Have you heard? Recently my family and I moved from Indiana to Idaho.
Not as big of a move as our last one (Oregon to Indiana)…
Yet still not for the faint of heart! 1,800 miles later, I'm pretty sure our one and a half-year-old thought that by some tragic twist of fate, the minivan was his new home, and he'd have to spend the rest of his days buckled into a car seat.
As many real food cooks in my shoes might have done, my first thought after deciding to move was, What are we going to eat when we're on the road?
Well, lots of hard-boiled eggs and lukewarm oven fries, reheated in dinky little hotel microwaves in a different state every night. 😉
Yet I managed to pack a special treat into the coolers, too. Homemade granola! None of us can get enough of the stuff. We snack on it by the handful, sprinkled over our morning kefir or yogurt bowl, under a dollop of raw milk and banana slices… It's delicious any way you slice it!
This recipe is adapted from the granola recipe in First Forty Days: The Essential Art of Nourishing the New Mother by Heng Ou. I added an easy soaking step, omitted a few ingredients to make it easier, and switched up the dried fruit. This granola is classic, frugal, and delicious!
Homemade granola! We can't get enough of the stuff! We snack on it by the handful, sprinkled over morning kefir or yogurt bowls with honey, under a dollop of raw milk as breakfast cereal... It's easy and healthy as well due to the easy additional step of soaking the oats. With some planning ahead, you too can enjoy this classic, frugal, and delicious recipe!
- 8 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar
- 8 cups pure water
- 1 cup coconut unsweetened shredded
- 1-1/2 cups raisins or small pieces of other dried fruit such as dates, apricots, cranberries, etc
- 1/2 cup raw honey or other liquid sweetener such as maple or coconut syrup
- 3/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
36 hours before...
Put oats in a large stainless steel or glass bowl. Pour raw apple cider vinegar and filtered water over all. Do not stir.
Cover with towel or plate. Let soak overnight, or for up to 24 hours.
24 hours before...
Using a slotted spoon (a flat skimmer stainless steel slotted spoon like this is THE BEST) and being gentle not to stir oats at all, dip into bowl and bring up a spoonful of oats.
Let liquid drip out, then spread on dehydrator tray. Repeat until all oats are spread out in even layers (1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick).
Dehydrate for 2 hours at 145 degrees Fahrenheit, then turn down the temperature to 115 degrees Fahrenheit until dry (about 12 to 24 hours).
When dry, break up gently with your hands. Store in an airtight container when fully cool.
The day of...
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Get out 2 (or more) large cast iron skillets. You can also line 2 baking trays with parchment paper if you don't have any cast iron, but the high sides of the cast iron make stirring the granola easy without spilling.
Mix together 6 cups of the dehydrated oats, coconut, and raisins in a large mixing bowl. There will most likely be leftover oats, so set aside to use for other purposes, like cookie dough!
In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, melt together honey and coconut oil. Whisk frequently. Remove from heat once melted.
Whisk in salt, cinnamon, and vanilla.
Add liquids to oat mixture. Stir until combined.
Divvy granola up evenly between the skillets.
Put skillets in the oven, one on the top rack and the other on the bottom rack.
Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring granola every 5 minutes and switching the skillets after 15 minutes. The granola will cook faster in the cast iron than on a regular baking tray, so keep a close eye on it.
When the granola is golden brown, remove from oven. Let cool, then transfer to a large airtight storage container such as a gallon jar.
Serve over yogurt, with milk and fruit, or plain. Enjoy!
If you don't want to pre-soak your oats, that's fine! This granola still turns out perfectly. Simply start with 6 cups of rolled oats, omit the apple cider vinegar and water, and proceed with the "The day of..." section.
What is your favorite travel snack? Will you try this homemade granola with soaked oats?
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