Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sprouted Granola

My family gave up buying boxed cereals around 2 years ago (although we still eat them occasionally as a "Mommy doesn't have to cook breakfast" treat when we visit people who have them on hand), for a variety of reasons.
  1. They are stinkin' expensive.
  2. They had...ahem...unfortunate effects on Einstein's digestive system when he was introduced to them as a baby.
  3. Even the "healthy" whole grain ones are made from grains that are neither sprouted nor soaked (and the fancy sprouted cereals are in an expensive league of their own), so they still contain a plethora of anti-nutrients that would be neutralized (or reduced) by the soaking/sprouting process.
  4. Most cereals are extruded at high temperature and pressure into all those cute little shapes.  One of the best overviews of the extrusion process that I've read is the article Dirty Secrets of the Food Processing Industry which contains the following summary: "In his book Fighting the Food Giants, biochemist Paul Stitt describes the extrusion process, which treats the grains with very high heat and pressure, and notes that the processing destroys much of their nutrients. It denatures the fatty acids; it even destroys the synthetic vitamins that are added at the end of the process. The amino acid lysine, a crucial nutrient, is especially damaged by the extrusion process."  No thanks.
In spite of all these good reasons to avoid boxed cereals like the plague, there is something comforting about sitting down to a bowl of cereal (especially for a bedtime snack), I think because it brings back peaceful childhood memories of simpler times when I didn't know about anti-nutrients or extruding. 

So I've been on the hunt for a passable soaked or sprouted granola to have on hand for those indulgent moments.  Granola #1, the first I tried, was a baked oatmeal that was soaked overnight (bonus points!), baked, crumbled up, and then dehydrated 'til crispy.  It ended up having good flavor, but the consistency of bread crumbs, and it did not pass the husband-test.

I've hit pay-dirt with granola #2!  This is actually not from a recipe, it's just pieced together to resemble the granola that my college roommate's mom used to make with us when I'd visit over long weekends.  It was supposed to contain all sprouted grains, but apparently, de-hulled oat groats don't sprout (whoops!), and since I don't have oat-eating animals around to feed, I didn't have any un-hulled oats around.  Here it is:

Ingredients:
3 cups sprouted, dehydrated, rolled wheat berries
3 cups rolled oat groats (my soaked, attempted-sprouted ones got too dry when I was dehydrating them and     just turned into powder when I tried to roll them, so I just rolled raw oats.
2 cups coconut flakes (unsweetened is obviously better, but I didn't have 2 hours to drive to the health food store to get some.  I just used the cheapo stuff from the grocery store.)
1 cup raisins (or other dried fruit)
1 cup almonds
1/2 c. coconut oil
1/2 c honey

Method:
Combine first 5 ingredients in large bowl.  Stir together melted coconut oil and honey.  Pour over dry ingredients in bowl and stir to coat.  Spread on greased cookie sheet and bake at oven's lowest temperature for about 2 hours (until granola reaches desired dryness).  Cool.  Store in airtight container.

My oven doesn't get all that cool, so my granola baked at about 200 for closer to 90 minutes, and it has more of a baked taste, less raw than if I could have dehydrated it at a lower temperature.  That's okay with me.

So, did this granola pass the husband test?  Well, he actually hasn't tried any yet.  But it passes the "hungry friend who lives with us" test.  His verdict?  "This is really good... it's kind of hard to chew when you get to the end of the bowl."  Personally, I think it's delicious, and it will come in handy for those moments when a bowl of cereal just sounds like the perfect comfort food.




6 comments:

  1. This sounds good, I'm gonna try it soon. I've been meaning to make granola for a long time now and never got around to it. We don't eat breakfast cereals here anymore either, and it would be nice to have granola ready to go for a quick breakfast.

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  2. sounds good! Organic Sparks has a really good soaked recipe that we love.

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  3. I have been looking into getting a grain roller, but can't figure out what kind to get. What do you use to roll your oats?

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  4. Megan, I'll have to check their recipe out. Thanks!
    Mal, I got a rather low-end one, and it's quite sturdy and nice. It's a stainless steel hand-cranked one, but it rolls oats very quickly.

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  5. Danielle,
    I love reading your Blog!
    And I am glad you have been inspired by my moms granola :) I am gonig to send her a link I think she would like to read about all the cool organic home grown stuff that you do. It brings back good memories of my childhood :)
    Love you lots, can´t wait to see you and the kids next year.
    Michal

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  6. Michal! Thank you! I love looking at my stats and seeing that someone from Paraguay has been reading. :) Love you too! We're praying for you and the house.

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I'd prefer a great discussion to this one-sided pontification any day. Help a girl out. Please leave a comment.

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