One reader carefully soaked his rolled oats for 24 hours in water with an acidic medium and then dehydrated before mixing with the other ingredients and toasting in the oven.
Another reader used sprouted, organic rolled oats and baked in a 200F oven with various other ingredients to make her favorite version of homemade granola.
While both of these approaches to making granola are certainly a huge improvement over any of the granolas to be had at the store, the fact is that even organic granola made with rolled oats that have been sprouted or soaked is not an easily digestible food.
The proteins in grains are extremely difficult to digest and have the potential to cause health problems over the long term, which is why traditional societies took such great pains to soak, sprout, or sour leaven them before consuming.
Not only did traditional peoples soak, sprout, or sour leaven their grains, they also thoroughly cooked them as the final preparation step before eating.
The dry heat of an oven is simply not sufficient to complete the breakdown of anti-nutrients in oats to render even homemade granola a nutrient dense, easily digestible food.
Perhaps if a person has an iron gut, then homemade granola that is soaked or sprouted might work on occasion. The reality is that most people have sensitive guts anymore due to several generations of children raised on antibiotics and processed foods. Most people have some sort of digestive sensitivity to grains even if there are no grain allergy symptoms present.
I know for me, I bloat terribly if I eat homemade granola that has been soaked even though I have no grain allergies and my digestion is in pretty decent shape. I actually digest unsoaked but thoroughly cooked oatmeal better than soaked and toasted granola, lesson being that the final cooking step is very important!
I have only made granola for my family once or twice but stopped long ago after observing the indigestibility of consuming this very non-traditional food even when seemingly prepared in a traditional fashion.
So, do your digestion a favor and opt out of any grain based granola entirely – even if homemade, organic, and soaked and/or sprouted.
But don’t hesitate to use soaked or sprouted grains that are fully cooked for all your other dishes and baked goods! For a video tutorial plus written recipe on how to make a cold breakfast cereal that is a very digestible alternative to granola, click here.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Source: Nourishing Traditions, p. 454