Friday, December 14, 2007

Granola: the dirt on granola

Mikey loves granola so much that I have to spell it when it comes up in conversation. Unfortunately, granola is unhealthy for some of the same reasons that Cheerios is unhealthy. Read my post about Cheerios here. Granola is a little better than Cheerios because the grains are not puffed; however, a typical granola that you buy at the store is only subject to dry heat. Granola in the bulk bins at Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco are steamed. So, the grains are absorbing some water but that isn't the same as soaked. Grains contain phytic acid that blocks the absorption of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc. By soaking Mikey's oats overnight, the bacteria in the yogurt, lemon juice, whey, kefir, buttermilk, or vinegar digests the phytic acid.

Eating grains made with only dry heat makes them extremely hard to digest. If I give Mikey too many foods that tax his digestive system, he is more likely to have health issues later in life or get sick more often now. It is best to soak grains before eating them. Read about soaking oatmeal here and flour here.

Try these homemade granola bars!


Lydia said...

I've made soaked granola once, and it was quite the undertaking. It wasn't difficut but time-consuming. Jim brought some to a golf tournament he was playing in, and his fellow competitors enjoyed it.

I'll stay tuned for your version. :-)

Thais said...

Interesting to hear about your granola making experience. I updated this post today because I found out that Rainbow's bulk granola is steamed. I forgot to ask them if the nuts were soaked or steamed. Do you have any opinions on steamed granola?

Lydia said...

Steamed granola? Hmm...I would guess it's steamed for sanitary purposes. I dunno.

Steaming would not be the same as soaked though. I wouldn't think that steaming would break down the phytates at all.

In the recipe that I used, I soaked the oats and the nuts (separately, of course) and then dehydrated them in a low oven. Once everything was dry, I then added seasonings and other goodies (like raisins and coconut flakes).

Thais said...

Yeah, I think that you're right about steaming clearly not being the same as soaking. I think that I came across a website that sells soaked granola. I'll have to dig that up and post it.

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