Soaked Granola

Why go to the trouble of making homemade soaked granola? Whole grains that are not soaked, sprouted or fermented contain anti-nutrients like phytic acid, which impairs mineral absorption (not good for building strong teeth and bones). In addition, cereals are made with extruded grains which some say are actually toxic.

I was never a big fan of cold cereal to begin with — I'd much rather have Eggs Benedict. But let's face it — we don't always have time to whip up a plate of Eggs Benedict with homemade Hollandaise sauce.

Which is what's so appealing about cold breakfast cereal — it's so easy. On those days when you've run out of eggs, or you just don't feel like making pancakes — grabbing a bowl of cereal just takes a few seconds. Cereal is also a convenient, portable snack for toddlers and kids.

Nonetheless, I no longer buy breakfast cereal (with the exception of oatmeal). Ever since our “traditional foods conversion”, we now eat eggs most mornings, often with buttered toast and sometimes with bacon or sausage. We've also learned to love oatmeal. Especially baked oatmeal. But as delicious as it is, baked oatmeal is not always appealing on a hot summer day. Nor is the idea of heating up your house by running the oven.

This homemade granola is just as healthy and delicious as the baked oatmeal. 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.

I use sprouted flour for this recipe, but you can use freshly ground whole grain flour instead since you are soaking the oats and the flour overnight. I like using sprouted flour because I know it is extremely fresh and the kind of sprouted flour. I buy is also organic.

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.

Soaked Granola
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Soaked Granola

  • Author: Ann Marie Michaels

Ingredients

  • Oatmeal (3 cups) — not instant
  • Warm filtered water (3 cups)
  • Whey, yogurt, kefir or buttermilk, if you are allergic to dairy, you can also use lemon juice or vinegar(6 TBS)
  • Dessicated coconut, unsweetened (1 cup)
  • Raisins or other dried fruit, or a combination (1 cup)
  • Any combination of soaked and dried nuts and seeds (almonds, pine nuts, pecans, walnuts,sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds (2 cups) — I tend to use whatever I have on hand that is already soaked and dried)
  • Sprouted wheat or spelt flour (1/2 cup)
  • Coconut oil (1/2 cup)
  • Rapadura, sucanat, palm sugar, or maple sugar (1/4 cup)
  • Honey or maple syrup (1/4 cup)
  • Salt (1 tsp)

Instructions

1. 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.
2. 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.)
3. Add to the bowl of soaked oatmeal the coconut, raisins, soaked and dried nuts/seeds, and sprouted flour. Blend together with a wooden spoon.
5. In another bowl, add coconut oil, sugar, honey and salt. If the coconut oil is solid, melt it in a saucepan on low heat.
6. Pour the coconut oil mixture onto the bowl of oatmeal and blend together with a wooden spoon.
7. 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.
8. 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).
9. Break into pieces with your hands and store in an airtight container.
10. Serve your homemade granola with milk, yogurt or cream, and if you like, fresh fruit.

Notes

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).

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Equipment Needed for This Recipe

Dehydrator
Parchment paper or Silpat baking mats

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Soaked Granola

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Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Cheeseslave.com. Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

87 thoughts on “Soaked Granola

  1. I was just thinking on trying something like this! Thanks AnnMarie. Incidentally, I just wrote an article titled “Why I don’t eat boxed cereal — not even the healthy ones”. Helpful for those who don’t yet understand completely why boxed cereal is not as good as we are led to believe. https://sn.im/boxcereal

  2. Yikes, this just looks like so much work! This is why I had the hardest time giving up cold breakfast cereal way back when — the thought of having to soak oats, then dry them, then mix them with other things and bake or dry them again just seemed like so. much. work.

    I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade. I’m just lazy. 🙂

    We do have a soaked cold cereal recipe that we use from time to time, but it’s just oats soaked in yogurt overnight & mixed with all the fixin’s of granola. Basically the same idea you’ve got, minus the dehydration. It has to be stored in the refrigerator, and it’s less crunchy. But it still makes a decent cold cereal. (At least we think so.)

    Of course, NOTHING compares to a good granola! Which is why your recipe is awesome.

