Soaked Granola Cereal

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Sometimes you run across a recipe that you just plain love.

Sometimes you make it weekly (even twice a week) and eat it daily (even thrice daily. . . or more).

Sometimes you take it on vacation because you can’t bear the thought of waking up without it. Sometimes you even invent ways to eat it just so you can eat it more often.

You get the point. This is such a recipe.

I love granola and I love cereal. But what I don’t love is how they’re made. According to Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions, granola subjected “only to dry heat” is extremely indigestible. She states that oats, like all other grains, contain phytic acid. Phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc in the intestinal tract and stop their absorption. As you can guess, this causes mineral deficiencies and all the baggage that comes with that.

Cereal is another food toted as healthy. How many times do we see boxes proclaiming sugar-laden cereals are good for our kids because they’re fortified with vitamins and minerals? Ugh!

Boxed cereal is processed by extrusion – flakes and shapes are formed at high temperatures and pressure. This destroys valuable nutrients, makes certain proteins toxic, and causes oils to become rancid.

Yummy, yummy Frosted Flakes.

If you really want all the benefits from the grains you eat, they should be soaked or fermented first. This allows enzymes to break down and neutralize the phytic acid as well as making them more nutritional and easily digested. I’m all for that!

I’m trying to incorporate more of that soaked goodness into our diets, and because I found this super-duper recipe, I have to share it with you. Don’t let the number of ingredients or the procedure scare you. It’s really simple because it’s broken into daily steps. Feel free to play with the types of nuts (it’s best if you use sprouted) and other dried fruit to fit your family’s tastes.

Gluten Free Soaked Granola/Cereal (gluten-free, egg-free, yeast-free)

8 c. rolled gluten-free oat groats (or gluten-free old-fashioned oatmeal)
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 c. coconut oil
1 1/2 c. homemade yogurt
2 c. water
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. almond extract
1/2 c. raw honey
1 t. celtic sea salt
2 1/2 t. cinnamon (sometimes we use 1/2 t. each of nutmeg, cardamom, mace, allspice, and cloves for something different)
2/3 c. unsweetened coconut flakes
2/3 c. raisins
1/3 c. dried cranberries
1/3 c. walnuts, (soaked)
1/3 c. cashews
1/3 c. almonds, (soaked)

Directions:
1. Melt the butter and coconut oil together.

2. Mix the oats, butter, coconut oil, homemade yogurt, and water together in a large pan or bowl. Pat it down, cover with a plate or a lid, and let it soak at room temp. for 24 hours.

3. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees F or pull out your food dehydrator.


4. Heat the honey, salt, cinnamon (or mixture of spices), and vanilla and almond extracts in a small pan until the honey warms and becomes runny. Combine the honey mixture with the oat mixture. Add the coconut flakes but not the fruits or nuts and mix it all until well combined.

5. If you are using your oven, spread it out onto 2 parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake for several hours until completely dry and crisp.

If you are using a dehydrator you can plop small heaps onto the dehydrator trays and bake until crisp and dry. (A word to the wise – don’t spread the granola with your hands as this will squish it between the holes in the tray and makes it more difficult to remove and clean.)

Our dehydrator does not say what temperature is best for granola or grains so we turn it to about 115 degrees. It usually takes about 2 days to dry completely.

6. Once it’s dry, remove what’s left (we can’t stop nibbling as it’s drying – the house smells terrific!) and add any chopped nuts or fruit you’d like.

7. Store in airtight container. Ours never lasts more than a few days so I don’t know how long the shelf life is. :)

P.S. This is soooo much better than store-bought cereal. And much cheaper too!

Soaked Granola Cereal

Meal type Breakfast

Ingredients

  • 8 cups rolled gluten-free oat groats (or gluten-free old-fashioned oatmeal)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cup homemade yogurt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon celtic sea salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon (sometimes we use 1/2 t. each of nutmeg, cardamom, mace, allspice, and cloves for something different)
  • 2/3 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2/3 cups raisins
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, (soaked)
  • 1/3 cup cashews
  • 1/3 cup almonds, (soaked)

Directions

1. Melt the butter and coconut oil together.
2. Mix the oats, butter, coconut oil, homemade yogurt, and water together in a large pan or bowl. Pat it down, cover with a plate or a lid, and let it soak at room temp. for 24 hours.
3. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees F or pull out your food dehydrator.
4. Heat the honey, salt, cinnamon (or mixture of spices), and vanilla and almond extracts in a small pan until the honey warms and becomes runny. Combine the honey mixture with the oat mixture. Add the coconut flakes but not the fruits or nuts and mix it all until well combined.
5. If you are using your oven, spread it out onto 2 parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake for several hours until completely dry and crisp.

