Really Healthy Granola


Really_Healthy_Granola
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Yield – 9 Cups

This recipe uses a piece of equipment called a dehydrator. I can no longer apologize for this inclusion because it simply has become such an important part of my kitchen that I feel you would benefit from having one, too. If you aren’t ready, this same technique can be performed in the oven, but it will tie up the oven for a good long while. Also, be sure to check out the asterisks below. They give several variations that you may find useful.

Ingredients:
4 cups rolled oats
4 cups warm filtered water
8 tbsp whey or lemon juice
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup raw honey *
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp powdered green stevia **
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup soaked walnuts, roughly broken with hands ***
1 cup soaked almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 cup soaked sunflower seeds
1/2 cup soaked pumpkin seeds
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup dried currants ****

Soaked Oat Instructions:
Two days before – In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, warm water and whey or lemon juice. Stir gently to combine. Cover with a kitchen towel and set in a warm place for 24 – 36 hours. In a fine mesh strainer, rinse well. Gently spread soaked oats evenly onto a dehydrator tray lined with a mesh insert. Dehydrate at 150˚ for 12 hours, until thoroughly dried. Remove and cool. Once cool, granola may be made immediately, or oats may be stored in an airtight container for several days, ready & waiting for granola preparation.

Granola Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350˚. Locate a non-stick sheet pan or a regular sheet pan lined with parchment paper. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Once nearly melted, add honey, cinnamon, stevia and sea salt. Whisk well to combine.

While butter is melting, crumble oats onto the prepared sheet pan. No big chunks should remain. Add walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and coconut flakes.

Once honey-butter mixture is prepared, evenly pour mixture overtop of oat-nut mixture. Using a spatula, stir until well combined; ensure every piece of dried oat gets a light coating of butter. Spread evenly before baking for 10 minutes. Remove and stir. Spread evenly and make for 5 minutes. Remove and stir. Spread evenly and bake for 5 additional minutes, for a combined total of 20 baking minutes. Remove and immediately stir in currants until well combined. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Or transfer to the freezer for several months.

* Typically, my reasoning for using “raw” honey is due to the fact that regular store-bought honey has been pasteurized, which means it has been heated and strained to obtain a clear product that is easier to pour. Unfortunately, during this pasteurization process, many of nature’s beneficial enzymes are destroyed. “Raw” (unpasteurized) honey still contains most of those valuable enzymes. However when a recipe is going to be baked or heated in any way, the enzymes will be destroyed regardless. In this case, I still recommend purchasing and cooking with raw honey, if possible. I find the overall quality of the honey to be more consistent, and I prefer supporting farmers who choose less refinement in their practices. If raw honey can’t be found, regular honey may be substituted in equal measurements.

** Grocery store powdered white stevia is a refined product. Nature’s stevia is a green, leafy plant, and it’s subsequent sweet powder should optimally be green, reflecting it’s natural state. I purchase Frontier brand green stevia powder from my local healthfood store. I also find green stevia’s flavor to be more appealing. Here’s a link for on-line purchase. I do use stevia tinctures when the green hue of this natural sweetener affects the color of my recipe, but in recipes such as this granola, the color hides nicely. If green powdered stevia is not available or not desired, simply increase the amount of honey to 1/2 cup.

*** Any combination and variety of nuts in approximately the same quantity will be delicious.

**** My husband and I prefer a lightly sweetened granola with only a sprinkling of currants. If you prefer a sweeter variety, feel free to add any amount, variety & combination of dried fruit to suit your tastes. Simply be sure to follow the recipe’s technique of adding the fruit after the granola is removed from the oven, which prevents the fruit from becoming over-cooked and hard.

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22 comments


  • Jen

    The granola sounds worth the work! We love to buy local, raw honey. It tastes 100x better than store bought supporting our local beekeeper gives us warm fuzzies.

    March 20, 2011
    • Molly Chester

      Awe Jen – it gives me warm fuzzies too! Such a great way to go…

      March 24, 2011
  • Evelyn

    I don’t have a dehydrator but really want to make this recipe. What are your directions for using an oven for dehydrating the soaked oats? Also, could parchment paper be used to line the tray instead of a mesh insert?

    March 28, 2011
    • Molly Chester

      Evelyn, Though I have never tried drying oats in the oven, I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t work just fine. I suggest simply spreading the oats onto parchment paper (like you suggested) and dry them at the lowest setting your oven will go to… 150 would be best. After about 5-6 hours, I would kinda “flip” the oats off of the parchment to allow the other side to fully dry. Let me know if you try, and if so, how it goes! Good luck dear!

