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.
Step 1: Ingredients
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.
raw sunflower 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:
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.