Thursday, March 12, 2009

How to Make "Soaked Granola"

Although whole grains are fantastically nourishing, they can also be very tough on our digestive systems. Grains contain phytic acid in the outer layer of the bran. This phytic acid can actually block the absorption of the minerals found in whole grains. In the process, it can lead to uncomfortable bowel symptoms as well. (To learn more on this topic, read Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions.)

However, there is a very simple way of preparing our grain foods in order to neutralize the phytic acid. By a simple soaking process, enzymes and friendly bacteria found in yogurt can "predigest" the grain for us. The soaking process also neutralizes enzyme inhibitors found in seeds and grains, making nutrients like B Vitamins more accessible.

One step at a time, right! If this information is new to you, don't fret. Take baby steps. Try substituting this granola for your current breakfast cereal and leave the next steps for later. The next steps will come... in TIME.

Soaking granola is actually quite easy. In the morning, mix together
  • 6 cups of rolled oats
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour
Add 1 cup of yogurt. You might want to mix this with your hands so that all the grain is evenly wet. It will look like a clumpy mess.

Leave this mixture to "soak" all day long. You could also let this soak overnight if you were going to bake during the day. I like to bake in the late afternoon.

After at least 7 hours, break up any clumps with your hands and mix in the following dry ingredients:
  • 1 cup of unsweetened dried coconut
  • 1 cup of seeds (sunflower, sesame, pumpkin)
  • 1-2 cups of chopped nuts (almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts)
Make a well in the center of the dry mixture, like this:

Pour the following wet mixture into the bowl:
  • 1 cup of oil. I prefer to use melted coconut oil (see my post on coconut oil), but you could use melted butter, EVOO or any other "healthy" oil.
  • 1 cup of honey
  • 1 Tbsp. salt (If your nuts are salted, you will want to reduce this amount.)
  • 2 tsp. real vanilla

Mix the granola until all of the ingredients are thoroughly wet. Pour onto two cookie sheets and bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour.

When the granola has cooled, scoop it into an airtight container. You'll see that I use the same lidded bowl in which I mixed the granola. Lastly, stir in 1-2 cups of dried fruit, raisins or dates. My photo doesn't have the dried fruit mixed in because my husband prefers his granola without. We sprinkle the raisins on once we scoop the granola into bowls.

This granola tastes great with milk. But my children love it best sprinkled over a bowl of thick smoothie. That is their choice breakfast. I have made many variations of this recipe. Here are a few additional thoughts.
  • If you want to reduce the oil, you can use 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce. This makes a "cakier" granola.
  • If you want to make granola bars, add two beaten eggs with the liquids and bake in a 9x13 pan at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Slice the bars while still warm.
  • If you want to keep it cheap, omit the nuts and dried fruit. We have eaten plenty of coconut/seed granola and it tastes just fine.
  • If you love cinnamon, add 1 tsp. with the dry ingredients.
  • If you want to use a dry sweetener like Sucanat, simply add 2/3 cup of water to the liquids and you will still be able to mix the granola together.


Teresa R said...

When we come back from our vacation, I'm going to try this because I think it's so much more healthful than even the organic cereals that we buy...thanks!

HappyHermit said...

Oooh , I love this !! Thank you for sharing , this would probably save me a good bit.

Noel said...

How did you know!! I was searching the internet just this morning for a granola recipe and I love yours. Thanks!

noelle said...

I can't wait to make this tomorrow! I have been looking for a soaked granola and haven't taken the time to create my own!

lori said...

THIS is great!! I'm heading to the grocery today and I'm making sure I have what I need!!

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!


Heather @ Not a DIY Life said...

Thanks so much for sharing this! My current granola recipe calls for maple syrup, which can be expensive. I will definitely be trying this soon!

Noel said...

Your soaked granola caused a whole new problem in our family over the weekend - self control. Yea, we lost it and now the granola is almost gone, have to make more :)

Emily said...

