Naturally occurring phytic acid is beneficial to the seed/grain because it keeps the seed dormant until it is planted in moist soil when germination should happen. Otherwise, dry grain would just germinate as it sits in storage creating mountains of sprouting craziness! However, for us, it is an enzyme inhibitor which prevents our bodies from being able to properly digest and access all the nutrients. If you have ever felt bloated, gassy or just not very good after consuming grains or beans, this could be the problem.
While cookbooks are full of recipes that use soaked oatmeal as porridge or muesli, I have not seen one that prepares granola from soaked oats. It seems counterintuitive to try to make crunchy granola from a mushy pile of the rolled grain, but I had to try. And guess what...it's fantastic!!! I kept the amount of sweetener (maple syrup) low because I am always on a mission to reduce sugar intake. And the result was a mildly sweet (just enough to know it's not a savory meal), soft crunch of a spoonful of morning glory, full of nuts, a few raisins and a bit of flax meal. Unlike store versions that make you feel like you're eating cookies for breakfast, here is a wholesome honest bowl of goodness that will stay with you through the morning and fuel your body with all the good things oatmeal was meant to deliver.
To soak your oats, start with 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats (not quick cook, if you can find the kind that takes at least 5 minutes to cook, that's the best) in a bowl or large glass measuring cup, cover with water and 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar. Allow to soak for at least 8 hours or overnight on the counter. Drain well and rinse, without pressing down, just let the water fall through. This is also good with yogurt and nuts, eaten raw!
The dry team:
2 cups old fashioned oats, soaked
(measure after soaking and allowed to drain for an hour, do not press) spoon into measuring cup without compressing it
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup chopped raw cashews
½ cup unsweetened coconut
¼ cup flax meal
½ tsp sea salt
The wet team:
¼ cup melted coconut oil
¼ cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper, or spray it with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Combine soaked oats with the dry ingredients in bowl and stir together. It will be a damp mixture. Combine wet ingredients in separate bowl/cup. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir to combine. It will be like a giant bowl of oatmeal, rather mushy. Spread it out as evenly as possible, using two forks to separate into smaller clumps.
Place in oven and bake for an hour without stirring, but you should check it and turn the pan for even browning. Note that the idea is to dehydrate the granola before it gets too dark. If it’s turning too brown and still feels too moist, lower you oven temp by 25 degrees and continue baking. Also note that the granola will crisp up more after it cools. I baked mine for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Once cooled, add raisins or dried fruit if desired.