    Cheers,
    ~KristenM
    (AKA FoodRenegade)

  3. I used to make this all the time until I heard Sally Fallon at the WAPF conference in 2007 (and since), say that she considers soaked granola a “compromise” food, better than regular granola, which is almost indigestible, but not as good as cooked soaked oats. She says that an “iron” digestive system is needed to process even the soaked granola, and that oats need a minimum of 5 minutes cooking time to facilitate optimum digestibility. I must admit that it is definitely missed around here and since we have digestive issues I steer clear. Maybe after we get through G.A.P.S. though!

    Kristen
    EdibleMissoula

  4. Kristen –

    You don’t have to soak the oats, then dry them, then mix them with other things. You just have to soak the oats then mix them and dry them. Yeah, it’s still work but it sure is nice to have cereal every once in a while! A good, nutritious food that is also convenient.

  5. Soli –

    Yes, the dehydrator works great. I think mine goes up to 155 degrees. And it doesn’t heat up my kitchen. I got the 9-tray Excalibur so I can do big batches of stuff, and I use it for drying nuts and seeds, oats, and also herbs and fruit.

  6. Thanks Ann Marie for another great healthy breakfast idea to try – it sounds really, really wonderful and I feel because you can double or triple the recipe it won’t feel like so much work.

    I love the soaked and baked oatmeal recipe by Kelly the Kitchen Kop and the stove top soaked oatmeal recipe by Jenny over at Nourished Kitchen so I can’t wait to try a nice cold cereal for summer.

  7. Awesome. I just made a batch of coconut granola and I was wondering if I could make a soaked version. Can’t wait to try it. I love your site, btw.

  8. Kristen,

    Hmm… I think I heard a lecture like that, too by Sally. But I thought I heard her say that there are some good recipes for granola. And she has a similar granola recipe in “Eat Fat Lose Fat”.

    I guess if you need to cook the oatmeal for 5 minutes, you could do the baked version — or at least bake it for 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees, then turn the oven down to 150.

    Also, it’s important to note that, in “Nourishing Traditions”, she also says that ALL of the following foods “compromise foods”:

    Pork
    Traditionally made, additive-free sausage
    Additive-free bacon
    Pasteurized cheeses
    Unbleached white flour
    Thinned skinned fruits imported from long distances
    Natural sweeteners – including honey, maple syrup and Rapadura
    Wine
    Herb teas

    I eat all of those things pretty regularly — many of them daily.

    She also calls the following foods “new-fangled” (meaning we should avoid them completely):

    Chocolate
    Coffee
    Tea
    Cocoa
    Commercial baking powder

    Again, guilty. 🙂 I honestly don’t think I’ll ever give up chocolate.

    If I tried to comply exactly with NT, I don’t think I could do it. I do the best I can. Still, I feel like I’m doing pretty well compared to how I used to eat.

  9. Can’t wait to try this recipe! And hoping it turns out way better than my first soaked granola experiment 🙂

    I’m lazy, too, therefore a big fan of HUGE (whenever possible) batches.

    Wondering if I should try this in the oven or in the dehydrator, which doesn’t have a working temp gadge…

    As always, appreciate your great blogging, Cheeseslave!

    Blessings…

  10. Thanks for this. The only problem I see with this is that the finished product will only last a few hours !
    Off to get the oatmeal soaking right now!

  11. You’ve got some great stuff on this blog. I was wondering what you thought about a modification to the soaked granola sprouted flour granola recipe. In using what I have in the cupboard, do you think I could use regular whole wheat flour and soak it along with the oats? What would be the advantages/disadvantages of using sprouted vs. soaked flour since I’d already be soaking the oats? Thanks for any help to a “real food” newbie ;o)

  12. Hi, Ann,

    I made an absolutely ENORMOUS batch by tripling it. I’ll have to take a picture and show you guys how much it made — you won’t believe it!

    If you have an Excalibur dehydrator, just turn it up all the way to the highest setting, which I believe is 155 degrees. I could get up and go look but I just woke up and am having my coffee. 😉 It’s either 150 or 155.

    If you have another brand of dehydrator, look up their website or find their user manual online and see how high it goes.

    You could also just mark the numbers on there with a magic marker.

  13. Julie –

    The batch I made was gigantic. Seriously, I made so much that I had to mix it in 2 bowls — the 2 biggest bowls I had. And I used all 9 trays of my 9-tray dehydrator.

