Perfect Soaked Granola, with Chocolate and Peanut Butter Variations!

I've tried a lot of soaked granola recipes. The first several failed. Then I tried the recipe in Healthy Snacks to Go by Katie of Kitchen Stewardship. It was almost right. It was more like chunky cereal than granola, but very delicious. Recently I tried another recipe that had all the same ingredients but different proportions. But the best yet is a combination between a few recipes. It is chunky but not a solid mass, with distinguishable oats.

So here it is: my perfect soaked granola!

Why soaked? When you soak grains in an acidic medium, like yogurt or buttermilk, the good bacteria and acid can help break down the substances that inhibit our digestion of grains, called phytates (or mineral blockers) and enzyme inhibitors. That means you absorb more of the good stuff in the grains! I for one would like to actually be able to use the nutrients in my food! An added perk of soaking granola is that it makes it chunky and clumpy - something many granola-bakers (including myself) strive to achieve!

This recipe really has limitless variations. Alter the nuts, seeds, and fruits to your taste. Add extra spices if you want. I like a hefty dose of cinnamon. Lately we've been enjoying it with sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, pecans, and dried cranberries. We just have to try to keep our toddler from eating only the dried fruit!

I use my Kitchen Aid mixer to make this but you can also use a strong arm with a wooden spoon or your hands - though the latter option is pretty messy! This batch is almost too big to fit in my mixer, so when I turn it on I have to guard the edge with my hands to try to keep granola from getting all over the counter. :) But it's still easier than mixing by hand!

Perfect Soaked Granola


6 c. rolled oats (I use thick rolled oats)
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. plain yogurt
1/4 c. water (or enough to make the mixture sticky)
1 c. unsweetened shredded coconut (I order this in bulk or get it from the health food store)
1 c. seeds (pumpkin, sesame, or sunflower)
1 c. chopped nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc.)
1 T. cinnamon
1 c. coconut oil (you can also use butter)

3/4 c. honey
2 t. salt
2 t. vanilla
1 c. dried fruit (raisins, cherries, cranberries, papaya, apples, etc.)

1. Mix together oats, flour, yogurt, and water. You want it to be evenly moist but not overly wet. Leave this mixture to soak 7-24 hours at room temperature or slightly warmer (the oven with the pilot light or oven light on is a great place).

The soaked mixture is evenly moist and holds together if you grab a handful, but is not especially wet.
2. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 250. Add to the soaked mixture the coconut, seeds, nuts, and cinnamon.

3. Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan. Add the honey, salt, and vanilla to the melted oil and stir. Add the wet ingredients to oat mixture and mix thoroughly. 

4. Spread on 2 rimmed cookie sheets lined with parchment or a nonstick baking mat and bake at 250 until dry and crisp, stirring, flipping, and breaking up as needed. When cool add the dried fruit. Store at room temperature if you will eat it within a couple weeks. If not, store in the refrigerator to keep the nuts from going rancid.

Variation: Chocolate Coated Granola

Directions are for half of the recipe. Double proportions if you want the whole batch to be chocolatey.

When granola is finished cooking but still warm from the oven, sprinkle onto half of it: 1/3-1/2 c. dark chocolate chips and drizzle with 2 T. honey. Stir on the cookie sheet to mix evenly and let cool before storing in an airtight container. Omit dried fruit.

Variation: Peanut Butter and Honey Granola 

Directions are for half of the recipe. Double proportions if you want the whole batch to be peanut-buttery.

When granola is finished cooking but still warm from the oven, drizzle on to half of it: 1/3-1/2 c. creamy natural peanut butter and 2 T. honey. Stir on the cookie sheet to mix evenly, then add dried fruit. Let cool before storing in an airtight container.

(I'm pretty sure this would also be good with peanut butter AND chocolate...but I haven't tried it yet.) 

This is part of Monday Mania, Real Food Wednesday, Simple Lives Thursday, Freaky Friday, and Fight Back Friday.


  1. yummy! do you think i could sub brown rice flour for whole wheat?

  2. I tried it! I thought it tasted malty! The oat flakes were still visible, instead of mush! I think it'll go in the granola rotation!

    hooray for food that invokes the exclamation point!

  3. Anne, I bet you could! Really, the purpose of the flour is to add some phytase since oats have very little. I don't recall where rice is at in terms of phytase.

  4. Kristen - malty? Is that a good thing? :) I'm glad you liked it! And yes - visible oats, that's what I was going for! Like...granola! :)

  5. Thanks for posting on FF. Glad you found a granola recipe you love. It can be a funny thing. Mine turns out different each time I make it too!

  6. How long does it usually take in the oven? It sounds great!

  7. I've been looking for a good granola recipe. My daughter has nut/peanut allergies so we can't but any premade granola. I'm going to have to try this one (without the nuts of course). Thanks for sharing!

  8. Rebekah, one of the recipes I based in on said 250 for one hour, but mine takes more like two hours. Just check it ever 20 minutes or so. If you want it to be even more low maintenance you can turn it down to 200 and let it go for a few hours, stirring as needed. Hope that helps!

  9. Rebecca, I hope it works well for you! I love the flexibility of homemade granola!

  10. I am excited to try this. It is so nice having a "cold" cereal once in a while in the morning, but I couldn't figure out how to soak it! :)

  11. Have you ever used buttermilk instead of yogurt?

    1. No, but I used sour milk once, and the granola ended up too sour. Although coating it with honey and chocolate/peanut butter covered up the sour taste and it was fine! You could try just part buttermilk to see how it turns out.

  12. do you think it could be done with coconut yogurt instead of cow yogurt or would that not work for soaking? I'm trying to make changes to get David and I eating healthier, without breaking the pocket book.

    1. Joy, I bet it would! You just need something cultured so I bed coconut yogurt would work fine. :)

    2. Thanks! I'll have to give it a try this weekend when I have the oven available!