Breakfast is one of my favorite meals since our hens started consistently laying eggs. To me, there is NOTHING as satisfying as a crusty piece of homemade bread, topped with a hearty dollop of butter and a fried egg over easy. Crunchy, salty, and drippy – all wrapped up in one messy package.
My family, however, likes a change in pace every once and awhile. Sometimes I will mix up some soaked oatmeal the night before and reheat in the morning with their choice of toppings. But sometimes, there is that craving for a bowl of cereal with cold milk on top.
We used to buy store-bought granola for years – I loved the crunchiness of the granola, perched in a pool of milk. I loved the diversity of different dried fruits and nuts. I loved the simplicity of it.
Once I started preparing my grains the proper way to aid in digestion (see more about that here), I knew I would have to cut out the store-bought stuff and go for the GOOD stuff. Yup. Homemade soaked granola…
**Recipe adapted from Shaye Elliott’s book, From Scratch.
Cozy Soaked Granola Cereal
6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups steel-cut oats
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1 cup walnuts, chopped (or any preferred nut)
1 cup yogurt
3 cups filtered water
3 tablespoons whey + 2 tablespoons, separated
1/2 cup grass-fed butter, melted
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup raw, local honey
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon ginger
Generous pinch of sea salt
3 cups dried cranberries (or any other dried fruit of your choice)
Start by soaking your grains. In a large bowl, combine oats (both kinds), hemp seeds (if you prefer to add these in after soaking, you can – preference thing, ya know?), yogurt, 3 tablespoons whey, and filtered water. Combine well and allow to soak, covered loosely with a towel, for 16-24 hours. I often get mine soaking the afternoon before I plan on making my granola. At the same time, you can soak your walnuts. I soak mine separately because my other half abhors walnuts. Big time. So I do a pan of granola with walnuts, and one pan sans walnuts. Everyone is happy. To soak my walnuts, I place them in a bowl, add 2 tablespoons whey, and cover with filtered water. Cover the bowl loosely with a towel. I allow them to soak the same length of time as the oats – 16-24 hours.
After the soaking period is completed, combine the following ingredients in a bowl: honey, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, sea salt. To the large bowl of oat mixture, stir in the butter, coconut oil, coconut and the honey mixture. Mix well. If you are adding nuts, throw those in there at this time too. Now you are ready to bake!
I line 2 large cookie sheets or baking dishes with parchment paper – makes for easy clean-up. If you have one of those fancy silpat or silicone baking liners, use that. I hope to get one – or two – of those one day! Spread the granola mixture out on the baking sheets, as evenly as possible.
Pop them into a preheated oven at 170 degrees. For a long time. 12-18 hours long. Yup. This was a bit hard for me to hand the first time. Then I figured out the best way to do this. The best way for me, of course. I time my soaking and prepping so I can pop these in the oven after dinner – say 7 or 8 at night. I then peek in on it every few hours or so – conveniently coordinated with the dog or the cat needing to go out. Or come back in. Or back out again. Each time you peek in on it, use your fingers to crumble and break it up a bit. If you have tender, dainty fingers that can’t quite handle the warm granola, just use a wooden spoon to break it up. I won’t judge. 🙂
Continue the baking, checking, and breaking process until you are left with dried, crunchy granola. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly, then mix in the dried cranberries. You then have my permission to start snacking on it immediately. You do not have to wait for a bowl, or a spoon, or even milk. Once it is completely cool, you can package it up for storage. I use my Foodsaver vacuum sealer with a jar attachment to vacuum seal the granola into wide-mouth quart jars. This makes a fairly large batch, so you want to make sure you store it to remain fresh.
And there you have it! Homemade soaked granola. You know, the right way. 😉
This post can also be found at the Homestead Barn Hop!