    I will take a pic and post it so you guys can see how much a triple batch makes. My family will be in granola for a looong time.

  14. Amy – I don’t see why that wouldn’t work. I made baked oatmeal once that was more like a bread pudding. I added whole wheat flour and soaked it overnight with the oats. Came out fine. Try it and please let us know how it works!

  15. For a busy family with very little time, how realistic would it be to make, 2 weeks worth of this? Is that possible? Is it realistic? I am not a fan of cold boxed cereal, but the time crunch is where I am having issues. I am trying to figure out how to make something easy enough to prepare a week at a time, and easy enough to pour out of a box in the AM. Am I being unrealistic?

  16. Your photo looks too good! Almost looks like you have the granola on top of really thick cream. You’re becoming quite a pro at food photography……which I know is quite tricky.

    Thanks for the recipe.

  17. Thanks. How do you feel about the regular oats vs organic (i am asking because i learn so much from you!)?

  18. Will lime juice or apple cider vinegar do the same job as the whey/buttermilk/yoghurt?
    Should apple cider vinegar be refrigerated once opened?
    Tks!

  19. Kim –

    I was just reading Rami Nagel’s new book and he said most storebought oats are heat-treated and rancid. I don’t know if that’s true. I mean, ideally we would eat fresh organic oats like the people Dr. Weston Price met in Scotland — but I guess we have to do the best we can.

    I buy Quaker oats at Costo because they are CHEAP. This is one way I justify buying so much expensive raw milk and cream and good triple cream cheeses and wild salmon roe — and all the other pricey stuff.

    Save on the less important things like oatmeal and spend more on the “sacred foods”. That’s what I try to do anyway!

  20. Awesome recipe- looking for something to make grains-wise while I’m waiting for my sourdough starter to work. This looks great- easy for us beginners, and I love granola. Also, the comments were helpful- I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed and it’s good to see the regulars won’t be giving up chocolate and wine either!

  21. Made a quarter-recipe of this today, leaving out the sprouted flour, since i didn’t have any, and using chopped dried apricots and sliced almonds – delicious! The mild coconut flavor complemented the other ingredients, and it all crisped up nicely with an hour of moderate heat and a day of resting in the dry, 90 degree environment of a “cold” gas oven. Great recipe – thanks!

  22. Hello! I googled for a granola recipe using soaked oats and found your page first. It sounds delicious. I am wondering, however, if you drain the oats after soaking them. It seems to me that soaking 3 cups of rolled oats in 3 cups of water would still have them be really wet in the morning. Also, if you use 6 or 9 cups of oats, would you also use 6 or 9 cups of water?

    I soak all of the whole grains I cook on the stove with water. But i haven’t figured out how to soak flour to use for baking or pancakes.

    Thanks so much!

  23. Hi, Amanda!

    Are you using an acidic medium — something like whey or kefir or lemon juice? If you add that with the water (and make sure the water is filtered and warm), the oatmeal the next morning will not be as wet. It will be closer to oatmeal than watery. I recommend soaking for at least 10-12 hours if possible.

    And yes, if you use 6 cups of oats, use 6 cups of water. Just double everything in the recipe. It works fine.

    Soaking flour is easy. You can soak it overnight with kefir. I recommend picking up a copy of Sally Fallon’s book, Nourishing Tradtions. She outlines all the ways to soak/sprout and ferment flour, oats, rice, corn, and other whole grains, as well as nuts, seeds and beans.

    You can find her book on my resources page: https://villagegreennetwork.com/marketplace/books-periodicals?pid=1 target=”_blank”

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  26. I was wondering if you had a local source for sprouted flours? I’ve orderd on-line but the shipping fees are so high. thx for this granola recipe. Its a good one.

  27. If I’m going to soak the whole grain flour overnight, do I mix it with the oats and soak them together? Or, do I soak them separately and mix the wet oats with wet flour the next day?

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  29. Hi there! I’m making this now and am in the middle of drying out the oats in my oven. How do I know when they are done? What consistency am I looking for? I think Kim the Kitchen Kop said she only put it in the oven for 2 hours and your recipe says overnight. Please help!

    thanks 🙂

  30. Making this recipe right now, having nibbled a little and shared with the DH and kiddos looks like a winner, thanks for sharing.

