Yum – Raw Granola

A few days ago my wife and I attended an all day meditation class. We were asked to bring something to share during the lunch break. I knew that I wouldn’t have the time just before class to prepare anything, so I kind of put the idea of bringing something out of my mind and tried to neglect it. My wife didn’t. She suggested that we bring some granola that I’d make a couple days earlier. Her thinking was that it was done, raw, I could make more AND it tasted great. I agreed and didn’t think much more about it.

During the lunch, I was glad to see that multiple people picked it up and gave it a try. Turns out that the bowl was emptied quite quickly. A number of people sought out the chief (me) in order to figure out what was in it and they politely share their application. It’s not often that I go somewhere with my wife and not see everyone praising her over one of her fabulous concoctions!

Originally, I mentioned for the folks to just connect to this blog and search for granola. The search in the upper right hand side works really well at finding keywords and the article would simple come up. If you go and do that, you’ll find that the old granola article that I posted referenced a recipe that is no longer on the web! Dang. The old site that has been down for a while now and the folks that ran it seemed to have disappeared somewhere east of the rockies. Looks like the original recipe is gone for good.

So, from memory, here it is. Note that I make it different each time so the ratios really depend on what you have available to you when you start mixing. The one key ingredient, ground cinnamon powder, you’ve got to have that.


  • 1-2 cups raw hulled sunflower seeds soaked overnight
  • 1 (or more) cup raw hulled pumpkin seeds soaked overnight
  • 1 cup raisins soaked overnight
  • ½ cup dried apricots soaked overnight
  • 1 cup almonds soaked overnight
  • 1 cup pecans soaked overnight
  • 2 apples
  • 1 heaping spoon full ground cinnamon powder
  • ½ ripe pineapple (optional)
  • ¼ to ½ cup maple syrup

You’ll also need a food processor and dehydrator.

Step 1, soak the nuts and seeds! Give them time to rehydrate and start growing. With the nuts, soak for 6-8 hours and then rinse them off good. With the seeds, do the same but also let them grow for a while. Say, overnight. Make sure to rinse them good before using them for the granola. Also, soak the raisins and apricots. Yet, with the raisins and apricots, rinse them a few times before soaking them. You want to get any residue off the fruit before letting it hydrate. When we use this fruit, we’re also going to use the water that it’s soaking in. When you soak fruit, the water picks up a lot of the sugar. Since we’ll be removing the water in the dehydrator, there is no need to drain out that extra sugar!


As you can see in the above picture, I’ve run each main ingredient through the food processor. I pulsed each one and then poured it into the bowl. Each time, I made sure that there was some texture left with the particular ingredient. I don’t really like large chunks, so if you were to look at the almonds and pecans, you’d see that the biggest pieces are about ¼ to ½ the nut.

When it came to the apples, I cored them and ran them through the grader option. With the raisins and apricots, I mixed it until it was paste. The fruit is the glue that holds everything together.

When I added the pineapple this time, I wanted that chewy fruity feel so I cut it down to pie shaped pieces knowing that the dehydrator will take it down the rest of the way.

Step 2, mix it all together. Get everything evenly distributed and then add a large heaping spoon full of ground cinnamon powder and the maple syrup. Mix it more until the herb is spread evenly.


I like sheets of granola, thus I spread this large bowl out on four dehydrator sheets. Notice that I pressed it down to the width of the pineapple chunks.

Step 3, dehydrate overnight or maybe a bit longer.


You can peel it off and eat at any point, I like it when it’s still bendable but breaks apart if bent too far. This is usually 24 hours at 115 degrees.

When it’s done, you can’t tell there was ever any apple added. You’ll see the dark raisin and nut pieces, but everything else just kind of blends in like cereal.

Oh, most people think of this as candy! With all the fruit, it’s really sweet. I treat it like candy too. In a way, it’s like peanut brittle. The last picture doesn’t really show it, but in order to store it in an airtight zip lock bag, I fold the sheets over and over again until the pieces are 2-3 inches in size. Thus, each time I go for a snack, I get a cookie size piece to enjoy!

