Probiotic Grain Free Granola (vegan, paleo and keto options)

Okay, before I begin my post I want to give a shout out to my wonderful husband, Steve, who moved to America (He is Australian) and has worked his bum off every way he can to support this post missionary life family. He started his degree when we were pregnant with our oldest and had to put it on hold several times for long periods over the years in order to support us. Yesterday he Graduated with a B.A. in Leadership with Honors from Faith International University. I am so proud of him. University is difficult enough and when you throw a job, a wife and three children into that mix it becomes even more difficult. So Steve, here’s to you! The most amazing man I know and the love of my life, well done.

The last couple years I have been struggling with severe inflammation so have slowly been getting to the bottom of it. Probiotics have helped immensely, namely kefir. I still prepare breads for my my family using einkorn on occasion but I am altogether grain free and sugar free these days and have found that a dairy free keto diet keeps my inflammation under wraps fairly well.

I have taken to soaking and drying nuts, fermenting seeds and generally working on making everything in my pantry a little less inflammatory as I mentioned in my previous post for probiotic granola.

The Nourishing Traditions cookbook suggests fermenting small seeds before eating them rather than soaking and drying or sprouting. Hempseed, Flax and Chia great with this method because they’re too small to soak and dry.

My personal preference for culturing this is coconut kefir but for the hubs I have used ginger beer as well. If I know I will be eating it I keep the sugars to 1-2 Tbsp of pure maple syrup, blackstrap molasses or raw honey for the fermentation process. I do not love things overly sweet and neither does my body so this works for me. You can try any non-salty culturing liquid you like! I have used ginger beer, milk kefir and coconut kefir with varying but equally nice results.) Water kefir, kombucha and whey will work as well but I personally do not use whey or ginger beer any longer because I find them highly inflammatory. Whey because it is naturally inflammatory and ginger because I have recently discovered I am allergic to it!! Sad 😕

Give it a shot and let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

For Pre-Ferment:
  • 1 cup hulled hempseeds/hemp hearts
  • 1/2 cup golden flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp- 1/4 cup maple syrup, blackstrap molasses or raw honey
  • 1/2-1 cup culturing liquid
  • 2-4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pink or kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds or other nuts (optional, I have a mild allergy to nuts so I don’t add them to mine)
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit like unsulphered goji berries, raisins, blueberries or for keto, fresh or dried cranberries
  • Diced fruit: apple, pear etc (optional)
For Post Ferment:
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut or coconut chips
  • 5-10 drops Stevia or monk fruit drops to taste (optional)

Method:

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a medium size bowl
  2. Add fermenting liquid, maple syrup or blackstrap, salt and cinnamon or other spices.
  3. Stir several times in the first 1-2 hours to keep it from clumping.
  4. Leave covered for 12 hours or overnight. If you are using chia seeds you may need to add more fermenting liquid or water.
  5. After the ferment is finished, add the coconut oil and any back sweetener you like. I use monk and stevia. Much of the sugars will have been consumed by the culture but it will still be sweet. Raw honey is also a good choice here because of its antifungal properties.
  6. Lay out on a large parchment in a perforated baking sheet (you can use a normal baking sheet but it will take mug longer to dry). I use the fryer basket for my Breville Air Oven.
  7. If you want it for bars you will need to pre-cut it while it is still soft or it will get too crispy and crumble. A few hours into drying is a key time.
  8. Dehydrate at 150° – 160°F for 8-12 hours. If it doesn’t breathe as in a standard baking sheet it can take up to 24 hours and you’ll need to break it up and flip or “toss” it like a salad.

Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. I like to use a dehydrator to keep the probiotics alive. But if you don’t care about that you can just bake it in the oven at low temperature.

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Probiotic Granola. Really.

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For this day of remembrance and rest I am using one of my many recipes I haven’t gotten around to posting.  It is appropriate… a bit if mixing in the morning and leave it out all day and dry it overnight.  Tasty.  Nutritious.  It feels odd to say Happy Memorial Day for a day to remember all those who died.  But it is cause for celebration because those who died certainly deserve to be celebrated.  So today is a day to be present with family.  To remember our own who have served and died.  Thank you.

For the recipe: lately I have taken to soaking and drying nuts, fermenting seeds and generally working on making everything in my pantry a little less inflammatory. I was reading Nourishing Traditions and was captured again by the idea of fermenting small seeds before eating them. Hempseed, Flax and Chia especially are a difficult one because they’re too small to soak and dry. My husband loves granola so I decided to veer a little from her 5 grain porridge recipe and try some more palatable grains (to hubs and kidlets), seeds and pseudo grains.

This one is a basic recipe for using Oats and Quinoa as the base. I regularly do a grain free version but I’ll save it for another post.  Much of the sugars are consumed by the live cultures during the fermenting stage.  I always feel a bit skeptical about this but I do notice that I don’t have quite the inflammatory reaction as I do when consuming say, maple syrup straight up.  Science supports that it is eaten up as well so I guess it involves a bit of faith to believe it!

Ingredients:

For Pre-Ferment:
  • 1 cup jumbo whole or steel cut oats (I like To use Bob’s Red Mill Golden Spurtle)
  • 1 cup quinoa, lightly toasted
  • 1/4-1/2 cup maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like it and if you are using it as cereal or cutting it into bars.
  • 1-2 Tbsp blackstrap molasses (optional)
  • 1 cup culturing liquid (I have used ginger beer, milk kefir and coconut kefir with varying but equally nice results.) Water kefir, kombucha and whey will work as well.
  • 1-2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pink or kosher salt
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup any seeds or nuts you like (optional)
  • Dried fruit like unsulphered goji berries, raisins, blueberries or cranberries
  • For Post Ferment:
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted) or avocado oil
  • 5-10 Stevia or monk fruit drops to taste (optional)
  • Diced fruit: apple, pear etc (optional)

Method:

  1. Toast quinoa in a baking sheet at 250°F for 10 minutes
  2. Combine oats, quinoa, seeds and fruit in a large bowl
  3. Add fermenting liquid, maple syrup, blackstrap, salt and cinnamon or other spices.
  4. Stir several times in the first 1-2 hours to keep it from clumping.
  5. Leave covered for 12 hours or overnight. If you are using chia seeds you may need to add more fermenting liquid or water.
  6. In the morning, add three coconut oil and any back sweetener you like. I use monk and stevia. Much of the sugars will have been consumed by the culture but it will still be sweet. Raw honey is also a good choice here.
  7. Lay out on a large parchment in a perforated baking sheet (you can use a normal baking sheet but it will take mug longer to dry). I use the fryer basket for my Breville Air Oven.
  8. If you want it for bars you will need to pre-cut it now. Or a few hours into drying or it will get too crispy and crumble.
  9. Dehydrate at 150°F for 8-12 hours. If it doesn’t breathe as in a standard baking sheet it can take up to 24 hours and you’ll need to break it up and flip or “toss” it.

Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. I like to use a dehydrator to keep the probiotics alive. But if you don’t care about that you can just bake it in the oven at low temperature of 170°F for about 8 hours.