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Choosing Raw’s Beet and Hemp Granola

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It is DAY 17 of "Raw Food Recipes with Excalibur" and we celebrate today with the delightful Gena Hamshaw from Choosing Raw. If you don't know this lovely lady, I highly recommend getting acquainted. She is one of the most down-to-earth, honest, and inspiring people in the wellness community, and her blog makes for wonderful, honest, authentic reading. Gena shares a lot about herself in her website, and reveals the gorgeous shape of her heart. Furthermore, her observations about her own behaviour, and life in general, are incredibly inciteful.

This former book editor, certified clinical nutritionist, and pre-med, post-baccalaureate student at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. has created a warm, friendly, and compassionate community of conscious people interested in healthy living. Gena uses anecdotes about her childhood struggles with eating disorders and IBS, current personal experiences, and delicious vegan and raw recipes to inspire mindfulness in her readers. Having regained her health, vibrance, and balance with the help of a plant based diet, her personal experience is both compelling and useful.  

One of my favourite posts is a recent one reflecting on her “dedication vs. obsession” panel at BlogHer 2012. Gena openly shares (as she does often on her blog) her experience with eating disorders and discusses the idea of “mindfulness vs. madness” with regards to healthy, nutrition, and self esteem. To quote her, "Eating whole, healthy, raw and vegan foods is how I take a mindful, conscious approach to my health. Not insisting that each and every morsel food I eat be explicitly health supporting is how I avoid the madness that can come of too much health fixation." With regards to recovery, healthy balance, and perspective on the whole foods journey she offers this nugget, "Recovery, for me, has meant learning to value my food consciously, celebrate good taste, and make beautiful dishes. But it has also meant learning how to accept that food isn’t always the only priority in my life. It’s just a big one." This post (any many others) really spoke to me. I would highly recommend reading Gena's blog. It is quickly becoming a daily "must read".  

Another fantastic feature on Gena's site is the Green Recovery Series, where Gena celebrates the stories of men and women who have redefined their relationships with food in a positive way with the help of plant-based living. Gena also offers practical information about veganism and raw foods on her lifestyle page and get started pages, as well as throughout her blog posts. Trust me, it only takes one post to fall in love with Gena. She has written articles for VegNews, O Magazine, Whole Living Daily, Food52, other online and print publications, and she is just getting started! 

If my rave doesn't grab you, perhaps this inventive hemp and beet granola will. This raw vegan granola recipe tastes delicious, and looks absolutely gorgeous. Utilizing beets for both sweetness and colour yields spectacular results! As Gena points out in her original recipe post, this fantastic granola is also loaded with nutrients. It has heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids from the hemp seeds, which balance the Omega-6s in the sunflower seeds; protein from both seeds; antioxidant power from the goldenberries; soluble fibre from the rolled oats; and no refined sugar! Just dates and beets. In fact, what makes this granola fabulous (besides the fact that it is really different and has a GORGEOUS piggy pink colour) is that it is not too sweet. It is juuuuuust right!

Trust me, this incredible woman and her recipes are not to be missed. 

Gena, thankyou for participating in this event and sharing your wonderful recipe. You are just amazing...

Check out Gena's original recipe post
Learn more about Gena Hamshaw from Choosing Raw
Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

Choosing Raw’s Beet and Hemp Granola

  • 1 cup soaked and dehydrated buckwheat or rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/3 cup goldenberries (substitute raisins or cranberries if they’re easier to find)
  • 1 medium to large beet, roasted, steamed, or raw (if you don’t have a high speed blender, I would use roasted or steamed) and chopped
  • 6 large, pitted medjool dates, soaked for four hours or more and drained
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of Celtic sea salt
  1. Blend the beet, dates, water, oil, cinnamon, and salt in a Vitamix until smooth.
  2. Mix the oats, seeds, and goldenberries.
  3. Pour beet and date mixture over them.
  4. Line an Excalibur dehydrator sheet with Teflex or a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread with granola.
  5. Dehydrate at 115 degrees for about 6-8 hours, or until totally dry and crispy. If you don't have a dehydrator, you can bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes, or until browning but not burning.
  6. Serve over fresh berries with almond milk, or over sliced banana, or over a smoothie, or as a snack, or…however you want! YUMMO! 

Check out Gena's original recipe post
Learn more about Gena Hamshaw from Choosing Raw
Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

Tip: the best way to clean your blender

After blending up something sticky, gooey or smelly, just place a few drops of soap in the carriage with some warm water and blend on high until all of the congealed food slips away from the blades and sides. Then repeat this process. Then rinse with water and presto! Clean carriage. 
If you have smells or stains repeat this process with some bicarbonate of soda or lemon juice and water. 
Check out the video on A No Hassle Way To Clean Your Blender that I did as part of the Chow Tips Series.

Tess, what an absolutely lovely and generous introduction! I’m so moved by your kind words about Choosing Raw and the CR community.

Thank you for featuring the granola among so many other stellar and memorable recipes. What an honor to be a part of this event!


It is ALL true. ThankYOU for graciously being a part of this event. I am thrilled you were able to participate. That granola is DELICIOUS!

Now this looks gorgeous and granolalicious!!! Lisa,


It is SO easy and SO good! You will LOVE it Lisa :)

YUMMO indeed.  I will be making this Granola this week.


Yep! Can’t wait to hear what you think Gayle. Report back please :)

I made this yesterday and just pulled it out and it is delicious. I love the beautiful color. I am going to serve this with some pink flowers at a brunch I am having.


Oh, I LOVE that idea. Isn’t it a gorgeous colour?! It is really different too. So glad you enjoyed this recipe. Gena is AMAZING.

Such an incredibly creative use of beets - I love it!


Isn’t it?! LOVE this idea. Enjoy :)

My girlfriend and I were intrigued by this recipe, and as we haven’t received our dehydrator yet we made this in the oven on the lowest setting. This was really tasty. Thankyou.


Isn’t it wonderful?! So glad you made this. Gena and her recipes are amazing.

I made this in the oven and it was really good. Gorgeous pink!


Oh Great! Yes, isn’t this delicious?! LOVE this recipe and love Gena :)

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