If you are using a dehydrator you can plop small heaps onto the dehydrator trays and bake until crisp and dry. (A word to the wise – don’t spread the granola with your hands as this will squish it between the holes in the tray and makes it more difficult to remove and clean.)

Our dehydrator does not say what temperature is best for granola or grains so we turn it to about 115 degrees. It usually takes about 2 days to dry completely.
6. Once it’s dry, remove what’s left (we can’t stop nibbling as it’s drying – the house smells terrific!) and add any chopped nuts or fruit you’d like.
7. Store in airtight container. Ours never lasts more than a few days so I don’t know how long the shelf life is.

Don’t know where to purchase some of these ingredients? Visit our Whole Food Sources page.

Shared at: Healthy Home Economist, Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms, Lines Across My Face, Skip to My Lou, The Girl Creative, Home Savvy A to Z, DIY Home Sweet Home, Sarahndipities, Marvelous Messy, Delightfully Dowling, Whole New Mom, Real Food Forager, day2day Joys, Real Food Forager, The King’s Court IV, Gluten-Free Homemaker, Live Renewed, It’s A Keeper, A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa, The Shabby Nest, Mom Trends, Make Ahead Meals For Busy Moms, The Girl Creative, The Prairie Homestead, Skip to My Lou, Simply Sugar & Gluten Free, Coastal Charm, Vintage Wannabee, Whole New Mom, Time-Warp Wife, Confessions of A Frugal Mind, Rook No. 17, Women Living Well, Frugally Sustainable, Milk & Cuddles, We Are That Family, Raising Homemakers, The Thrifty Home, This Chicks Cooks, Tip Me Tuesday, Food Corner, Real Food Whole Health, Simply Sweet Home, Whipperberry, Life as Mom, Far Above Rubies, Raising Mighty Arrows, The Nourishing Gourmet, It’s A Keeper, Nourishing Treasures, Chef in Training, Flour Me With Love, The Modest Mom Blog, Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Little Natural Cottage, Real Food Freaks, Comfy in the Kitchen, Growing Home, Our Simple Farm, Deep Roots at Home, Our Simple Country Life, Living Oil Lady, Food Renegade,

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Paula
I’m Paula - like many of you I wear a lot of hats. Child of God, wife of 17 years, mother of five, reluctant cook, full-time teacher, chocolate-snatcher, and children's author. Various family health issues including Lyme disease and candida has turned me into a 'researcher'. I don't have initials after my name, a degree in anything but motherhood, or a framed certificate on my wall. What I do have is a passion for understanding how our God-created bodies thrive or deteriorate based on what we put in it. Oh, and I also might mention homesteading, homeschooling, fitness, herbs, faith, and anything else I'm thinking about. . . like wow, I need to refill my tea. . .
Paula
Paula
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Comments

  1. Rachel @ day2day joys says:

    GREAT recipe, I love your step by step instructions with pictures! Those are my favorite!

    I'd love for you to share this post and others that my fit to my weekly link up: Healthy 2day Wednesdays every week until Saturday. Blessings! :)

  2. This looks delicious! I love granola!

  3. Thanks for the invite Rachel, I stopped by yesterday and posted – love your site BTW.

    Shiloh – hope you try it! We're completely addicted around here.

  4. Jill@ RealFoodForager.com says:

    Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

    Be sure to visit RealFoodForager.com on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!
    http://realfoodforager.com/2011/12/fat-tuesday-december-6-2011/

  5. Lisa @ Shine Your Light says:

    Paula, I can't wait to try your recipe! I featured it today on Mangia Mondays – thanks for linking it up last week! -Lisa
    http://www.shineyourlightblog.com/2011/12/mangia-mondays-christmas-breakfast.html

  6. I plan to start experimenting with soaked grains on my blog soon. I'm looking forward to replacing our current cereal habit with something healthier!

  7. Jill – thanks for hosting a great blog hop!

  8. Lisa @ Shine Your Light

    Wow – thanks for featuring me – it's a privilege to be part of your blog hop!

  9. Sarah – soaked grains is just one more step to healthier living – so glad your trying it!

  10. I am excited to try this as soon as we finish the granola I just bought yesterday at the co-op! It was on sale – otherwise granola is so expensive! I love the healthier option.

  11. Sarah,

    We love granola too and it was the cost that made us look for something we could make ourselves. Plus, making it at home just means less processing. I'd love to hear how it turns out!

  12. I can't wait to try this recipe. My 12 year old autistic son is having a hard time transitioning to a whoe foods diet and one of the things he misses is granola bars. I think he might even like to help me measure things out to make it!

    Heidi

  13. Heidi – Thanks for stopping by. I hope he enjoys them!

  14. Laurel @ Ducks in a Row says:

    We absolutely love granola – thanks for all the tips!

