We are not talking about quick oats, that you put into the microwave for a minute and it's ready. We're talking about preparing traditional rolled oats or oat groats. Speaking from personal experience with digestive issues preparing oatmeal the traditional way has many benefits. For centuries societies have soaked their whole grains before consuming them. I do this with my whole grain breads and preparing oatmeal is not any different.
Why Soaking is Important
All grains contain phytic acid (an organic acid in which the phosphorous is bound) in the outer layer or bran of the berry. Soaking the oats in a weak acid allows the enzyme, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to break down and neutralize the phytic acid. This will allow your intestinal track to absorb the calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the oat bran. Some believe there's not much phytic acid present in the oats to make a difference and once you cook them for several minutes the acid is broken down. The real test is with your digestive system. Try it and see if you notice a difference.
Benefits Of Soaking Your Oats First
1. Your breakfast will stick with you until lunch. This is important if you are watching your weight.
2. Your body will be able to absorb the minerals in the grains more readily making the oatmeal more nutritious.
3. Shortens the cooking time in the morning since they are soaked overnight.
One of the biggest complaints of implementing the traditional method of soaked oatmeal is getting used to the mildly tangy taste. I do not even notice the mild tang, but I drink kefir with every meal and I always add a touch of honey to my oatmeal. If this is an issue for you start out slow, the first time you make it, soak the oats in just plain water. The next time add 1 teaspoon acid of your choice. Build up the amount of acid until you reach the 2 tablespoons for 1 cup of water.
Soaking Oatmeal Recipe
Soaking Time: 7 hours
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Yield: 2 servings
Nutrition Info: Calories: 153.8 Fat: 3.0g Carbohydrates: 28.3g Protein: 5.1g
Soaking The Night Before
- 1 cup rolled oats (not quick oats)
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp acidic medium (yogurt, whey, kefir, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, buttermilk
The Next Morning
- 1 cup water or milk
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Add 1 cup of oats, water, and the acidic medium into a glass bowl and stir well. Cover and let sit overnight in the fridge (at least 7-8 hours).
- In the morning add another 1 cup of water or milk and the salt, stir well.
- Heat to a low simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
- Serve with a generous portion of butter and cream. (optional honey and raisins)
Recipe Method From Nourishing Tradition