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Apple-Cinnamon gRAWnola

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I couldn't resist taking advantage of having such a beautiful yard and I decided to take pictures outside in the morning sun.
Sometimes it takes months for me to make a recipe that I come up with. This is one of those cases. For some reason, I never got to it until last weekend. I've been looking forward to making this for two reasons: it's a great snack that's easy to take along and I know that this way I'll eat pumpkin seeds. Don't ask why but I prefer them toasted and I just don't feel like eating any raw, unfortunately, because they're incredibly good for you. Yep, adding pumpkin seeds to my daily menu is the main reason I've been wanting to make this.

Pumpkin Seed Nutrition
Like all nuts and seeds, if you're on the lookout for some high quality protein, these green seeds are an excellent snack to reach for. Very high in protein but it doesn't stop there. Pumpkin seeds are among the most nutritious seeds out there. Manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper, zinc, and potassium are all present in incredible amounts. All of these minerals are essential for bone health and as most of us have heard it over and over, zinc plays an important role in keeping your immune system strong and might even play a role in supporting prostate health. If a loved one is fighting arthritis be sure to tell them about the anti-inflammatory properties of pumpkin seeds, or even better, don't start lecturing them just make them a nutritious yummy snack like this gRAWnola or something else they'll be happy to munch on daily. The phytosterols found in pumpkin (and sunflower) seeds also support your immune system, help lower cholesterol, and lessen the development of cancer. Need I say more? Eat your nuts and seeds and don't forget to remove (and eat) those from your pumpkin.   

Apple Cinnamon gRAWnola
1/2 cup almonds (I used soaked/sprouted ones)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (I used soaked/sprouted ones)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (I used soaked/sprouted ones)
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4-1/2 cup dried currants/raisins (or any dried fruit you prefer)
1 apple
sprinkle of salt
cinnamon to taste
sweetener to taste
optional: vanilla

Put the nuts, seeds, and currants in a bowl. Grate the apple (I didn't peel mine but you may want to) and add to the bowl along with the salt, cinnamon, sweetener, and vanilla if you're using any. Using your hands, mix it well and spread the mixture on a dehydrator sheet. Dehydrate at 115 ˚F (46˚C) for a couple of hours or longer depending on how soft or crunchy you like them.
Store your gRAWnola in a jar or container and if for some reason you don't finish your batch within a few days you might want to put it in the fridge.

Serving suggestions:
For breakfast, serve it dry or with fresh fruit and/or nut mylk added. Store bought cereals out of a box are not the greatest way to start the day. Here's an alternative. Serve it to your little ones because even if it takes adding extra sweeteners to their bowl you started them with a much healthier brekfast. Pack some dry into their lunch box for a mid-afternoon snack.
Another alternative is to add more sweetener to your already somewhat dehydrated mixture and press the gRAWnola into a square dish. Refrigerate it, cut into bars and wrap the individual bars into wax paper or plastic wrap. VoilĂ , you have gRAWnola bars to pack and send your kids off to school with. Ok, you better get to work now. I hope to give you one of my favorite recipes this weekend. All I'm going to tell you is that it's a dessert! : ) Have a great weekend in your apple-cinnamon-aroma-filled home and stay tuned...


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