Note that the real trick here is the ground cinnamon powder. It’s just not the same without it!


Raw Cacao Fruit Balls

It’s been a while, but I’ve found another recipe that’s once again worth sharing. I’ve seen versions of this one on different videos and blogs over the years, but I’ve never really gotten around to reproducing them or playing with the flavors. That is, I’ve always tried to over complicate the treat by trying to make it more like a conventional truffle. Well, it doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it should be simple.

There are three things that really stand out about this recipe. 1) Its easy. 2) It tastes great and 3) it will keep you wired for hours! I’m really shocked at how wired someone can get off just a little raw cacao. I make it a point now to not eat these any later than about three in the afternoon. If not, well, you’ll find it really easy to not fall asleep in the evening. I guess if I was going out, this would be the perfect pre-function snack.


  • 1 cup dried fruit. (In this case Apricots, in previous cases cherries)
  • 8 large medjool dates
  • ¼ cup cacao
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Almond butter
  • ½ cup raw almonds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • Pinch sea salt

Add the dried fruit to the food processor first and chop until it’s as fine as possible. Apricots tend to break up into little square pieces. Cherries break down further, but the idea is to get it broken down while it’s still mostly dry. Next, add the vanilla powder, salt and Almond butter. Spin the food processor a bit longer. The mixture should break down even more. After it starts to stick together a little, add the dates and coconut oil. It won’t take long after that before you’ve got a big ball of paste.

It might actually feel more like fudge. This batch felt and tasted a bit like the filling in a Fig Newton. It was a bit tacky, yet kind of dry when it was pulled apart. As you can see, I piled it up on a plate and then reused the food processor to break down the raw almonds. You want to break them down into very small pieces, but not as fine as flower.

I didn’t take a picture, but at this point I rolled the ‘fudge’ into little round balls. I like them small. If they are too big, everyone wants to bite them in half and then crumbs fall all over the place. If they are small, it’s just one bite and no mess!

Note that the almond crumbs are for rolling the balls in. It makes them easy to pick up for the oil in the mixture will get on your figures, but not if there is a coating of something to block it.

This recipe makes a couple dozen (as you can see in the picture).

I love the fact that I can take a half hour and make a plate full of snacks for the week. I’ll probably take 4 or 5 a day everyday for lunch until they’re gone. I couldn’t tell you the count of calories, but I get the feeling that it’s not too bad. The cacao in it makes for a great pick-me-up after lunch. I can see myself making a lot more of these in the coming months. The only really tricky ingredient is the almond butter. Yet, I figure I’ve got ½ a jar left so I can make a couple more batches!

You are what you eat! – Thus, I must be a little nutty! 

See you soon.

Peach, Apricot, lettuce smoothie

It took a while, but I finally found some ripe apricots! I love these little orange dry-ish type fruit. One day I’d like to have a apricot tree in my backyard that would offer up sweet ripe golden nuggets like I found here.

I guess, since I’m at it, I’d love to have a full collection of fruit trees in my back yard. I’ve been putting it off for years now, but I know that the next place I move to will have room so that I can put in 20-30 different trees with a wide verity of fruit. I’ll have apples, pears, plums and figs as the base trees. To that, depending on the type of weather the area will have, I’d add peaches, apricots and cherries. Between all the trees, I’d grow different berries – raspberries that is.

Back to the smoothie.


  • 2 peaches
  • 4 to 5 ripe apricots
  • Bowl garden lettuce
  • 1 ½ cup watermelon juice

This is going to make a bit more than one quart.

But it will be runny. The watermelon gives is a light watery texture that makes it really easy to drink. You almost have to slow yourself down so that the mouthful’s mix with saliva adequately. You always want to make sure you ‘chew’ your smoothies to activate your saliva glands to really pump out the digestive enzymes. You don’t want to miss any of this wonderful nutrition!