  15. Sarah @ Mum In Bloom says:

    Found your blog today on Traditional Tuesdays and I'm so glad I did! I'm going to make this cereal today. We stopped buying dry cereal about a year ago and I only have 1 recipe for dry cereal so far.. now I have another! Thank you!

  16. France@beyondthepeel says:

    I love to make granola. We used to make it weekly but haven't in a while. As I learn more about soaking and proper preparation for grains for easy consumption I actually eat less and less. I think the extra step of soaking has deterred me. This is something we would try and it seems easy enough. Thanks for sharing it. I brings me one step closer to eating better.

    I'm hosting whole food wednesdays over at Beyond The Peel. I'd love it if you came by to check it out.
    The post will go up tonight but here's the link. http://www.beyondthepeel.net/2012/01/whole-food-wednesdays-curried-lentil-soup.html
    Hope to see you!

  17. The Grecian Garden says:

    I love it that you soaked the oatmeal which to me truly makes it nourishing. Dehydrating is a great way to keep all those enzymes alive…can't wait to make this for my nephew, he would love it!

  18. Shannon, Food Channel Editor, Momtrends.com says:

    Yum! We just got some granolas to sample for a blog review and the kids love it. I would love to try to make my own.

    Thanks for linking up to Friday Food on Momtrends.com!

  19. Treasures Evermore says:

    I have never done this before…sure look forward to trying. Thank you for sharing.

    Connie

  20. Jenn Erickson says:

    Paula, I love granola too — especially homemade. I'm so happy to have learned about the soaking method from you. Definitely going to give it a try. Your recipe sounds incredibly delicious as well as being healthy!

    Thank you for linking up to "A Little Birdie Told Me…" at Rook No. 17!

    jenn

  21. I've been wanting to try a soaked version of granola- yours looks irresistible! Thanks 4 sharing!

  22. sounds so delicious….Thanks for sharing
    Midweek Fiesta

  23. Teresa's Pantry says:

    Love this recipe! I'm going to try it. Just 1 question.. when you soak the oats do you leave the bowl on the counter or do you refrigerate it while it's soaking? I wasn't sure because of the butter and the yogurt in it.

    Teresa

  24. I leave it on the counter. I make the yogurt on the counter, and real butter will stay good for several days at room temp.

  25. Michaela says:

    Hubba has been the most difficult in our transition to whole & real foods over the past few years. He's getting better & better, and I recently made some homemade granola. Several years ago he turned his nose up at it. I've been buying granola from the health food sections for him, but it gets so spendy (and I know it's still not the greatest anyway). Much to my surprise, he enjoyed this last batch of oats. YAY for homemade, HEALTHY granola!!!

  26. When my husband and I were first married we only ate vegetables about twice a month and they came out of a can! Seriously, it was bad.

    We've been on our health journey for about 9 years now but in the beginning I would have turned up my nose at some of the foods and ways of preparing them that I embrace whole-heartedly now.

    I think tastes change too – whole foods take on such a wonderful taste once you stop eating all the processed junk out there.

    So glad your honey is enjoying your granola – it's encouraging when all your hard work is appreciated!

  27. Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures says:

    Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures' Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  28. Jenifer Harrod says:

    I found you from the link up. I really like this post. I have been thinking about this lately because I have been having a little trouble with digesting my granola. Do I just cover it in water over night?

  29. Hi Jenifer,

    Yeah, that pesky thing called digestion throws us for a loop sometimes, huh. :)

    When I make this particular recipe I combine the oats, butter, coconut oil, homemade yogurt, and water and let it soak at room temp. for 24 hours rather than just overnight. The longer it can soak the better.

    The whey and bacteria in the yogurt are the key to making it more digestible. They break down the enzyme inhibitors, gluten, and other proteins that make it so hard to digest. Plain water doesn't do much except get it wet. :)

    The same applies if you want to soak oatmeal for breakfast the next day. The morning before you want to eat it, combine 1 cup of oatmeal, 1 cup of warm water, and 2 tablespoon of an acidic liquid (homemade yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, whey, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar). You can increase the amount of oatmeal as long as the water and acidic liquid is increased as well.

    Cover your bowl and let it sit at room temperature for at least 7 hours and as long as 24 hours.

    The next morning simply pour it all into a sauce pan and heat it on low.

    Let me know how it goes!

  30. Lisa @ Flour Me With Love says:

    This looks delicious! Thanks so much for sharing at Mix it up Monday :)

  31. Jacqueline @ Deeprootsathome.com says:

    Paula, I would like to feature your SOAKED granola recipe tomorrow on 'EOA' I hope it is a big help to those who have absorption problems. We did for years, and soaking was one of the big things we needed to learn! Thank you!

  32. I completely agree. Soaking was a needed step for our family too. Thank you for featuring this – I'm glad I can be of help!

