Why soak the oats? Check out this post over at The Nourishing Home. Also, I’ll be posting a ‘What We Eat and Why’ page soon, which will explain a lot the weirdness in my recipes.
SOAKED PUMPKIN SPICE GRANOLA
Yields approx. 15 cups
Depending on the size of your oven and the number of baking sheets you own, this may need to be cooked in batches. I’m okay with this, as it’s basically hands-off time and I enjoy having a huge stash of this in my freezer from one round of dirty dishes. If that isn’t your thing, the recipe is easily halved.
8 cups oats
4 cups filtered water
1 cup yogurt, kefir, or whey
1 cup pumpkin seeds (preferably soaked and dehydrated)
4 cups nuts of choice (preferably soaked and dehydrated)
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 cup pumpkin puree (or 1 15oz can)
4 tsp pumpkin spice (see recipe below)
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup butter or coconut oil
1 cup maple syrup, honey, organic cane sugar, or a combination
Once cooked and cooled:
1-2 cups dried fruit
Begin by soaking the oats:
In a huge bowl or stock pot, combine oats, water, and yogurt/kefir/whey. Mix thoroughly and gently pat down the top to ensure all oats are moistened. Cover and let sit for 12-24 hours.
The next day:
Combine the nuts and seeds in your food processor and pulse a few times to chop them up. (This step isn’t necessary, it just creates a more uniform texture.) Add this mixture and the coconut to the oats.
In a medium saucepan set over medium/low heat, combine the rest of the ingredients. Stir until everything is combined. Pour this onto the oat mixture and stir, stir, stir!
Preheat your oven to its lowest temperature, ideally somewhere around 150 degrees. Mine only goes down to 200, but it still works. You are essentially dehydrating the granola, while giving it the slightest hint of toastiness. You could also use a real dehydrator, but I don’t have experience with that, so you’re on your own. 🙂
Line your baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats (my preference); see note above. Spread mixture onto your baking sheets, spreading it out evenly and no thicker than a few centimeters.
Bake, occasionally stirring and breaking up big pieces, until crispy. Depending on your oven and temperature, this can take anywhere from 4-24 hours. I know, that is a ridiculous time frame. But remember, it is hands-off time, save for a couple visits to move stuff around.
Remove from the oven and let cool a bit. Now you can mix in your dried fruit and store in an airtight container. I store about 2 quarts on the countertop and freeze the rest, though it disappears so quickly I hardly need to freeze any!
Pumpkin Pie Spice
Forget the store-bought stuff, this is so easy to make and tastes way better!
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground clove
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Mix thoroughly. Store in airtight container. (I use a 4 ounce canning jar, labelled of course!)