I think I’ll make this one again!

Apricot Mango Swiss chard Smoothie

I know, I know, I didn’t learn the lesson from the first couple apricot smoothies and here I go again – making an apricot smoothie. So, I’ve got twenty lbs of these puppies and I’m trying to figure out a way that may make them taste a bit better.

So this time I added more dates and tried mango. In picture form, it looked like this:

Apricots, Swiss chard, Mango, Deglet Noor dates and water


  • 8 of the ripest apricots I could find in the box
  • Some amazing garden fresh Swiss Chard! Wow!
  • 1 Honey mango,
  • 8 or 9 or so Deglet Noor Dates
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • 1 little probiotic (optional)

It looks great stacked in the blender.

This looks nice stacked up and ready to go!

But the part that I really wanted to show with this posting is how I peal mangos. If you remember back a few postings, I linked in a YouTube video on how to peal a mango (view my article here). The woman in the video cut and sliced her way into a real mess. I don’t see it as that bad – even with a really ripe mango!

So here is the picture sequence.

Tools - nice sserrated knife and apple peeler
peel the mango

Stand on edge and cut down just off center.
Cut just off center on second side. Notice how thin the seed is!
Now lay the seed down flat and use the back side of the knife to scrap that last bits off the seed.

All it really takes is an apple peeler, a serrated knife and the ability to hold a ‘wet bar of soap’. The hardest part is lining up to cup along the seed. They are so flat that it shapes the fruit, so if you inspect it before cutting, you’ll slice right along the seed almost every time.

In the end, because I spent time picking out the ripest apricots from the collection, I ended up with something that was palatable.

But I still recommend avoiding apricots of you can help it. There are a ton of other choices that make it to market ripe.

Apricot Banana Smoothie with Spinach

Don’t let anyone tell you that all smoothies are created equal. It’s just not true. Some are really bad!

In my opinion, this one falters from the use of sub-prime apricots. Using ripe fruit is really important and, well, this time I guess I didn’t pick up ripe apricots. And I didn’t pick just a few, I picked nearly 40 lbs! I bought them over the phone for 25 bucks and, as it turns out, you get what you pay for.

In an effort to try to make them worthy for consumption, I let them age a little while. You know, how you might let a pineapple age or a banana age. Sometimes it works, other times the fruit is just too green and it doesn’t ripen much at all.

Armed with pounds of apricots, I went searching on the web to see if I could find the best apricot smoothie recipe around. I poked around a little and came across the Incredible Smoothies website. Looking a little deeper, I found a page that outlined their apricot smoothies. I thought to myself – ok, this looks as good as anything I’ve found, I’ll give it a go.

Aiming to make the Apricot-Banana smoothie this is what I mixed together:

Apricots, Spinach, Banana, Dates and water

I’ve got to say it all looks good.

  • 1 cup water
  • 8 little Aricots
  • 2 Bananas
  • 7-8 Deglet Noor Dates
  • A bunch of fresh garden Spinach
  • And a probiotic for good measure (optional)

After slicing the apricots in half and tearing out the seeds (wasn’t easy for the fruit was still pretty green), I stacked it all up on the blender and gave it a spin for 60-70 seconds and ended up with this.

Green - as in green apple tart!

Have to tell you it looks great!  Smooth and creamy, light and fragrant – but tart as H….eck. Dang, don’t like to swear much, but this one made me pucker up.

I think I’ve found a new fruit to avoid. I absolutely love raw peaches, but I have a hard time finding plums and apricots that have been picked anywhere near ripe. In a way, I wish I had a couple trees growing out back so I could pick my own 20 lbs – when they turned sweet and juicy.  I guess I’ll just have to wait until we’re clearly into peach season or for when the pears come around.

But for now, avoid green apricots at any cost. Save your money for something a little sweeter!