  33. Anonymous says:

    ooh, I had no idea you could make granola in the dehydrator!! I was considering whether or not I used mine enough to keep it, but now I see new possibilities! I have just discovered your blog, and am looking forward to trying your sourdough bread, too. Your family and mine seem very like-minded, so I will be back to read more soon.
    Jan Jones
    desiringholiness@gmail.com
    (my gmail account has issues, so I cannot sign in to my google account, and have to post as "anonymous")

  34. Hi Jan,

    It's so nice of you to stop by! I'm glad I 'convinced' you to keep your dehydrator – I love mine and have found the more I use it the more I don't know if I could live without it! I'd love to hear how you like the sourdough bread. BTW – thanks for reminding me to feed mine :)

  35. Could a crock pot be used if you left the lid vented. I have been making granola in mine and wondering if I can still do this if I had the ‘soaking’ part?

    • I’m not sure I understand what part of the process you’re wanting to use the crockpot for. Are you asking if you can soak the oats in the crockpot and then add all the other ingredients and turn it on low to make a big batch of cooked cereal? or are you asking if you can dry it in a crockpot rather than a deyhdrator?

      If you wanted to make the cereal, I’d sure think it would work great that way. I’ve never tried to dry or dehydrate anything in the crockpot before – but I seem to recall people doing it. If you give it a try let us know – it would be wonderful to see if it worked. :)

  36. Can you also add the nuts and soak them overnight as well? I soak and dehydrate nuts for snacks and would want the benefits of soaking the nuts as well. Do you ever do this?

    • Hannah,

      That’s a great idea! I usually soak the nuts first but see I didn’t mention that in the recipe so I added that part. But, if you have unsoaked nuts, I think adding them to the recipe and then soaking the whole thing overnight would be just fine. :)

      • Awesome! I realized later that you probably already had soaked your nuts. I didn’t have many soaked nuts on hand so I added them to the mix and it turned out great. Thanks for a great recipe:)

  37. Paula B. says:

    So glad I found your blog while searching for homemade granola recipe. I’ve spent waaaaay to long exploring (I’ve got granola to make and a to-do list a mile long) but it has been encouraging, edifiying and uplifting to read of your journey.

    I am going to start soaking my oats, but I don’t have homemade yogurt. I plan to use some whey from my fridge along with some high quality store-bought plain yogurt.

    My question:
    I plan to soak the nuts at the same time, but I was under the impression that the nuts should be soaked whole (if possible) so they start to sprout. Is soaking chopped nuts still beneficial?

    I’ll make the first batch fairly simple following your recipe & instructions, but I can see a future of experimentation ahead – hemp seed, chia seed, soaked sunflower seeds, oh my! Along with lots of dehydrated fruits to stir in.

    My dehydrator just found another use besides cranking out box upon box of fruit and fruit leather and a few surplus veggies!

    Blessings from another born-and-raised Minnesota girl (Bemidji) transplanted to the Gem State in 1984 – who shares your name!

    • Hi Paula, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to reply. :(

      From what I’ve read, I can’t find a definitive answer. I just read that I should soak almonds, but I can’t find that they specify whole or not. My guess would be that the sprouting can only happen if they are whole.

      Have you ever soaked and dehydrated nuts and then chopped them? A bit more work, but we eat them often as a snack so we dehydrate 5 lbs. at a time. :) I purchase broken and whole almonds mixed (it’s cheaper) but I still soak all of them together.

      Sorry I can’t be more specific. If you find an answer, I’d love it if you could pop by and leave it here in the comments. :)

      Bemidji isn’t terribly far from where I grew up – I guess I’ll forgive you for moving. ;)

  38. Steph Altermatt says:

    If you don’t have yogurt and want to use ACV how much do I use? I soaked some oats in ACV the other day and my kids hated it! It was so strong!

    • Hi Steph,

      Are you trying to replace the 1 1/2 cups of yogurt with ACV or just soak oatmeal with it? I wouldn’t recommend replacing all of the yogrut, but if you’re just trying to soak oatmeal overnight, then you can use this ratio: 1 c. oats, 2 c. warm water, 2 Tablespoons ACV (you can also use whey, kefir, or buttermilk if the ACV is too strong and you don’t have yogurt).

      • Steph Altermatt says:

        Thanks Paula. I was going to replace all the yogurt since I don’t have any on hand. But I decided to wait and went ahead and made yogurt so I don’t have to worry about the ACV. Thank you though!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] So first, granola. I have tried and tried to make this in the past but I always end up burning it, or getting it undercooked. I need one of those cereal factory pizza oven type things, but that’s not realistic so I came upon another method; the food dehydrator. I found this recipe on a neat blog that I only ran across through pinterest. Here is the article incase anyone decides the would like to duplicate my craziness. http://wholeintentions.com/2011/10/soaked-granola-cereal/ [...]

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