I am not someone who eats the same thing, every day, day in and day out. I crave new taste sensations and textures, and since eating a varied diet also helps us get the variety of vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to work optimally, I like to switch things up regularly.
So it might be quite unusual for me to eat the same thing four, even five days in a row then, wouldn’t it?
That is until you find out that I’ve been eating this easy combination of fresh fruit, nuts and seeds that I am calling “grain free granola”. It’s super healthy, super filling, super delicious and super flexible (is that enough super for you?) because you can make it with just about anything you might have lying around.
This ‘recipe’ came about one afternoon when I was craving an apple with nut butter… but I didn’t want to eat it in the usual way. I started throwing things in the food processor and it morphed from there. I’ve enjoyed no less than 10 different versions in the last few weeks. Sometimes the best things in life happen quite unexpectedly, don’t they?
This, for me, is one of them! I LOVE it.
You might too.
For this, you pulse a fresh apple or pear in the food processor until moderately chunky (or finer, if you prefer and your food processor does a better job of it than mine). This gives it the look of granola. Then pulse some nutrient-rich seeds and nuts, add some coconut, some dried fruit, a sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg or whatever else you fancy. Mix the fruit and the nuts together and voilà! Instant grain-free “granola” (and bringing with it an exciting explosion of taste and texture that I adore).
This fresh ‘granola’ is grain free, vegan and raw (as long all your chosen ingredients are). Substantial enough for breakfast, it will keep you full for HOURS. You can also enjoy it as is or in smaller portions for a tasty midday or mid-afternoon snack.
The best part is that this is so flexible you’ll probably never get bored mixing and matching various nuts, seeds and dried fruit. As you can see from the picture above, today’s breakfast consisted of: a Honeycrisp apple, hazelnuts, shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, dried cherries, and cinnamon. And I added sunflower seed butter and coconut milk on top!
If you’re bored of apples and pears, you might even want to swap those for other fresh fruit. As long as the fruit is fairly firm and lends itself to chopping, it should be fine. You wouldn’t want to use a soft fruit like plums or apricots because they don’t ‘chop’ very well; unless of course you don’t care about achieving that granola-like texture, in which case go for it. They may not give you the same chunky texture but I bet they’ll still taste delish!
This is tasty on its own or with milk or yogurt. I have enjoyed it with coconut milk most days. Adding one of these will also soften any dried fruit that might be slightly dry, plumping it up nicely.
If you’re looking for extra decadence (and I often am!), you might like to do what I do… and add a generous spoonful of sunflower seed (or other seed or nut) butter right on top. Then this does double duty as a healthy breakfast, snack AND dessert. What more could you ask for?
You are only limited by your own imagination and that’s my favourite way to eat anyway.
Fresh Fruit, Seed and Nut ‘Granola’ (Grain Free)
- 1-2 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 tablespoon of nuts almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts are all excellent and I use raw nuts in mine
- 1 tablespoon of seeds pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, sesame seeds, etc. and I use raw seeds in mine
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or nutmeg
- 1 tablespoons of dried fruit raisins, apricots, cranberries, blueberries or cherries, etc.
- 1 apple pear or other firm fruit
- Optional - 1 tablespoon of ground or whole flax seeds if using whole flax seeds, be sure to add them in Step 1 when you process the nuts and seeds
- Optional - Splash of vanilla extract organic if possible
- Optional – 1-2 tablespoons of nut or seed butter
- Optional - ¼ cup to ½ cup of nut or other milk or plain yogurt
Using a food processor, clean coffee grinder or whatever you use to grind nuts/seeds, add everything from the coconut to the dried fruit and pulse until finely ground. You can also leave the nuts a bit chunky if you prefer. Add this to a small serving bowl.
Core an apple (or prepare whatever fruit you choose). Cut it into slices and add it to the now empty food processor. Pulse a few times until it is your preferred texture. Add this to your small serving bowl.
Mix everything in your serving bowl.
Add any optional toppings like nut/seed butter, milk, extra nuts or vanilla. Enjoy (and often)!