      March 29, 2011
  • Laine

    I have been making granola for a while and can’t wait to try this one! I get my oats and nuts from my local health food store. (walnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds..all raw of course) but I don’t dehydrate anything first. My recipe has olive oil for the fat and maple syrup for the sweetener. I also add chia seeds and ground flax seed and a bit of sea salt. so..what is the benefit of dehydrating the oats and nuts? I eat lots of raw nuts and don’t seem to have digestion problems if that’s the reason. but I don’t want to be missing something. I love learning about nutrition and whole foods. By the way, I LOVE the photography on your site! (my daughter is a photographer) I really appreciate his artistic eye! Glad I found this site. Looking forward to trying your recipes! Thanks!

    April 1, 2011
  • I stumbled across your blog because I was trying to find the specifics of soaking and dehydrating oats to later be used in other recipes. I am a huge fan of Kitchen Stewardship dot com, but even in her soaked granola bars recipe, I am still at a loss for ALL the details. I have the excalibur dehydrator, so I was looking to find some recipe out there that would tell me at what temperature to set it to when I dehydrate the soaked oats. And yours (after many many other posts just saying only to dehydrate them, but not telling me how…) did – thank you!! But here is my question for you, how did you come to the temperature of 150 degrees? My excalibur guide doesn’t even mention dehydrating soaked grains. I just want to make sure I have the reasoning behind the high temperature when I proceed with this on my own. Thank you for any information you can point me to on the temps to use for grains and nuts!

    April 15, 2011
    • Molly Chester

      I use 150 because I tend to refer to Nourishing Traditions, who uses 150 to dehydrate her nuts. I don’t believe she has a dehydrated oat recipe in the book, but I’m not sure. I find Raw Foodists stick below 120 to dehydrate their nuts, grains and seeds, but I find 120 doesn’t yield the “crunch” that I really like in my nuts. Plus, I am not as concerned about preserving the enzymes in my nuts, which is the primary reason for the lower temperature, and instead, I am more concerned about removing the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors because those are the things that seem to irritate my system (my head gets itchy when I don’t soak!) As for the oats, I have never tried them down at 115-120, and it may work just fine. If you try, let me know how it goes! Warmly, Molly

      April 17, 2011
  • Cheryl

    Why do you une dyhdrated nuts ans seeds?
    I make my granola in the oven all the time.

    May 2, 2011
  • Shelly

    I really want to make this, but don’t have a dehydrator yet. (it’s on the list… don’t have it in the budget for this month) my oven will go down to 175. Do you think that will be OK? Thanks!

    July 7, 2011
    • Molly Chester

      I bet that you can… just keep an eye on it, and let me know how it goes!

      July 9, 2011
  • Caroline Baker

    Hi Molly, I made some dehydrated bananas the other day in my oven (dehydrator on the list as well). The lowest temp on my old model oven is 200, which I was worried would be too high, so I set it to “Warm” and it worked great on bananas overnight, for about 12 hours. I’m not sure how well “Warm” will work on nuts, but I’m going to try it out on a small batch. Do you recommend a good dehydrator? My grandma had a round one when I was young, but now I see both round and square versions online and a lot of them. Any advice? Thanks! I hope you are doing fantastic!

    ~Caroline

    August 19, 2011
  • Jocelyn

    Molly,
    I have been looking around it seems like forever for a recipe for homemade granola bars. I love the idea of having some stashed in my desk at work for those days that I get the 10:00 or 2:00 stomach grumbles. But I hate having store bought ones with the ingredients I can’t pronounce – not to mention the cost associated with the ‘healthy’ ones. Do you have any suggestions or a recipe for one, or any idea on how to turn granola into granola bars?
    Thanks

    October 18, 2011
  • RIta Matute

    Do you have any personal recommendations for dehydrators?

    November 20, 2011
  • Amie

    Does this mean that when we buy the tubs of oats at the grocery store that we’re meant to soak them? I’ve heard of soaking beans, I’ve just got the hang of that, but nuts and oats are new to me and I’m finding it a little intimidating. Any tips for a newbie?

    September 11, 2012
  • Caitlin

    Hi!! I am very excited to make whey and start introducing it to my family. Can you explain what the whey is doing in this recipe? And am I still getting the benifits of the whey if I rinse the grains? Thanks!

    July 3, 2013
    • Molly Chester

      Whey will help the grains release phytic acid, and rinsing would be fine.

      July 4, 2013
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