I wanted a granola recipe that combined the benefits of soaked oats (or other flaked grain, if oats are off your list) and soaked nuts. Soaking the grains neutralizes phytic acid, a mineral absorption blocker. Soaking the nuts starts the process of germination, de-activating enzyme inhibitors. A raw granola that does this is a highly nutritious and a great source of digestive enzymes!
There are many ways to go about this, with varying degrees of complexity. My goal was to make it as simple as possible. I aimed to start all ingredients soaking at the same time; and not to call for already soaked ingredients, just in case they aren’t on hand. I also aimed to make it flexible to the pantry, using what you have on hand. At the same time, I chose many ingredients that I knew to be rich in digestive enzymes, making this a hearty breakfast or snack that will help digest itself and any other foods you serve at the same time. We love it in kefir!
If you’ve already got soaked and dehydrated nuts/seeds on hand and want to use those, Cheeseslave has a raw granola recipe that works the granola that way – and it includes coconut oil and sprouted flour! Elana’s pantry features a raw grain-free granola that is made similarly to mine. So between these, I think you’re covered.
Makes about 1 gallon. For the nuts, seeds, and dried fruit – choose raw, organic and unsulphured.
- 3 cups assorted raw nuts and seeds (I’ve been using 1 cup each of almonds, filberts and pumpkin seeds)
- 1-1/2 cups flour-free date pieces or pitted whole dates, chopped (or raisins or fig pieces)
- 8 cups thick rolled oats, gluten-free if necessary (or other flaked grain such as spelt – not GF)
- 6 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar, Kombucha, kefir, or yogurt
- 1-1/2 cups water, plus 5 cups water, plus 8 cups water
- 5+ tablespoons dried cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon dried ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- assorted dried fruit (optional)
Put the nuts and seeds in a medium bowl along with about 5 cups of warm water (to cover generously). Cover with a towel and let soak overnight in a warm place, 8 to 12 hours.
Put the date pieces in a small bowl, along with 1-1/2 cups of water. Cover with a plate or towel and let soak overnight, 8 to 12 hours. You may also use fig pieces or raisins. The figs are an excellent source of digestive enzymes, and I believe raisins are, too, since grapes are on the list.
Put the rolled oats in a large bowl, along with 8 cups of warm water and the apple cider vinegar (or Kombucha, or yogurt, or kefir). Cover with a plate or towel and let soak overnight in a warm place, 8 to 12 hours.
When the soaking time is complete, drain the nuts and seeds, discarding the water. Coarsely chop with food chopper or food processor. Put in a large mixing bowl.
Blend the dates, their soaking water, and all spices and salt in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add this paste to the large bowl with the nuts and seeds.
Drain and rinse the oats in a fine colander or sieve. The drier you can get them, the quicker the dehydrating will go. Add them to the big bowl with the date paste, nuts and seeds. Toss gently to mix well.
Spread thinly (1/4″ or less) on dehydrator trays that are covered with unbleached parchment paper, plastic liners, or in the case of an Excalibur dehydrator, the ParaFlexx liners. This amount of granola fills almost 5 trays of my Excalibur 9-tray dehydrator (see Resources for sources).
Dehydrate at less than 115 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 24 hours. With the Excalibur dehydrator, you can start out dehydrating at 145 degrees Fahrenheit for the first 2 hours, which will kick start the dehydrating but not make the internal temperature of the granola go over 118 degrees – the temperature at which enzymes die.
About halfway through the dehydrating time, check to see if the granola peels easily off the paper or plastic lined trays. If it is does this without much stickiness, turn it all over. It is easiest to keep it in big sheets, if possible. Continue dehdyrating until the granola is dried out to your preference. Test frequently.
When done, remove from dehydrator and place in a big bowl. Break up the sheets into bite-sized chunks. With small amounts of the granola in a big bowl and using the pestle of a mortar & pestle works well to crush the granola sheets. Mix in assorted dried, raw fruit pieces (or save the fruit and add to the bowls when serving). Let it cool fully before transferring to an airtight glass jar for storage.
When ready to eat, place in bowl and add fresh or dried fruit, along with raw honey and raw milk – the latter two are excellent sources of digestive enzymes!
This post is part of Real Food Wednesday, this week hosted by Kelly the Kitchen Kop.