Soak my oats…say what? Isn’t oatmeal a healthy food already? Read on my friends…
Why soak oats?
Oats (and other grains) are actually really hard to digest. They are seeds. Seeds aren’t meant to be digested. A grain’s first job is to stay intact through the digestive tract so they can germinate and start growing when they come out the other end. Phytic acid is one way oats can stay intact through the digestive system. Phytic acid blocks the digestive enzymes in the body. Phytic acid also bonds to important mineral like iron, zinc, and calcium making them hard to absorb. So, phytic acid has to go!
Soaking helps release enzymes that begin breaking down phytic acid. The body can then absorb more nutrients (and in case you’re wondering: yes, it’s a good idea to soak other seeds and even nuts before eating them – but that’s a whole other post).
I almost always soak oats before eating them these days because I’ve noticed that they really are easier on my body. Also, I want to make sure that I’m feeding Hanley the most nutritious food possible. Therefore, I properly prepare our oats each night (which takes about 30 seconds at night, and a few minutes each morning).
Properly soaking oats:
Soaking your oats takes some practice, it’s just all about remembering to do it the night before. I like to do it right after I am cleaning up dinner for the night as the last thing I do before I leave the kitchen.
-Oats need to soak in an acid overnight to break down anti-nutrients.
-Oats should soak for at least 12 hours but 24 is best, and a little longer is ok too. I usually start them soaking at night so we can have them in the morning. Anything longer than that, I’ll forget about! The recipe below is for a sweet ginger breakfast bowl using soaked oatmeal.
Sweet Ginger Breakfast Bowl
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup water or milk of your choice
1 tablespoon organic, grass fed butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup (or raw honey)
About 1″ grated fresh ginger root
2-3 pitted dates or dried figs, thinly sliced
Sprinkle of cinnamon & nutmeg
Directions: The night before – Pour 1/2 cup oats into a small pot on the stove and cover with 1/2 cup water. Splash about 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (or fresh lemon juice) into pot and give a good swirl to cover oats. Cover pot and leave overnight.
The next morning – rinse your oats with fresh, cold water and strain with colander. If you skip rinsing your oats, they will be sour – yuck! Place rinsed oats back into pot and add 1/2 cup fresh water or milk (of your choice) into pot. Bring to soft boil and cook for about 5 – 7 minutes, until cooked. While oatmeal is simmering add in remaining ingredients and stir well. Feel free to add more of your favorite things to your breakfast bowl. For this meal, my favorites are hemp seeds, sliced toasted almonds, and a scoop of collagen powder.
There you have it. Not as hard as you thought, right? Mmmm.