Day 18: raw granola and cheesy salad

Stepping further in this week of light foods and what also happens to be a week of exceptional laziness. When I say lazy, I mean, had it not been for this project and the utter call of all things light and healthy, I’d probably be supporting all local takeaways. It happens to all of us, doesn’t it?

But alas,  as my fully shelved fridge and all the things I’d put to waste would come to haunt me in night, so it’s off the dishes of the day.

As an avid morning granola lover I’m always in search for new recipes and I’ve been inclined to try this one for a while after spotting it on the beautiful Roost blog. It is not one of the toss ups where everything is quickly toasted, mixed and baked, but calls for time and patience, awaiting the splendid result.

The idea behind the raw granola, or raw foods in general is that uncooked or foods cooked up to 46C/116F, retain their natural enzymes, which are far more beneficial for the body than once they are cooked. Now, I am most certainly not on raw diet, not will I think I’ll ever be, but it’s quite obvious that eating plenty of raw (organically cultivated) fruits and vegetables is beneficial (though I’m certain I won’t get tempted to try eating raw soaked potatoes any time).

This granola recipe on the other hand was utmost intriguing, especially since soaked nuts are far healthier than plain raw ones, as soaking improves the absorption of nutrients into the body and significantly improves the tastes of nuts, especially walnuts, discarding that bitter sub taste.

The result has even exceeded expectations: it was crunchy, much milder than you’d expect purely nut granola to be and absolutely delicious!

5.0 from 3 reviews

Raw granola
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 12

Ingredients
  • 2 cups almonds, soaked overnight
  • 2 cups hazelnuts, soaked overnight
  • 1 cup walnuts, soaked for four hours
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds, soaked for four hours
  • 9 dates
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions
  1. If using dry dates soak them in hot water for about 5 minutes to plump up. Remove the pits and add them to the food processor together with water, honey, vanilla and cinnamon, set aside.
  2. Next, roughly chop or blend nuts and seeds, and mix previous blend. Be sure to coat everything well.
  3. If you have a dehydrator you can use it, to dry the granola till crunchy, I’ve heated the oven on 45C/115F and dried it out for about 4-5 hours.

For lunch and dinner is a big bowl of yet another salad: fresh, easy and topped with a cheesy dressing, even though it doesn’t contain any actual cheese.

The item that gives my ordinary vinaigrette a distinct cheese flavour is nutritional yeast. I’ve only became acquainted with this ingredient last year, during a presentation of a vegan cookbook.

First of all it’s not the type of yeast that is used in baking and please don’t try adding this one, or you’ll end up with something inedible. Nutritional yeast has a flavour similar to cheese and is rich with vitamin B complex (you can find it in most health food stores, sold as flakes or powder), which is why it’s very popular as a cheese substitute for vegans.

I bought a pack out of sheer curiosity following the cookbook presentation and was pleasantly surprised just how versatile the ingredient is.  Sure, nothing can replace real cheese when it’s needed, but it’s a great alternative when a cheese like flavour is needed and you have none in the fridge. It can be used to flavour pastas, potatoes, pizzas or in this case a simple vinaigrette.

5.0 from 3 reviews

Fresh salad with cheesy vinaigrette
 
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Author:
Serves: 2

Ingredients
  • 1 broccoli head, cut into equal bits
  • 2 avocados, peeled and dices
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 eggs
Smoky hazelnuts
  • a small handful of hazelnuts or almonds, roughly choppped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt
  • smoked paprika
Vinaigrette
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 3-5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Instructions
  1. Cook the broccoli in boiling water for 3-4 minutes then drain.
  2. Add the eggs to boiling water with 1 tablespoon salt and cook for 6-7 minutes.
  3. In large sauce pan heat the oil and fry chopped nuts for a few minutes till they start turning brown and turn them over onto paper towel, and dust with salt and smoked paprika. Let it cool.
  4. For the vinaigrette, mix all the ingredients together.
  5. Serve the salad with smoky hazelnuts and cheesy vinaigrette on top.

nh

7 thoughts on “Day 18: raw granola and cheesy salad

  1. Very interesting! I’ve never thought of “soaking” nuts before and never imagined how that would help the flavor and texture. Your project keeps me very inspired. I definitely need to try making my own granola soon!

  2. That is such a great idea. Healthy and extremely tasty. Your salad is magnificent!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  3. I’ve juiced for more than a month so I’ve gone raw but I never soaked a potato. :) I’ve never heard of that yeast either so now I have to search the health food stores to see if it’s here.

  4. Gourmantine, I’ve been eating raw, soaked potatoes for years and didn’t realize it was healthy. ;) My Mom always peeled potatoes early in the day and set them in a pan of cold water to cook for supper later. We’d always “sneak” a chunk and enjoy that crispy crunchy snack. Don’t give up on raw, soaked potatoes — they’re a treat!

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