We love granola like most folks, but we’re sorry to break it to you: most of the granola you’ll find in stores is kinda crappy from a health perspective! We know, you thought granola was a health food, right?
Granola is usually less processed than cold cereals, but many of them have WAY too much sugar per serving. Don’t be fooled by those healthy sounding sweeteners like organic cane sugar and brown rice syrup y’all! The grains can also be hard to digest in that form. We can do better than that!
Before you go off and cry at the thought of giving up your crunchy morning goodness we have a solution: make your own soaked granola! Soak you say!?! Doesn’t that make it mushy? Quite the contrary! Soaking your grains with a source of probiotics (like yogurt, kefir, or whey) and something acidic (like apple cider vinegar or lemon juice) before cooking them breaks down “antinutrients” like phytic acid & enzyme inhibitors. Not only do these naturally occurring plant compounds make the grains harder to digest, but they inhibit your absorption of super important minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, & zinc! The end result is easier to digest, more nourishing, crunchy, AND amazing! So worth the effort! We have found a few companies that produce a sprouted granola, but making our own is far more sustainable than shelling out upwards of $15+ for a small container of the good stuff!
Check out the recipe below and use it as a general guide for your own creation. Quality matters, so using organic, minimally processed, whole food ingredients whenever possible is key. Keep in mind when you are shopping for deals, using what’s in season, and pulling from your pantry your recipes will never be exactly the same. They shouldn’t be! Get creative & flexible. Healthy eating CAN be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be if you’re resourceful : )
Start by soaking your grains & groats:
- 5 cups gluten free rolled oats
- 1 cup buckwheat groats (Adding these increases the breakdown of the “antinutrients” in the oats.)
- 1 Tbs whole fat, plain yogurt or kefir (cow’s, goat’s, cashew, coconut (preferably free of fillers))
- 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar (optional)
Cover with warm water and soak overnight (at least 10-12 hours) then strain. Place in a nut milk bag and rinse thoroughly.
Mix all the wet ingredients together:
- Your rinsed oats & groats
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup black strap molasses
- 1/4 cup coconut nectar or raw, local honey (optional)
- Liquid stevia to taste (optional)
- If you would like to make a lower glycemic option use this and omit the coconut nectar/honey.
- 6 Tbs melted coconut oil
- 1 Tbs vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond or coconut extract (optional)
Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly:
- 1 cup chopped, sprouted nuts (We like pecans but any nut will do.)
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- Other dried fruit is optional but it tends to be high in sugar so we don’t encourage it. This time we had apples that were about to go bad so we dehydrated them, doubled the recipe, and added less coconut nectar so that we could incorporate them without increasing the sugar content. (See what we mean about getting creative?)
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds or sprouted pumpkin, watermelon, or sunflower seeds
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
Dehydrate or bake:
- We used our Excalibur dehydrator which has a max temp of 175° but you can go up to 200° if yours does. We dehydrated this batch for about 8 hours.
- If you don’t have a dehydrator, place in a thin layer on a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake in the oven at 175° – 200° for 6 – 8 hours.
- After 2 hours, break up larger pieces and stir. Repeat every hour to get the pieces smaller and smaller each time for proper crisping.
- When granola is mostly crisp, remove parchment paper then turn off oven and leave granola until completely cooled. It will get slightly crispier as it cools. (If still not crisp enough, simply bake at 200° for another hour and then allow to cool completely before checking or removing from the oven.)
So, go ahead… call us crunchy granola! We’re good with that ; )
Having been in the health and fitness industry for over twenty five years, AJ has settled in as China Rose Wellness’ functional fitness coach and green living go-to! Her travels continue to add to the tools she has to offer her clients, whether it be related to fitness, clean, simple living, or self-nourishment. As an intuitive, creative, culinary hobbyist, passionate about combining beautiful flavors, colors and whole food ingredients, she loves helping folks rekindle their interest in cooking again!