Although whole grains are fantastically nourishing, they can also be very tough on our digestive systems. Grains contain phytic acid in the outer layer of the bran. This phytic acid can actually block the absorption of the minerals found in whole grains. In the process, it can lead to uncomfortable bowel symptoms as well. (To learn more on this topic, read Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions.)
However, there is a very simple way of preparing our grain foods in order to neutralize the phytic acid. By a simple soaking process, enzymes and friendly bacteria found in yogurt can "predigest" the grain for us. The soaking process also neutralizes enzyme inhibitors found in seeds and grains, making nutrients like B Vitamins more accessible.
One step at a time, right! If this information is new to you, don't fret. Take baby steps. Try substituting this granola for your current breakfast cereal and leave the next steps for later. The next steps will come... in TIME.
Soaking granola is actually quite easy. In the morning, mix together
- 6 cups of rolled oats
- 2 cups of whole wheat flour
Leave this mixture to "soak" all day long. You could also let this soak overnight if you were going to bake during the day. I like to bake in the late afternoon.
After at least 7 hours, break up any clumps with your hands and mix in the following dry ingredients:
- 1 cup of unsweetened dried coconut
- 1 cup of seeds (sunflower, sesame, pumpkin)
- 1-2 cups of chopped nuts (almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts)
Pour the following wet mixture into the bowl:
- 1 cup of oil. I prefer to use melted coconut oil (see my post on coconut oil), but you could use melted butter, EVOO or any other "healthy" oil.
- 1 cup of honey
- 1 Tbsp. salt (If your nuts are salted, you will want to reduce this amount.)
- 2 tsp. real vanilla
Mix the granola until all of the ingredients are thoroughly wet. Pour onto two cookie sheets and bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour.
- If you want to reduce the oil, you can use 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce. This makes a "cakier" granola.
- If you want to make granola bars, add two beaten eggs with the liquids and bake in a 9x13 pan at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Slice the bars while still warm.
- If you want to keep it cheap, omit the nuts and dried fruit. We have eaten plenty of coconut/seed granola and it tastes just fine.
- If you love cinnamon, add 1 tsp. with the dry ingredients.
- If you want to use a dry sweetener like Sucanat, simply add 2/3 cup of water to the liquids and you will still be able to mix the granola together.