This homemade granola is just as healthy and delicious as the baked oatmeal (well, almost as healthy — it doesn't have eggs in it). However it does have the same amount of coconut oil, which has wonderful health benefits.
Also, this is a recipe you can make ahead in a large batch, and then keep stored in your cupboard for quick, easy meals or nutritious, portable snacks.
It's a good idea to double or triple this recipe. I tripled it, which makes a lot. It will keep in the cupboard for a number of weeks (I don't know exactly how long yet — I haven't tried it). You can also freeze your homemade granola in freezer bags for long term storage.
Please note: this recipe calls for nuts and seeds that are soaked and dried ahead of time. I usually soak and dry my nuts and seeds and large batches and store them in mason jars or other airtight containers — so I have them on hand for recipes like this one (as well as pesto, peanut butter, peanut butter cookies, and other goodies that call for soaked and dried nuts and seeds).
For more information on how to soak and dry seeds, pick up a copy of Sally Fallon-Morell's book, Nourishing Traditions.
Homemade Granola with Soaked Oats and Sprouted Flour
3 cups oatmeal (not instant)
3 cups warm filtered water
6 tablespoons whey, yogurt, kefir or buttermilk (if you are allergic to dairy, you can also use lemon juice or vinegar)
1 cup dessicated coconut, unsweetened
1 cup raisins or other dried fruit, or a combination
2 cups any combination of soaked and dried nuts and seeds (almonds, pine nuts, pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds — I tend to use whatever I have on hand that is already soaked and dried)
1/2 cup sprouted wheat or spelt flour
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup Rapadura, sucanat, palm sugar, or maple sugar
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1 teaspoon salt
The night before, set the oatmeal in a large bowl with the whey, kefir or buttermilk and the warm filtered water. Cover with a dishtowel and let sit on the counter or in a cupboard for anywhere from 8-24 hours.
The next day, set the oven to the lowest setting (150-170 degrees) or, if you have one, set your dehydrator to the highest setting — around 150 degrees.
(Note: I found other recipes online that say you can bake your granola in the oven at 350 degrees or so. I tried this method but it didn't work so well for me — since you have to constantly turn it, it's kind of a pain. I preferred just putting it in the dehydrator and letting it go overnight. If you are in a hurry and want your granola right away, you can try it that way — just turn the granola every 15 minutes or so and bake for a shorter period of time.)
Add to the bowl of soaked oatmeal the coconut, raisins, soaked and dried nuts/seeds, and sprouted flour. Blend together with a wooden spoon.
In another bowl, add coconut oil, sugar, honey and salt. If the coconut oil is solid, melt it in a saucepan on low heat.
Pour the coconut oil mixture onto the bowl of oatmeal and blend together with a wooden spoon.
Spread the mixture onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or Silpat mats. Or, if you're using a dehydrator, spread onto parchment paper-lined trays.
Bake or dry until crisp. Depending on how thickly you spread the mixture, it can take anywhere from a few hours to up to 24 hours. This is another reason I prefer using a dehydrator (also, it doesn't heat up the kitchen).
Break into pieces with your hands and store in an airtight container.