Recipes we love - Overnight coffee cake

For 23 years our family lived on the campus of an International Bible College - - if you're interested :) "unbiased" plug for the day.  It was such fun working with young and energetic 18-25 year olds from all over the world.  We often had students in our home and of course food was usually involved.  Chocolate chip cookies and brownies were easy to throw together for an evening crowd around the campfire, but one healthy recipe I regularly used was when we'd have breakfast.  

Overnight Coffee Cake.  

Well, I left out two important words........Soaked Grain.  Overnight Soaked Grain Coffee Cake.  

Soaked grain?  That's weird....well, actually this method has been used by most pre-industrialized peoples for centuries.  Things have changed in the past 150 years but for some of us in today's world, going back to this ancient art might help us digest grains a little better.

The problem is said to be phytic acid.  Grains, along with legumes and nuts, contain phytic acid which, if not properly broken down, bind to the minerals in the gastrointestinal tract and can't be absorbed in the small intestine easily which could  lead to mineral deficiencies.  If we properly prepare grains the "old" way either by fermentation, soaking or sprouting we might be giving the body the best chance of nutrient absorption.

To learn more about soaking grains and flours here's a good blog post to get you started:   

So this recipe contains one ingredient that might not be in your pantry.  Whole grain in kernel form. You can find it in the bulk section of Whole Foods or other larger health food stores. Choose from either red wheat, spelt, kamut or oat groats.  Our family bakes with spelt.  It's an ancient grain said to be easier to digest than wheat, but If you're sensitive to gluten, oat groats is probably the best option.

Then you'll need some sort of sour milk like yogurt, kefir or buttermilk and also a blender.  .


So how do you do it?

The night before:

1 1/2-2 c buttermilk or yogurt or kefir

1 1/2 c wheat, spelt, kamut grain or oat groats

Add the grain and 1 1/2 c liquid.  Start the blender adding up to 1/2 cup more to keep a vortex swirling in the center.  (If you're using a Vitamix or another high powered blender you won't need to blend as long).  

Cover and let it sit overnight.

In the morning: 

Grease a 9x13 baking pan or a 9 inch spring form pan

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F 

Add the next 7 ingredients into the blender:

2 eggs

3/4 c honey

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 heaping tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

In a small bowl stir together date/nut mixture and reserve 1/2 c for topping:

3/4 c heaping:) chopped pecans or walnuts

3/4 c dates heaping again:) chopped small or use the already diced ones out of the bag

1 tsp cinnamon

Mix up the topping in another small bowl - I use my hands to do this:

4 Tablespoons butter - can be either hard or soft - soft is faster

4 Tablespoons coconut sugar or turbinado sugar

1 c rolled oats

1/2 c date/nut mixture

Fold the remaining date/nut mixture into batter.  

Pour batter from blender into baking pan. 

Distribute topping evenly over top with fingers pressing it lightly into batter with a fork.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick coms clean out of center of cake.  

I hope this makes sense....I don't want it to the kind of recipe like I grew up on...old German Mennonite recipes that say obscure things like. "Add enough flour to make a soft dough!"  Whatever that means!  But if you have any questions about the recipe, don't hesitate to ask!