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Lactofermented Granola

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We're going to make granola by soaking all the ingredients together, letting lactic acid bacteria ferment everything, then dehydrating it rather than baking it.

Lactic acid bacteria are a group of bacteria including the genus Lactobacilli and others, who can tolerate a lower pH than other bacteria. They occur naturally on food and in your gut where they help you digest food. They eat up sugars and produce lactic acid. "Probiotic" foods contain certain species of lactic acid bacteria intended to aid digestion and promote healthy "gut microflora."

In steps 4 and 5 I'll explain why we're fermenting and dehydrating as opposed to normal granola which is baked.

For more info on all kinds of fermented food and drink, I recommend the book "Wild Fermentation" by Sandor Ellix Katz.
 
 
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Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients
Of course you can use any ingredients that you want in your granola. Basically we want grains, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, etc. As for amounts, just eyeball it. Or you could use a granola recipe as your basis.

Here's what I'm using:

rolled oats - Oat groats that have been rolled flat. Rolled oats are sometimes lightly steamed or baked to pasteurize them, and often have the nutritious bran removed. Since I'm using organic Amish-grown oats, I trust that nothing too weird has been done to them. Quick oats will work fine as well.
raw almonds - Use whatever nuts you like. They don't have to be raw.
raisins
raw sunflower seeds
flax seeds
sesame seeds
blackstrap molasses - Molasses is the byproduct of extracting sugar from sugar cane or sugar beets. There is light, dark, and blackstrap molasses. Blackstrap is the one with the most sugar removed, so it has the highest amount of vitamins and minerals relative to the sugar content. I'm only putting in a spoonful. I think the molasses will be a good food for the bacteria and help it get started fermenting, but that's just a feeling.
stevia - An herb that's really sweet but doesn't contain sugar or calories. I haven't tried it in granola but I like in other stuff.
cinnamon - not in the picture

Other ingredients you might consider:
honey
ginger
nut butter
shredded coconut
fruit - dried or fresh. I bet blueberries would be good.
oat bran - this would replace nutrients lost in the removal of the bran from the rolled oats.
where do you get the lactic bacteria from? Or are you just letting the naturally occurring bacteria do it.?
Tarps (author)  thematthatter5 years ago
Yes, you let the naturally occurring bacteria do job. Alternately, you can add some active cultured yogurt.
Chanio Tarps1 year ago
Nice idea!

Please, check out that your fermentation is not occurring just with the stevia leaves since you are not using any milk (the lacto part).
I use to prepare a sort of kombucha that only uses stevia as a sweetener and as a starter. I don't know why, but after some days, the drink starts to bubble like a kombucha, as if the stevia is 'eating' the natural sugar of the fruits... Yes, and it tastes bitter.

Also, I ask myself if when you are trying with rye flakes it doesn't become a sort of 'LSD fungus'. Since that was the starting point of Hoffman's LSD discovery. He was investigating the poisoning of a german town at the middle ages because of badly cooked rye bread, if I remember correctly.

I'll give it a try.
Thank you.
jsa413944 years ago
I don't know anything about this, really, but isn't it dangerous that harmful bacteria could grow in the jar (while fermenting the stuff) because it wasn't killed by the acid. I've heard of many deadly bacteria that grow in warm, closed off spaces, with food (the fermenting jar), and I believe that probability says it's impossible for ALL the bacteria to die in the acid. I think this can be related to when they used to mke vacines (they'd kill bunches of viruses, etc) but there would always be some people that would still get sick (not all he pathogens had been killed). I'd appreciate if someone could respond and prove me crazy or not
The one we hear about most is Botulism. This one grows in low acid, oxygen-free conditions. That's why it's a problem in canned food. soaking vegetables or grains in water doesn't create the right conditions for botulism. The grains create an environment where souring bacteria and wild yeasts flourish. Molds might grow on the surface if you left it long enough but these kinds of fermentations are generally regarded as safe. The easiest way to tell if your fermentation is safe to eat is to smell it. If it smells sour and good, eat it. If it smells rotten, huck it.

For lots of information on the subject, have a look at the book Wild Fermentation.
cfuse jsa413944 years ago
Our modern food processing generally aims to give you a food totally devoid of any living components - everything in a can has been pasteurised and has an acidic profile that bacteria hate. This is the diametric opposite of what fermentation is about.

Think of bacteria as an ecosystem, what you are trying to do is create an environment where the target bacteria is the one that becomes dominant, rather than creating a near sterile environment. You are relying on bacteria to keep other bacteria (molds, fungus, etc.) in check, rather than trying to kill absolutely everything there.

Whilst it is possible to create something that will harm or kill you (whilst still being palatable enough to consume), it is unlikely (if you are otherwise healthy and observe good practice during the production of the foods).
ELF4 years ago
I have a few questions if you don't mind :)

I don't have a dehydrator, but I have an oven with air circulation that can stay at about 40C/100F, which seams to be the maximum you can heat food and still preserve the nutrients. Is that good enough?

How long will these stay good after drying? Since the bacteria is dead I guess it is relatively easy for other bacterias to "invade", no?

And won't you obtain the energy in them faster when they have been "broken down"?
Wow what a great idea, these must be really nice treats, good for camping too.
randint4 years ago
Nice jar. What kind is it? Was it manufactured with a specific purpose? Where did you get it?
Tarps (author)  randint4 years ago
I don't know. It came from a thrift store.
sarah051485 years ago
can you dry this in your monitor??
flio1915 years ago
I must try sometime! haha, and right next to the kombucha in step four! at least.. i think its kombucha...
ewilhelm5 years ago
When I make sauerkraut, I'm careful to make sure the cabbage is below the level of the water to prevent spoilage. I assume you don't notice anything wrong with your above-the-water portion?
Tarps (author)  ewilhelm5 years ago
Right - I haven't had any problem with that.
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