Paleo / Low Carb "School Safe" Granola (Nut Free, Vegan, GF, Keto)

TIgernuts are featured in this Paleo/Nut Free granola:

Skinned Tigernuts

Skinned Tigernuts

"The world’s first superfood", tigernuts are not a nut, but a tuber - a small root vegetable from the same family as potatoes, yams and jicama. As such, they are non-allergenic.

Originating from Africa, it is said that they comprised 80% of our Paleo ancestors’ diet about 2 million years ago!  They were also a valued food in ancient Egypt. Currently tigernuts are cultivated in West Africa & Spain. In Spain, tigernuts are known as ‘chufa’ and are used to make the popular drink, Horchata.

Tigernuts are the highest whole food source of resistant starch; a prebiotic fibre that resists digestion and feeds the good bacteria (probiotics!) in our gut. They are also a good source of healthy fats, with a fatty acid composition similar to olive oil, and are a good source of magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, iron and vitamins C and E.

Tigernuts can be eaten straight out of the bag - they taste sweet and slightly nutty with a chewy texture. - although it is recommended to soak them in water for about 8-10 hours in order to make them softer and to enhance their flavour. They can also be used to make tigernut milk; a dairy/nut/seed free milk alternative that is high in calcium. You can also buy them already ground into a flour to use in baking or smoothies.

Paleo / Low Carb "School Safe" Granola

"Bigger things":
1 C Tigernuts (skinned)
1/2 C Pumpkin Seeds
1/2 C Sunflower Seeds
1/2 C Coconut Flakes

"Small Things":
2 Tbl Hemp Seeds
2 Tbl Cacao Nibs

2 Tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Powder
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Lucuma Powder (optional)
1/2 Tbl Maca Powder (optional)

2 Tbl Coconut Oil
2 Tbl Cacao Butter - don't worry about getting it exact. I used "a chunk". 
2 Tbl Coconut Butter - don't worry about getting it exact. I used "a chunk". (see  note)**
1/4 C Maple Syrup or raw honey or 3 Tbl Xylitol, or Erythritol, or Monk Fruit, or a combination, etc. Depends on your wants/needs... i.e. if you follow a "keto" plan, you know what to do.... (see note):***

** Cacao and coconut butter will be harder at room temperature than coconut oil, contributing to the texture. But if you don't have cacao butter or coconut butter, use 1 tbl or so more coconut oil - which hardens in the fridge/colder temperatures.

*** You can use less sweetener, or omit it entirely, as the Tigernuts have their own sweetness, as does coconut. You might even add more salt. Experiment! 

NOTE: This recipe is very forgiving: everything is optional - use what you have but try to keep to roughly the same proportions. For example, you might use sprouted buckwheat instead of tigernuts (although with their sweet, nutty flavour and uniquely crunchy texture, as well as their health benefits,  I think they are worth a try if you can get them). Or, you might use almonds or walnuts instead of or in addition to seeds (use fewer seeds), you might have coconut shreds instead of flakes. You can add raisins or dried cranberries, etc. 

1) Soak the TIgernuts overnight in water in order to soften them. 
Optional: If the pumpkin and sunflower seeds are raw, soak them overnight as well (with some salt) in order to reduce enzyme inhibitors*. 

Preheat oven to 300.

2) After soaking, drain the TIgernuts and the seeds (and any nuts you may have soaked).
Pulse the Tigernuts in the Food Processor in order to break them up into smaller chunks. (If you choose to include nuts, you may prefer to pulse them as well).

3) In a large bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients ("Bigger things", "small things" and "powders") including the soaked/drained seeds and tigernuts (and any nuts if using). Remember, if you are replacing/adding different ingredients, try to keep to roughly the same proportions. 

4) In a double boiler (or use a glass bowl over a pot of hot water) melt the Cacao Butter, Coconut Butter and Coconut Oil.  Once melted, add maple syrup (if using).

5) Mix wet ingredients together well and pour them over the big bowl of dry ingredients. Mix well until everything is coated. 

6) Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spread the granola mixture evenly onto the lined sheet. Check back every 10 minutes and mix it up with a spatula. Remove once golden brown. It may still look a little wet, but that’s ok (that's from the melted coconut oil, which will harden when cooled).
Note: You can also choose to dehydrate at 115°F for 7-8 hours until crispy. This is how I did it. 

7) Allow to cool and dry for at least 30 minutes or so. This will also allow it to "set" (the coconut oil and butters will harden).

Enjoy with your favourite yogurt or milk, or on its own. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. 

* Raw nuts and seeds contain enzyme inhibitors, which prevent them from sprouting prematurely. These enzyme inhibitors can bind to minerals in the gut, and can also be hard on digestion. Soaking neutralizes the enzyme inhibitors, increasing the bioavailability of nutrients and making the nuts/seeds easier to digest.