Soaked granola - isn't that what everyone eats when they pour milk over their granola in the morning?
If you are familiar with Nourishing Traditions, you know that "soaking" is an important facet of their diet recommendations. They suggest that all grains and seeds should be soaked in an acid medium (such as yogurt or lemon juice) before being prepared for eating. According to their research, grains are hard to digest and can actually bind up important minerals.
I always rolled my eyes and considered those who cook according to Nourishing Traditions the worse food snobs ever.
We loved my peanut butter granola. I always considered it far better than typical breakfast cereal since it contained "real" food, oatmeal, nuts, coconut, peanut butter, and honey. But I must have been slightly convinced of their claim that dry roasting oatmeal makes it completely indigestible. Changing a toddler's diapers demonstrated that very little digestion was happening for some of the family. (I know. TMI. Sorry.)
A few months ago, I decided to attempt making a soaked granola. I was sure the extra steps would not be worthwhile and it would taste awful.
I was wrong. Very wrong. Yes, it was a few more steps, but nothing difficult. But the taste...we were instantly smitten. Ed immediately claimed it was the very best granola ever. The yogurt gives it just a slight tang, though not sour. It is super crunchy, almost like the nut clusters in Honey Bunches of Oats which is Ed's all time favorite box cereal.
I found several online recipes and combined them to come up with my version. I start by mixing the dry ingredients with water and yogurt and allow to sit for 8 or so hours.
The oatmeal absorbs the moisture and becomes a thick glob. I stir in the rest of the ingredients.
This may be the hardest part of the whole project. I give up on a spoon and just dig in with my hands. Licking my fingers may be the best part! Yummy!
I use my dehydrator to dry the granola but you can also dry in the oven. A dehydrator is easy since it doesn't need turned. Plus we get to enjoy the wonderful aroma for hours. I make a double batch in my eight tray dehydrator.
Want to try it?
6 cups rolled oats
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup chopped nuts (peanuts, almonds, or walnuts)
1 cup plain yogurt or kefir
2 cup water
1 cup coconut
1 cup butter or coconut oil
1 cup honey
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raisins, craisins, or dried apples
Stir together oats, flour, sunflower seeds, and nuts. Add yogurt and water. Stir well. Allow to sit at room temperature for at least 8 hours.
Add coconut, butter, honey, salt, and cinnamon. Stir well, breaking up clumps with hands if needed.
Spread in dehydrator and dry at 145 degrees until completely dry and crispy. I often start at 145 for a couple hours, turn the granola then lower the temperature to about 125 and allow to dry all night.
If using the oven, spread in baking sheets. Parchment paper will help keep it from sticking. Bake at 250 degrees for an hour or until completely dried. Stir every 15 minutes.
When dry, store in an airtight container.