We don't eat cold cereal since for the most part, it's expensive, highly processed and pretty much useless in the nutrition department. Some days, though, you just want something quick and crunchy in the morning - or to top your yogurt with. On those occasions, this granola is just the thing. It's soaked, so it's even more nutritious and easier on the digestion.

This recipe is just a basic starting place. You may need a smaller/larger amount, or prefer another combination of spices. I like for the granola itself to be more background for the toppings, so you may need more spice/sweetener in yours. 

Soaked Granola

    * 8 c. rolled oats
    * 2 cups nuts, sunflower seeds or a combination
    * 1/2 c melted butter
    * 1/2 c. melted coconut oil.
    * 1 1/2 c. yogurt
    * 2 cup water
    * 3/4 cup raw honey or maple syrup
   * 1 tsp. sea salt
    * 1 tsp ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, mix oats, butter, oil, yogurt and water. Add oats and sunflower seeds and/or nuts. Cover and let sit out for at least 24 hours. If it's cold in my kitchen, I usually put mine in the oven with the light on.

When the soaking time is up, mix the remaining ingredients with the oat mixture.  Spread evenly on dehydrator sheets or on two large cookie sheets  oiled with coconut oil. Bake either in the oven at the lowest temperature or in the dehydrator until it is dry and crispy. In my dehydrator it takes about 12 hours.  Check every so often, breaking apart large pieces as it cooks.

When it is crispy, and has cooled, break into smaller pieces and store. I keep mine in large mason jars and using those to refill a smaller, easier to handle container.

To serve, I have a little 'granola bar' with an assortment of chopped nuts, dried fruits, flaked coconut, grated chocolate and of course, yogurt or whole milk, so that my family can have whatever flavor combination sounds good to them at the time.

Fruit and Cream Oatmeal

No food, other than asparagus, says 'spring' to me quite like strawberries. There is nothing like the sight and smell of a basket of beautiful, bright, red, ripe strawberries. I avoid buying them out of season, so when strawberry season comes around, we take full advantage of it. I also buy organic since strawberries are one of those fruits with high pesticide levels.

From breakfast to dessert, strawberries put an appearance in every meal in our house this time of year. Today we started the day with strawberries and cream oatmeal. I don't mean those little packages of 'strawberry flavored' oats with 'creaming agents' and artificially flavored 'fruit pieces' (dehydrated apples) along with a considerable amount of sugar, some artificial color and a sprinkling of transfats.

I mean honest to goodness oats, strawberries and (not ultra-pasteurized) real cream. I use steel cut oats because I like the texture, and soak them overnight in warm water with a spoonful of yogurt. In the morning I add a bit of salt and some butter and cook them on low while I get ready for the day.

When the oatmeal is the consistency we like, it's ready to spoon it into bowls and top with strawberries, cream and a little fresh maple syrup, if necessary, to sweeten.

The best thing is when strawberry season is over, there are plenty of fruits left to choose from. I'm already looking forward to peach season.