Finally…A Healthy Cereal
By Amanda Carmen
This recipe incorporates soaked oats, so that your body benefits from the broken down phytates found in grains. Visit this link to read the many health benefits and the actual procedure to soak grains and legumes.
Baking this recipe low and slow keeps it nutrient-dense. It contains raw nuts (which you can soak in with the oats if you like), raw seeds, and coconut oil, which are great sources for healthy fats; all of the ingredients have positive health benefits. I adapted this recipe from another recipe found on the internet over 8 years ago, and the original recipe called for totally different nuts and seeds. Do not be afraid to adjust it to whatever your family already enjoys. You can also adjust the cinnamon, and the butter/coconut oil ratio, too. Make it your own.
So, without further ado – here is, in my opinion, a perfectly healthy cereal choice. And usually I tell people that “healthy cereal” is an oxymoron!
Homemade Wholesome Granola
- 8 C rolled oats
- 3/4 C melted coconut oil
- 1/2 C melted butter
- 1 1/2 C kefir (or cultured buttermilk)
- 1C water (if you need more add a bit more, just to make it moist enough to soak, if it is moist without it, just skip)
- 1/2 C raw honey
- 3/4 C maple syrup
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 4 tsp cinnamon
- 4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 C dried coconut, shredded
- 1 C dried fruit, chopped (I usually use apricots)
- 1/2 C pumpkin seeds, chopped
- 1 C nuts (optional) – chopped almonds is wonderful
- 1 C dried apples (this is from the originally recipe and I have yet to add it, but I keep it here in case I do have dried apples on hand at some point)
- Start your soaking in the morning because you will want to soak it for 24 hours, and the bake time is long. Starting your soak after breakfast will allow you to bake during the morning and afternoon and be done with it before dinner next day.
- Combine your oats with the melted oil, melted butter and kefir (or buttermilk) in a very large bowl, add water last because you may not need much. Mix well. Cover with a cloth and let it sit at room temperature for 24 hours (keep it cooler, rather than warmer). After the soaking, preheat the oven to 200° F.
- Combine the honey, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon and vanilla in a small pot on the stove. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring the mixture, until honey becomes thin.
- Combine honey and oat mixtures, mix well.
- Spread mixture out over parchment paper on cookie sheets, or just spray the pans lightly with cooking spray.
- Bake for 4 hours, until granola is crunchy. It will seem slightly soft, but it crisps up as it cools. Turn the oven off and cool in the oven. Do not turn the oven up because you will burn your granola, and burnt granola is not tasty (again, ask me how I know). Just cook it low and slow. Your patience will be rewarded for a good month or longer. I stir my granola every 30 minutes.
- Mix in the coconut, seeds, dried fruit and nuts. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. On the counter for a few days or in cool weather is fine, but I have heard many people talk about their soaked granola molding in just a few weeks. Mine has never molded, but I have never kept it on the counter for more than a day – we always put it back in to chill.
This granola is more nutritious and less expensive than any granola you can find commercially. It is delicious with fresh raw milk as cereal. My kids like it best with fresh fruit and yogurt, and my favorite is with plain kefir and blueberries. Enjoy!
Photo credit: Tia Ohm