Note from Mommypotamus: As many of you know, Daddypotamus and I are preparing to welcome Babypotamus #3 in the next few weeks! We’ve got a full day ahead with a visit to the midwife and some serious nesting projects, which is why I’m grateful and excited to share this guest post from Katja of The Savory Lotus. It looks so yummy, doesn’t it?
This post is for my family
I imagine that it is not always easy living with a food blogger who is overly-educated about health food. The list of things that I refuse to buy has gotten longer over the years as I learn more about REAL food. I can be a real party pooper at times, but I don’t want my family to feel deprived. So, since I love them very much, today I am sharing my recipe for a healthy alternative to store-bought cereal: Soaked Pumpkin Spice Granola.
A while back, I posted 3 Ugly Truths about Breakfast Cereal. This is one food product that I will not buy for my family. Denatured, undigestible garbage that I don’t want to spend my money on. Yeah, I’m a party pooper! But who doesn’t love cold cereal? My family sure likes it. So I make a compromise, I make properly prepared soaked granola for them to enjoy. I don’t eat a lot of grains myself, but I do believe that properly prepared grains have a place in a healthy REAL food diet.
As many of us already know, whole grains have anti-nutrients on them that prevent us from properly digesting them. Anti-nutrients are there to protect the seed — they prevent sprouting until the time is right. These anti-nutrients keep us from being able to break down and absorb the vitamins and minerals in grain. Anti-nutrients include phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. Traditional cultures knew about this phenomenon in nature, and took the time to either soak or ferment their grains in order to improve digestion and absorption. This common knowledge has been lost to us as the processed, too- busy- to- prepare- and- cook- my- food industry has taken over. Instead, we are offered denatured, non-living, non-decomposing foods that offer us no real life and vitality. OK, I’m getting off my soap box now. But if you want to learn more about properly prepared grains, I highly recommend my favorite REAL food cook book by Sally Fallon, Nourishing Traditions. If you haven’t read this book, be sure to check it out.
Back to homemade granola
It doesn’t take much effort to soak your own grains at home. All you have to do is soak them in a medium of yogurt, kefir, lemon, or apple cider vinegar. This starts the break down of the phytic acid. I recommend using organic, gluten free oats to make your granola. A dehydrator makes this recipe so easy. I use a 9 tray Excalibur dehydrator. I dry mine on the mesh screens lined with parchment paper for 12 hours at 105’F. Most dehydrator manuals tell you to at 135F or 140F. You are welcome to use these temperatures but remember that any temperature above 118F can kill the active enzymes in the food, which aid in digestion. I prefer to dehydrate at this low temperature to keep these important enzymes intact despite the longer drying time.
If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can make this granola in the oven as well. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and bake it at the lowest temperature (150-170’F) for 12-24 hours, stirring once in a while. It works just fine.
NOTE: The recipe calls for already soaked and dehydrated nuts and seeds. I soak and dehydrate pounds of nuts and seeds at a time for use in baking, granola, and for eating. I store them in the fridge in large mason jars. If you don’t have prepared nuts, no worries. Just soak the nuts and seed in water with 1 TBS of sea salt overnight in a separate bowl alongside the oats. Be sure to drain and rinse well before adding to granola mixture.
- 4 cups oats
- 2 cups filtered water
- ½ cup yogurt or kefir (lemon juice or apple cider vinegar will work as well- about 2 TBS and add a bit of water)
- ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds (preferably soaked and dehydrated)
- 2 cups nuts of choice- cashew, almond, hazelnut, pecan (preferably soaked and dehydrated)
- 1 cup cooked pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- ½ tsp ginger powder
- ⅛ tsp clove powder
- ½ tsp celtic sea salt
- ½ cup ghee, butter, or coconut oil
- ½ cup REAL maple syrup OR RAW honey
- OPTIONAL: (to be added after granola is ready to store)
- ½ cup raisins
- ¼ unsweetened shredded coconut
- The evening before, pour water over oats and mix. Add yogurt/kefir and mix again to combine. Cover and allow to soak for 12-24 hours.
- Once your oats have soaked, pulse nuts and seeds in food processor to break down just a titch. Add to soaked oats.
- In another bowl, combine pumpkin puree with rest of ingredients and stir to combine. Pour over oat mixture. Go ahead and mix it up real good now. Let all that sweet, spicy yumminess combine.
- If using a dehydrator: Spread mixture onto parchment paper lined trays and dehydrate on 105'F until dry and crispy. Time will depend on how you spread your granola and your specific dehydrator. Mine takes about 18-20 hours.
- If using an oven: Set on lowest temperature and bake on parchment paper lined baking sheets until dry and crispy, stirring occasionally. This will take anywhere from 12-24 hours.
- Add optional raisins and shredded coconut. Store in sealed glass jars. I keep mine in the fridge but in the cupboard is fine, too. ENJOY!
Katja is the author of Savory Lotus, a food and wellness blog. She focuses on REAL, unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods to nourish the body and the mind, and is passionate about helping people simplify their journey to health. There is no “right” answer when it comes to vital living. We are all on our own journey. When not creating magic in the kitchen or researching food politics, Katja can be found trying to find time to get on her yoga mat, pulling weeds in the garden, and enjoying life at home in Northern California with her beautiful family.