a great source of structured water, and are very hydrating.
One thing to keep in mind is that some raw foods, like grains, nuts and seeds, contain high amounts of phytates. These are considered anti-nutrients since they bind to minerals, preventing their absorption. One way to reduce the amount of phytates in the nuts and seeds going into our rawnola is by soaking them overnight in water and 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar. You would then want to drain and dehydrate them in an oven set to a temperature of 110F or less or in a dehydrator. This is called activating the nuts, which not only makes them more nutritious, but also makes them taste amazing. This step is recommended, but not necessary, as even with the phytates, rawnola is very nutritious.
Ready to give rawnola a try? Here’s my recipe is want to give it a shot!
COCONUTTY GOODNESS RAWNOLA
· ½ cup organic rolled oats or mulberries
· 2 cups pitted Medjool dates
· 1.5 cups chopped nuts (walnuts & pecans are my faves!)
· 1 TBSP chia seeds
· ½ cup coconut shavings
· Pinch sea salt
1. Chop the dates up into small sticky pieces and add to a large mixing bowl.
2. Stir in all the other ingredients.
3. Store in an airtight jar!
Note: To make those raw nuts more nutritious and taste extra amazing, consider soaking them in filtered water overnight and dehydrating them at 110℉ until dry and crispy. The soaking helps to reduce the phytic acid content, which acts as an anti-nutrient, binding minerals and preventing their absorption from the digestive tract. By dehydrating them, instead of toasting them in the oven, you leave more nutrients intact. And I promise you, they taste so much better!