  31. Wondering if anyone has had success using steel cut oats, or knows what mods I’d have to make (soak longer? more liquid?). THANKS!

  32. Can the nuts also be dried with the granola (as the oats are), rather than soaking AND drying before adding them to the granola only to be dried again?

    Thanks!

  33. Okay, I just took the first batch out of the oven. I kept turning the heat up and ended up cooking it at 325, stirring every 15 mins, for about 1 1/2 hrs. It’s really yummy, thank you!

  34. Hey Ann Marie 🙂
    I love making soaked granola, in fact I literally have some in the oven now, but I add rolled rye (high in phytase) to the soak to optimize the break down of phytic acid. (For those who are gluten free, I’ve read that buckwheat groats can be added to the oat soak since they are also high in phytase). I started doing it this way after reading a great article on WAPF site that explains how oats do not have enough phytase to break down phytates (phytic acid) well on their own, they really need the help of some added phytase. Just thought I would share this article, as I found it extremely informative, but then again, I’m a science nerd. Thanks again for all your great recipes! Blessings, kel https://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/1893-living-with-phytic-acid.html

    1. I was thinking the same thing. However, I only have sprouted flours at home so do you think I could add the sprouted rye flour to the soak with the oats to accomplish the same thing? I sure would like to know:) Thanks

  35. Ok so I’m a bit confused. I doubled the recipe and soaked the oats with part whey and part yogurt, with the freshly milled spelt flour. Looked like oatmeal in morning, pretty wet. I put in oven at 250 and was going to “turn” it in 30 min. When I opened the oven it was baked on top, gooey on bottom. I then assumed “turn” meant to flip it like pancakes. I did that, what a mess. I’m thinking that after this next half hour the top will be baked like the bottom is now. If this is the way to dry them in the oven, then won’t I have to pulse blend the oats once dry or will they eventually be so dry they break apart with me just kinda crumbling them with my hands? Another question, if I started with a lower temp and stirred instead of flipping it, would that have cooked the oats more separately? Does that make sense? I’m just wondering if I’m the only one managing to mess this recipe up? I am trying to be hopeful. I LOVE granola, but want the benefits of it being soaked first.

  36. I have made a similar granola using presoaked and dried nuts, but I’m wondering why they have to be predried since I’m putting them in the dehydrator again. Has anyone tried to soak the nuts the same night as the oats and then mix and use the granola making as the nut drying time?
    Thanks

  37. I have a slightly different soaked-oat granola recipe that I love because the oats retain their shape and the granola bakes up in a 300 degree oven just like a “regular” granola. I mix a total of 1 cup: yoghurt, whole milk, whey with 4 cups of oats (I cut the yoghurt and whey with some whole milk just to decrease the sour tang from my very tangy European style yoghurt), and let them soak 24 hrs total (not just overnight). I like the idea of substituting some rolled rye or buckwheat groats for some of the oatmeal. That would give increased phytase without adding doughiness to the mixture that I think flour would bring. I’ve very much enjoyed my granola so far! 🙂 (It’s been a long long time since I had cereal around the house!)

    And appreciating this post and the comments – gleaning some good additional tips. Thanks 🙂

    1. Oh, I would really like to know how long it takes for you to bake them at 300 degrees please.

      Also, Do you add soaked & dehydrated/roasted seeds to yours? I am concerned that if the nuts/seeds are already dehydrated/roasted then they would burn when I added them to the oats to bake. I was thinking of just soaking the seeds & nuts at thes same time as the the oats (separate bowl of course) then baking the oat and nut/seed mixture together.

