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Crunchy Sprouted Granola

12 October

Sprouted Granola TextThere aren’t many breakfasts I love more than a bowl of plain yogurt, granola and berries. I started making my own granola years ago because buying it was expensive and I wanted control over the types of nuts and extras that were included; granola is typically high in sugar, and when I made it myself I could use natural sweeteners {and a lot less of them}.

But during my Nutritional Therapy training, some of the info I learned about healthy fats and digesting grains and nuts inspired me to go even further and make my own “sprouted” or raw granola.

I know, right now you’re thinking, “Ignorance is bliss, Liz; I’m out.”

But the good news about Sprouted Granola is multi-faceted:

  1. My new granola is crunchier than I could ever get the baked version.
  2. Sprouted granola requires forethought and planning {you’ve got to know you want to make it a day ahead of time}, but isn’t harder, nor does it take more active prep time.
  3. You will digest this granola {and its nuts and seeds} better, which means your body won’t freak out, bloat or miss out on undigested nutrients {but if it does, we should talk about how Nutrition Consulting can help you, click on it to learn more}.

Sprouted granola happens when you soak the grains, nuts and seeds for at least 8 hours, drain them, mix them with all the extra tastiness you want, and then slap them in the dehydrator for 8-12 hours {you can also use your oven if it goes as low as 125 degrees}.  I put the grains, nuts and seeds in water at night before bed, then get the granola into the dehydrator in the morning.  This way it’s finished by the next breakfast!

Like I said, extra planning, but not extra work.

Here’s why sprouted granola is better for you:

  1. Grains, seeds and nuts can be hard for our guts to break down, partly because of phytic acid, a natural defense mechanism of plants that resists digestion and makes it hard for our bodies to absorb minerals. Soaking these foods deactivates the phytic acid, thus enhancing our ability to digest them AND get all the good nutrients into our bodies.
  2. Oats, the traditional main component of granola, are a whole grain, and whole grains are a great source of B vitamins and fiber.
  3. When you add other whole grains besides oats to your sprouted granola, you encourage diversity in your diet; this provides you with more and varied nutrients, as well as encouraging the growth of probiotics in your guts.
  4. The awesome polyunsaturated fats in seeds and nuts are fragile and can be damaged when heated, negating their health benefits.   A short bit of time in a skillet to roast them isn’t a big deal, but they’re optimally nutritious when soaked and dehydrated!

As far as making your own nutritious, crunchy breakfast, the recipe below will benefit from personalization – I like to use all sorts of whole grains, like amaranth, millet, quinoa and buckwheat, not just oats.

Include your favorite nuts and seeds, and experiment with different pairings – just don’t leave them out, nuts and seeds are what keep granola from being a carbohydrate bomb, you need their healthy fats and protein.

Experiment with natural sweeteners: honey, maple syrup, date syrup, coconut sugar, stevia, all can work, so see which you like best. Or leave out the sweetener, and stir in raisins, diced dried apricots or dates, or any other unsweetened, dried fruit you like.

Enjoy!
Liz

Crunchy Sprouted GranolaFullSizeRender 8

Ingredients
2 cups grains, a mixture of: rolled oats, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, millet
2 cups raw nuts and seeds, a mixture of: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, UNhulled hemp seeds, cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans, etc*
¼ cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
¼ cup coconut sugar {or other natural sweetener: honey, maple syrup, etc}, optional
¾ tsp sea salt
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cardamom
½ tsp vanilla
Dried fruit, optional**

Directions

  1. Combine grains and raw nuts and seeds in a large bowl, and cover with water. Let stand for 6-8 hours.
  2. Drain grains, nuts and seeds, rinse with clean water, and put in a large bowl. Add natural sweetener {if using}, shredded coconut and spices, and mix thoroughly.
  3. Scoop wet granola mixture onto dehydrator racks, flattening with the back of your spoon. I use parchment paper to keep small pieces {or liquid natural sweetener} from falling through. OR, place and flatten granola mixture on baking sheets if you need to dehydrate in your oven.
  4. Dehydrate for 8-12 hours {if larger nuts like almonds are involved, you’ll need at least 12 hours}, or until desired crunchiness is achieved. OR, bake in oven at lowest setting for the same.
  5. Store granola in a sealed container in a cool, dry place {I keep mine in my pantry}.

*If you’d like to add chia seeds or hemp hearts {the hulled version of hemp seeds}, don’t soak them; add them with the coconut, sweetener, et al.

**Add dried fruit after the granola is fully dehydrated.

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Liz Flint-Somerville, Nutritional Consultant

Liz was a partner in Grub for 3 amazing years and helped author many of our most beloved recipes and posts. She is now dedicating her time to caring for her family, writing poetry, and continuing to cook delicious Real Foods.

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