Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Apricot Almond Granola - chewy, crunchy and moorish!


I don't know what I'm doing wrong but I have so much on my plate I just feel overwhelmed. It's putting me on the edge and really testing my immune system. Thank goodness I live and eat healthy or I think I'd be a mess. Making just about all of our meals as well as everyday staples and treats definitely helps to keep us healthy and on top of the busy lives we have created for ourselves. Does anyone remember watching Towards 2000 and the beginning of the home computer era. We used to think we'd have nothing to do because it would all be done for us!! We wish, we've created a monster! It's getting worse, not better. I yearn for the days of shops closing Saturday lunch time and not reopening until Monday. TV only coming on at 5 in the afternoon then the station closing down at about 10-11. No internet, phones on the wall or on the side table in the hallway. Family get togethers, picnics, outings on the weekend being the norm. No shops, cafe's or restaurants involved. Maybe I'm old fashioned but the truth is I really do miss those days and they will never return. Our children now communicate with their friends from their bedrooms. It's pretty sad really.


This is one of those healthy staples that's really versatile and can be added to a host of delicious creations including, fruit salads, chia puddings, overnight oats, bircher muesli, smoothies, muffin tops,  or just nibbled on for a quick nutritious snack. They contain almonds which are packed with heart healthy fats, protein for grown and repair, calcium for strong bones and teeth, iron for energy, fibre for bowel health and vitamin E which is an antioxidant and we all know they are great for anti-aging! ;-) they are the perfect addition this tasty recipe. 

  

Activated almonds have been added not only for their delicious crunchy and creamy texture but also because they really are a super nutritious ingredient that nature has purposely provided for us. As you can see from the cute little info graphic below their presence in this sweet and crunchy granola will help to control blood sugar surges that could potentially occur due to the addition of the sweet fruit and liquid sweeteners we need for energy and brain function.  Another prime example showing us the importance of consuming a well balanced diet of natural whole food ingredients straight from nature. 

 Almond information courtesy of nuts.com 

Are you wondering why I activate my almonds? Here is a list of to show you... :-)


1. To remove or reduce phytic acid.
2. To remove or reduce tannins.
3. To neutralize the enzyme inhibitors.
4. To encourage the production of beneficial enzymes.
5. To increase the amounts of vitamins, especially B vitamins.
6. To break down gluten and make digestion easier.
7. To make the proteins more readily available for absorption.
8. To prevent mineral deficiencies and bone loss.
9. To help neutralize toxins in the colon and keep the colon clean.
10. To prevent many health diseases and conditions.


Soaking in warm water neutralizes enzyme inhibitors, present in all seeds, and encourages the production of numerous beneficial enzymes. The action of these enzymes also increases the amount of many vitamins, especially B vitamins. During the process of soaking and fermenting, gluten and other difficult-to-digest proteins are partially broken down into simpler components that are more readily available for absorption therefore enhancing and making the nutrition that contain fully available and ease any digestive discomfort some people experience when consumeing store bought raw almonds.

All you have to do is soak raw almonds in ample amounts of filtered water as they will absorb a lot of it overnight. In the morning rinse and drain thoroughly then lay them out on mesh sheets and dehydrate for 24-36 hours at about 46-48 degrees celsius until they are dry and crunchy. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes then store in a sealed container in the pantry or fridge if you live in a fairly warm area. The resulting taste and texture after activation is in my opinion much better making the effort that much more rewarding.

Apricot Almond Granola
Makes: 1 large tray

Ingredients:

1 cup organic dried apricots
1 cup almonds (preferably activated)
1 cup sultanas
1 cup coconut flakes
½ cup desiccated coconut
½ cup pitted dried dates – ground fine
½ cup goji berries
½ cup pepitas (pumpkin seed kernels)
1 tsp mesquite (optional)
½ tsp each of ground cinnamon and vanilla powder or paste
½ cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup honey, agave or maple syrup (don’t use honey for vegan)
1/3 cup coconut oil

Preparation:
  1. Preheat oven to 150oc and line a large baking tray with baking paper or silicone mat.
  2. Roughly chop the almonds and apricots in a blender or food processor until you get large even chunks, this is best done on a low speed to maintain control of the texture. Don’t let it get too fine although it wouldn’t really matter if it accidently does.
  3. Add apricots and almonds to a large mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients except the sugar, liquid sweetener and oil. Stir the mix to evenly combine and distribute the powders.
  4. Add the coconut sugar, liquid sweetener and coconut oil to a small pot on medium to melt and dissolve stirring while it heats up. Once the coconut sugar had dissolved pour the liquid over the mixture and stir to combine then spread out onto the baking tray and bake for 30 minutes. Redistribute the mixture every 10 minutes so that the edges don’t burn and to encourage even baking to achieve a crunchy texture throughout.
  5. Once done remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes then while still warm give it a gentle stir to break it up so that you have a finer mix. If left you will get big chunks that will need to be broken up. Both are nice. 


It's even good enough to eat before you put it in the oven. ;-) 


So please share, does anyone else feel the same as I do about how busy we have become and how it's affected out lifestyle? 



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Disclaimer:

I am not a doctor, registered dietitian or fitness expert. The purpose of my blog is to share my experiences with food, fitness and life and hopefully to inspire you. All content provided on my blog is for informational purposes only. I make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. Karen

Karenluvslife

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