I recently discovered granola butter, a nut-free savory spread made with oats as its base. I decided to make it myself, fermentifying it, of course! In this case, properly preparing cereal grains such as oats is important for digestibility, and bio-availability of nutrients in the grain.
By first soaking/fermenting the oats, then dehydrating them, we get a nutritional leg up on the original recipe, which starts with unsoaked oats. (What are we, ruminants?! 🐮)
I consider the oats “soaked” when soaking between 8 and 24 hours. Between 1 and 2 days, fermentation begins. It’s up to you when to stop the soak and begin the recipe. After 3 days, there will be a noticeable sour flavor in the finished granola spread. i prefer mine a little more sour, so three days works for me.
I played with the ratio of olive oil to coconut oil. Using too much coconut oil tends to make it difficult to spread, unless you heat it first. (It does melt nicely when spread onto toasted bread). I settled on a 3:2 ratio of coconut to olive oil. You may try 50:50 to make it even more spreadable. You can use any neutrally flavored liquid oil (but no seed oils!) or even refined (that is, non-extra virgin) olive oil. I made mine with EVOO and didn’t find that it threw off the flavor to any noticeable degree.
A strong blender (like a Vitamix) makes quick work of this. You may not be able to get the fine grain with a low powered unit.
Spice-wise, I like a heavy hand with the cardamom. It just elevates this spread to new heights! Lots of cinnamon is good, too!
Granola Butter Spread
- high speed blender or food processor
For Oat Soaking
- 7 ounces (200 grams, about 2 cups) rolled oats or steel cut oats
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) milk kefir, liquid whey, water kefir or kombucha
- filtered water
For Granola Butter
- 1/2 cup (60 g) coconut flakes
- 2 ounces (30 g) coconut oil
- 3 ounces (45 g) olive oil or other neutral oil liquid at room temperature no seed oils!
- 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) brown sugar piloncillo, muscavado, etc.
- 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) maple syrup
- 3/4 tsp. (3 ml) fine sea salt
- 1 tsp. (5 ml) ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. (3 ml) ground ginger
- 1 tsp. (5 ml) ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp. (3 ml) chaga mushroom powder (Optional)
Soak/Ferment Oats (48 hours)
- Add oats, acidic liquid (kefir or kombucha) to a bowl along with enough water to cover the oats. Stir well and let sit overnight or up to 48 hours.
Dehydrate & Toast Oats (7 hours)
- Drain the oats well through a fine mesh strainer.
- Spread drained oats in a thin layer (1/2" or 1 cm) onto dehydrator trays. Dry for 5 to 7 hours at the highest setting until oats are completely dry.
- Preheat oven to 300°F/150°C. Spread oats onto parchment or silicone-mat lined half sheet pan. Bake 20 minutes or until lightly fragrant and slightly browned.
Make Spread (10 minutes)
- Transfer oats to a blender or food processor. Blend on high into a fine flour.
- Add all other ingredients except maple syrup (coconut flakes, olive oil, coconut oil, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, brown sugar, mushroom powder.) Blend on high until it is a nut butter consistency (this could take a few minutes depending on power of your blender).
- Transfer to a glass jar (half-pint or larger). Stir in maple syrup. Close tightly and store in cool, dry place.