When you follow a real food diet, it can sometimes be tough to find variety in your breakfast options, especially for those that are needing something quick and easy. Sure, eggs, sourdough toast, and bacon are all healthy and delicious breakfast foods, but sometimes you just want something different. Unfortunately, the vast majority of ready-to-eat items available at the grocery store (even health food stores!) are highly processed and do not fit into a traditional foods diet. Foods like cereal and granola are typically not welcome in our house, as they are made with refined grains and contain a lot of added sugars. My solution: I make our own homemade granola to have on hand for a quick breakfast or snack, and it has been a huge hit. The difference between this granola and the store-bought version is that this is made using soaked grains and is sweetened with just a bit of maple syrup, unlike the pre-made types that can be loaded with sugar and refined oils. I also soak the nuts in the granola before toasting them, which provides the same health benefits as soaking the oats. I use raisins, dried cranberries, and walnuts in this recipe, but feel free to use whatever dried fruits and nuts you like or have on hand.
When grains and nuts are prepared through soaking, just as in sprouting or souring, their content of anti-nutrients, such as phytates and lectins, are decreased significantly. These traditional preparation methods make the grains easier to digest and their minerals more available to the body. Oats can be a nutrient-dense food when prepared this way, and I soak them before turning into this tasty granola or even soak overnight before making oatmeal. When Weston A. Price traveled to Scotland to study their traditional diets, he found they ate a great deal of oats that were properly prepared, both in sweet and savory dishes, and the people there enjoyed extremely robust health. I like to include them in our diet because of their high content of soluble fiber, which feeds the beneficial bacteria in the gut, acting as a prebiotic. They are also delicious and everyone in our house loves to have them every once in a while to mix up our breakfast options.
This recipe can be intimidating because of the extra steps with soaking and such, but it really comes together easily and I encourage you to give it a shot. Many of the ingredients can be prepped while the oats bake, so it actually takes less time than it seems!
Serve this on homemade yogurt, kefir or raw milk (I like to mix it up with my dairy options), or eat it as-is for a quick, crunchy snack. If you have a lot of mouths to feed, go ahead and double this recipe to have extra on hand.
Homemade Soaked Granola
Makes about 6 cups
3 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
1 Tbs yogurt or kefir
1/2 tsp sea salt
Water to cover
1 cup walnuts (can sub any nut or seed you like)
Pinch of sea salt
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Water to cover
3 Tbs coconut oil
3 Tbs maple syrup
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbs cinnamon powder
1/2 cup each raisins and dried cranberries (or 1 cup dried fruit of your choice, such as chopped figs or dates)
1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1. The night before (or 8-12 hours) you plan to make your granola, soak your oats. To soak, place the oats, yogurt, and salt in a medium bowl. Add enough water to cover with a few extra inches to allow for the oats to expand. Cover with a cloth and let sit at room temperature.
2. Just like the oats, the nuts need to be soaked prior to cooking as well. Place the nuts in a small bowl or jar with the salt and apple cider vinegar. Cover with water and let sit for 8-12 hours (or more) on the counter.
3. When you are ready to make your granola, preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
4. Drain the oats through a mesh strainer and let them sit to strain for up to 30 minutes, allowing them to drain off as much water as possible.
5. Mix the drained oats with the coconut oil, maple syrup, salt, and cinnamon, then spread on the baking sheet. Bake for about 90 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oats are crunchy and the moisture has all baked off.
6. While the oats bake, drain the soaked nuts, allowing them to sit in the strainer for 10 minutes or so to let them dry out a bit. Heat a dry skillet over medium heat, then add the nuts and let toast for about 5 minutes until lightly brown. Be sure to keep an eye on these to prevent burning. Remove from the heat and let cool.
7. Once cooled, chop the nuts and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the dried fruit and shredded coconut.
8. Once the oats are done, remove from the oven and let them cool to room temperature.
9. Add the cooled oats to the fruit and nut mix, stirring to create a relatively uniform mixture.
10. Transfer the granola to a glass jar or other storage container. This will keep for about a week at room temperature. If you are needing longer-term storage, keep this in the fridge to extend its shelf life and prevent rancidity in the nuts.
Brine & Broth
I am a gut health-focused nutritionist and online health coach based in Southwest Wisconsin. My recipes and philosophies center around traditional, nutrient-dense foods that support robust gut health.