      1. Hi Amy –

        It usually takes me about 2 hours to bake a batch of granola @ 300 (remembering that I live in CO at high altitude, so things may dry out quicker here 🙂 ). I stir it gently (more like redistributing/rearranging everything so it’ll dry out and brown evenly) with a big wooden spoon every 30 min for the first hour and a half, and every 15 min after that to make sure it doesn’t burn/over-brown (it can go from “almost ready” to “burnt” fast at this stage). I like mine dry and crunchy but not mahogany in color. 😉 At first it will seem like, “this will never turn into granola!”. But if you keep moving it around and breaking it up every 30 min, after that 1st hour and a half, you’ll start to see some browning, separating etc. That last 30 min (or more, depending on what your batch looks like) is when it’s getting brown and crunchy. 🙂

        Re: adding nuts and seeds, I would add in my wet, already soaked nuts and seeds into the mixture at the beginning, then they can crisp up with everything else (I actually soaked 1 C of sunflower seeds in with my oats last time and it turned out great). If the nuts/seeds are already “crispy”, I would probably add them in about half way through so they can pick up some of the flavorings and sweetness as everything bakes up. HTH 🙂

  38. I’ve done this recipe once and really liked the flavor. The problem I had was that as the granola dried in my dehydrator it became a pretty solid sheet. I wanted it dry enough to store on the shelf, so i did not remove it when it was still pliable. Once it was totally dried, it was still in sheets which I broke up. But instead of a nice crumbly texture it broke up more like crackers with more shard-like texture. It was so thick and sticky I can’t imagine trying to stir it, especially on dehydrator trays! What did I do wrong, and how do I get that nice crumbly texture??? Help!
    thanks so much for a great site! claudia

  39. I have soaked the oats (oatmeal), and I’m drying it out in the oven now. I can’t wait to make the granola tomorrow!

  40. I am fortunate enough to have a dehydrator and made granola that way for my family and really like using the dehydrator. I used it because I liked not adding the extra heat to the oats thinking it was healthier to eat them “raw”. Later, I found out that all rolled oats are heated. I still like the dehydrator way of making granola though.

  41. Someone told me (can’t remember specifically who, but it was a WAPFer type person) that it’s important to cook oats for them to be “properly prepared” for easy digestion and assimilation.

    I used to love to make traditional Muesli which is oats soaked overnight with fruit and milk then eaten soft and sweet in the morning.

    I would love to hear that cooking soaked oats is not actually necessary??? Have you looked into this at all?

    Thanks so much,
    Krista

    1. I did rinse and drain the oats, since they seemed SO wet. When I look at standard granola recipes, the same proportions, but with dry oats, are used, so I decided it made sense. Plus, I was concerned about it tasting sour. They reduced down quite a bit, hadn’t thought of that, so all this work has not rendered a very big batch. Still in the oven, I’ll update (in several hours? lol). Christine.

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  43. I wonder if you could just soak the oats, seeds, nuts, etc all together and then dry them all together. Would save time if you didn’t already have soaked and dried nuts on hand (like me!)

  44. Great recipe! I made it this weekend and it turned out great. I’m going wheat free so I used almond flour, and used ACV. I used golden raisins, almonds, coconut and chopped dates. I will def make again!

  45. Shouldn’t it be soaked with something that has phytase to reduce or eliminate the phytic acid that is present? I’ve been looking for a granola recipe, and this looks promising. When I make oatmeal, I soak with fresh buckwheat flour, since I am allergic to wheat. I think I’ll do that here too and see how it turns out! Thanks for the recipe. 🙂

  46. For those who are going gluten-free – Bob’s Red Mill has GF oatmeal! I’ve been using it for months to make plain oatmeal as well as a granola (although I’ve got to try this recipe! wow!)… works and tastes great!!

  47. Hi!
    First off, Ann Marie, thank you for your site! I just started eating the real food way a couple weeks back, and am loving it. Sites like yours are an invaluable resource for newbies like me!
    Quick q on the soaked oat granola – I tried a similar recipe from another blog this week, and it turned out *super* sour! I love sour things, but this was just too intense for me, esp for granola. I used store bought yogurt to soak, 1/2 c for 4 c of oats.
    Has anyone else had this experience with a soaked granola recipe? I’m planning to try again this wknd with ACV instead of yogurt, but just wanted to hear from any others who might have struggled with a sour flavor and found a solution.
    Thanks again & keep up the great work! 🙂
    Britt

  48. Love your website!!! One suggestion, for your recipes, you should have a way to print with out printing the whole page. See Wellness Mamma and Skinny Ms. Keep up the great work!

  49. I made this yesterday in my oven. I baked it at 170 for 2 hours then finished it at 250 for another hourish-stirring it every 15 minutes or so. I'm so glad I took the time to make this. It's outstanding! Thank you.

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