A few years ago our family switched to eating all our grains fermented or soaked. Soaked or fermented grains are predigested in a way that our digestive tracts cannot achieve. This makes the minerals in the grains more available, it breaks down compounds like gluten that are hard for us to digest and it increases the vitamin content of the grains. This improved nutritional value contributes to better dental health, with less decay and better bone development in children that helps prevent the need for orthodontics and glasses. You can read more about this here.
When we switched to eating all our grains soaked / fermented one of the things I missed the most was Granola. Initially I made nut and seed Granola, which are super yummy but quite heavy on the budget. I was really excited when I managed to make this one, where the oats are previously soaked before the granola is made. If you don’t feel too strongly about having your grains soaked / fermented, then you can just skip that part, the recipe still works fine.
I usually make this when I have the oven on anyway for something else, like a nice roast chicken, to save a little on power costs. You can use whatever dried fruit, nuts and seeds you prefer. Our favourites are dates and raisins with whatever nuts and seeds we have in the house, but really anything can work. Mango, pineapple and cashews will give you a nice tropical flavour, or apple or pear may add a different twist. This keeps well in the cupboard for a few weeks.
4 cups rolled oats
8 cups filtered water
4 Tbsp yoghurt / milk kefir
4 Tbsp coconut oil
6 Tbsp honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup pitted dates, finely chopped
1/2 cup nuts and / or seeds of choice
Place the oats, filtered water and yoghurt in a glass bowl and stir. Cover and allow to stand overnight.
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C, or whatever temperature you need it on for something else.
Drain the soaked oats in a sieve and spread it out on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in the oven to dry out, stirring every 10 minutes or so. It will take about an hour to dry out well, but not go hard. This will depend on the size of your baking sheet and the temperature of your oven.
When dry, remove the oats from the oven and stir in the sesame seeds.
Melt the coconut oil and honey gently in a glass bowl standing in warm water. Mix in the cinnamon and vanilla extract.
Pour the honey mixture over the oats and stir to coat evenly.
Return the oats to the oven to brown. Stir every 10 minutes or so and bake until a nice golden brown. This should take about 15 – 20 minutes.
Remove the granola from the oven and allow to cool. Stir a few times as it cools to stop it from sticking to the pan.
Place it in a glass mason jar, about 2l in size. Add the nuts and dried fruit and shake to combine. Store in your grocery cupboard for up to 3 weeks.