I made some of this yesterday. I didn't like it when it was fresh but after it sat for a few hours...oh my. It's wonderful. My husband LOVES it. Thanks so much. I only had a 1/2 batch yesterday so I am about to start a full batch soaking.

Do you mind if I link to this later in a post?

kathy said...

Thanks for this recipe! We love granola especially when camping - I'll print this out to try next time

Angie said...

I don't know what happened...I made your granola twice, just to make sure I hadn't done anything wrong, and it turned out weird both times. First of all, the amount of yogurt did not seem to be sufficient to properly "soak" the grains. It was a very dry mixture. Also, the amount of whole wheat flour seemed like too much, as when the granola was done baking, the oats were indistinguishable. The flour made it more like a cookie. Also, it did not bake in the time the recipe states. It took about three times as long, and I had to flip the granola over becuase it was so dense that it was not drying out.

I have been looking for a good soaked granola recipe, so I'd like to find one that works. Can you tell me if I'm doing something wrong?


Amy Ellen said...

Hi Angie,

Hmmm... I would really like this recipe to work for you too! May I ask what type of oats you are using. I use old-fashioned rolled oats. If quick oats are used, they will soak up the yogurt mixture before it can be spread evenly. It will also leave the oats indistinguishable in the flour mixture. And, being much wetter in places, it can affect the baking time. This is my first thought.


Amy Ellen said...

Hi Angie,

Another thought: what type of oil are you using? Certain oils may make a cakier granola than coconut oil... and certainly applesauce would.

The flour is added because it helps the granola clump up a bit... that's how my little hands like it as they snack on it. Omitting the flour would make a granola more similar to store bought brands... single-oat-like.

Hope this helps! Amy Ellen

Heather @ Not a DIY Life said...

I've used this recipe to make granola bars twice and we love them! I've added this recipe to my recipe blog and linked back here.

Thanks so much for sharing!

AmyK said...

Thanks for a great, soaked granola recipe! I used coconut oil and a combo of honey and ginger syrup - it turned out great.

Anonymous said...

I just made this and it turned out great!! I didn't use the flour, just the oats and I used a little more yogurt than you did for the soaking. Otherwise, everything else was the same. It's SOOO yummy!

Rebekah Daphne said...

This tastes great! I used a little more yogurt, some cinnamon, and only 1 teaspoon of salt. I think I'll use the called-for amount of yogurt next time, because I would like it to be crunchier-- I baked it for 2 hours and it's still quite soft. Thanks! I really wanted to find a good soaked granola recipe.

Dayna said...

I cannot wait to try this! I love your blog, by the way. A friend gave me this link, and glad I am!

Dayna said...

The children and I just had this for breakfast, and it was fabulous! I added cinnamon, dried blueberries, and dried apricots. I also added the coconut afterward, rather than baking it with the granola. I'm thinking that I'll add grated orange rind the next time. That's something that I've done with other recipes, and it's always a hit. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe! 6 out of 7 family members loved it -- the other one had already gone to work, so he'll have to love it later. :-)

Celine said...

Hi, your recipe is baking in the oven right now. Thanks! One question, though. I didn't have coconut or seeds. Should I have added extra oats? Do you think it will be too wet without these? Thanks!


Mutuelle sante said...

Thank you it has been a good support, now to make "soaked granola" is easy with your information. Thank you

Rachel said...

Hi Amy, Do you know if using a gluten free flour mix would be OK or spelt or buckwheat flour?

Thank you,


Rachel said...

forgot to check to box to email me the response! Thanks,


Amy Ellen said...

Hi Rachel,

Since you're not necessarily depending on the gluten in the flour to stretch and hold as in bread, I would assume that any gluten-free flour would do -- even almond or coconut flour. Really, the flour I add is just to keep the oats and goodies in better clusters since my kids like it that way : )

Thanks! ae

sarah said...

i have just stumbled upon your site and LOVE IT!!!!! I have the granola in the oven and its been baking for the hour but it still seems very wet, is this normal???