Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Real Food Recipe: Homemade Soaked Granola

Why go to all the trouble of making soaked granola?  So that your body can benefit from the broken down phytic acid found in all grains.  In Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon explains that whole grains that are not soaked, sprouted or fermented are full of phytic acid, which impairs mineral absorption which is not good for building strong teeth and bones.  In addition, boxed cereals are made with extruded grains.  

Dry breakfast cereals are produced by a process called extrusion. Cereal makers first create a slurry of the grains and then put them in a machine called an extruder. The grains are forced out of a little hole at high temperature and pressure. Depending on the shape of the hole, the grains are made into little o’s, flakes, animal shapes, or shreds (as in Shredded Wheat or Triscuits), or they are puffed (as in puffed rice). A blade slices off each little flake or shape, which is then carried past a nozzle and sprayed with a coating of oil and sugar to seal off the cereal from the ravages of milk and to give it crunch. *

I don't think that sounds very good or healthful, do you?  But the appealing thing about a cold breakfast cereal is that it is fast and convenient.  Grabbing a bowl of cereal just takes a few seconds.  Cereal is also a convenient and portable snack for toddlers and kids.  

We don't buy boxed cereals at all.  I used to make un-soaked granola, but when I become aware of the ill effect of phytic acid, especially when my family history has a long line of weak bones, I stopped making granola altogether.  We now eat eggs, sourdough toast with apple butter or raw honey, yogurt, kefir, vegetables, fruit, smoothies, raw nuts and seeds for breakfast.  I will also make a baked, soaked oatmeal courtesy of Nourished Kitchen to keep in the freezer for variety.  

I have been searching for a good recipe to make a soaked granola.  Then this recipe dropped into my lap.  It is from my favourite magazine Pathways (which by the way, anyone that strives for a holistic lifestyle would love).  I have modified this recipe a wee bit based on my own experience in the kitchen, but it turned out delicious.  This homemade granola is so nutritious and full of healthy fats.  Baking this recipe low and slow keeps it nutrient dense.  You could also use a dehydrator if you are so lucky to have one instead of baking this in the oven.  

Homemade Wholesome Granola
8 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup kefir
Water (add enough water to cover the oats so they are moist)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp sea salt
4 tsp cinnamon
4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup dried unsweetened coconut
1 cup dried fruit,  chopped (I like apricots and raisins)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, chopped
1 cup nuts (optional; chopped almonds are really nice)

Step 1:  Combine oats with kefir and water in a very large bowl.  Add the water last, because you may not need much.  Mix well.  Cover with a cloth and let it sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
Step 2:  After the day of soaking, preheat the oven to 200F.  Drain the soaked oats. Combine the honey, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, coconut oil, butter and vanilla.  Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring until everything is melted.  
Step 3:  Remove from heat.  Combine the honey and oat mixtures.  Mix well.
Step 4:  Spread the mixture over parchment paper on cookie sheets.
Step 5:  Bake for 4 hours, until the granola is crunchy.  It may seem slightly soft, but it will crisp up as it cools.  Turn the oven off and let it cool in the oven.  (Do not turn the oven higher than 200F.  You will burn your granola.)  Cook it low and slow.
Step 6:  Mix in the dry ingredients.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Keeping it on the counter for a few days  in cooler weather is fine, but if too warm, your granola may go moldy.  

Serve as a breakfast cereal with whole, organic milk (preferably raw).  I also like it with fresh fruit and yogurt.  

*Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
Pathways To Family Wellness Issue 33

1 comment:

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