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Monday, May 12, 2014

Recipe | Getting LITERALLY Crunchy with Soaked Granola

I've been making homemade granola at least once a week since the girls started school. In fact, I'm making some right now! As I was doing it recently without even really thinking of the measurements, I decided it was high time to share this easy recipe.

When people think of someone like me, they might call them "a hippie" or "crunchy" or "a granola"... I happen to fancy the term hippie, as in the "I cloth diapered my kids and make a lot of my food from scratch and try to avoid chemicals in our personal products"... not hippie as in "I did weird things in the 60s that damaged my brain." ;o)

So in the spirit of being a hippie and pretty crunchy and loving granola, here's my granola recipe!

My little monkeys have been eating plain, whole yogurt and homemade granola for a long time. Both these photos are from around a year old. It's still one of their most frequently requested food... just plain yogurt, homemade granola, and some fruit. So simple and nutritious!

Jesse used to call Sam "Santy-Claus" while she was eating because of how messy she'd get! Yogurt is one of our main sources of dairy, and they eat in on an almost daily basis.

Jessica's Five Grain Soaked Granola
(Based off of Katie Kimball's recipe in Healthy Snacks To Go)

3 cups muesli or oatmeal
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon plain yogurt, lemon juice, or vinegar
1 cup water
6 tablespoons melted coconut oil or butter
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla 

Soak muesli and flour overnight in yogurt-water mixture. In the morning, preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined. Smooth the granola "batter" out into a thin layer on a baking stone or parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 1 and 1/2 hours, then flip over. Continue for another 1 and 1/2 hours and turn off the oven and leave overnight (or for a few more hours) for it to dry out completely.

The only problem I ever have with this recipe is making sure that I'm not taking up the oven on a night I need the oven for dinner. Otherwise, it's pretty mindless and easy. 

First step is to measure out your muesli into a bowl with a lid. I like Bob's Red Mill but it's also the only brand available to me at the Commissary so, my preferences don't really matter in that case. I like to do this step the night before I plan to bake the granola. 

I love using muesli in this recipe because it's got such diversity - when else are my kids going to be eating barley and rye? 

Then you mix in your flour and yogurt. And one cup of warm water. 

The yogurt (or any acidic liquid) helps the phytic acids and gluten in the grains to start to break down. Basically, it's pre-digestion of your food, to help make the nutrients more available for your body. This is a similar process to soaking sourdough bread overnight. Or lacto-fermenting veggies.

Conventional wisdom says it's kooky to leave dairy out on the counter overnight but hippies love this kind of stuff. "Uh oh, Mom's breeding enzymes again." (<-- I'm sure my kids will say it someday!)

But anyways, you leave it out on the counter to soak overnight.

In the morning, you preheat the oven (for half an hour if you're using a baking stone like me) and gather the rest of the ingredients. Butter works great but I try to get coconut oil into our systems as much as I can.

Maple syrup or honey. I think maple syrup has better flavor but it's a little more expensive. 

Unsweetened coconut. Fun fact: when you accidentally buy shaved coconut instead of shredded, the first time you use it, your husband does a double take, thinking you've put onions in the granola! 

Let's pause for a second to consider that he wouldn't put that past me. 

Once you have everything in there (cinnamon and vanilla included), you plop it out onto your baking mat or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.

Spread it out as thin as you can, about 1/4 if possible.

And transfer it to the hot baking stone. (Or put the pan or cookie sheet in the oven) 

After about an hour and a half, you're going to flip it over little by little so the other side can crisp up.

Pop it back into the oven for another hour and a half, then turn the oven off and leave it in there... for a few hours or overnight. (I always opt for overnight. There's less thinking involved and I don't have to put it in a jar till morning!) 

In the morning it looks like this and it's ready to eat! One thing I love about this recipe is that the granola kind of gets clumpy and stuck together. I like that kind of texture much better than loose oats.

Here is my method of transporting yogurt parfaits to school and work without spills... recycled screw top glass jars! (ours are always our peanut butter jars) Free AND spill proof! 

And oh look! Here's what happens when Mommy forgets it's a German holiday and sends the kids to school with Daddy on the way to work... they end up right back home ten minutes later, eating their portable breakfast at the kitchen counter while I make my coffee :o)

So that's our current granola recipe. I've been in love with it for over a year! Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!


  1. yum! totally trying this. we love to make soaked (baked) oatmeal for breakfasts and i've been searching for a good granola recipe. can't wait to try it!

    1. Sweet let me know how it works out for ya! Thanks for commenting :o)

  2. this looks delish and looks like it might take less time than the recipe i've used. What sold it is the pics of the girls enjoying it sooo much ;) love you Jess- hoping to make this next week.
    (i tried to post the same day it came up, but...can't remember my google pw :( xo

    1. No worries! Let me know how it goes! XOXO

  3. Of course, I had to try this right away. I was staying away from granola from the lack of soaking... I never saw a recipe for it soaked! It was SOOOO easy and made the house smell like sticky buns (according to my hubby and bro who stopped in) I baked mine a little too long because it got too dark, but it still is good! Will be trying again in the near future. :)

    Thanks for the tip! :)

    1. Oh yay I'm glad you tried it and agree that it's easy! Now I'll think of you when I make it *granola twins* Hugs from Germany!