Saturday, February 16, 2013

Soaked Oatmeal: A hearty, simple breakfast

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
One of the first things that went out the door when we started transitioning into real food was boxed cereal.  Now, it's only an occasional treat or is purchased when a brand I like is on sale and I need a little help in the food prep department (or let's be honest, I have a major craving, which is actually now quite rare). I began learning how boxed cereals really aren't that good for us and I realized I often was hungry soon or had a sugar-crash after having a bowl of cereal - it just wasn't nearly as filling as bacon and eggs, or say, my dad's Sunday morning specialty: oatmeal.

Oatmeal is filling. I used to eat it a lot during my first pregnancy with Mia. It was more of the instant variety, but I do remember it keeping me full for a while.  There are always gradual transitions into real food, because now I never get the instant kind and I always get...

Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free* Old Fashioned Rolled Oats.  (It doesn't have to be this brand, it's just a brand I recognize and trust.)

Life Insurance You Eat - Good Motto
This package contained 4 bags of oatmeal**
*A note about gluten-free:  Oats are naturally gluten-free, as you might already know, but they are often produced in facilities where they might come into contact with gluten and be contaminated. So if you or someone in your family needs to avoid gluten, your best bet is to find a brand that certifies their oats are processed in a GF facility.  No one is specifically GF in my family but I just like to know what I'm getting :D

So, anyway. Back to oats. My dad used to make oats every Sunday morning before church. I ate them most of the time, I think, but I couldn't always finish my bowl because they are just so...satiating!  It doesn't take much.

The neat thing is is that there's an easy way to do oatmeal simply that will also hugely improve its nutritional profile as well, and as an added bonus, will result in faster cooking!

As a grain, oats can still be hard to digest if not soaked or sprouted.  Either of these methods help unlock the nutrients in the oat by reducing phytic acid (an anti-nutrient) and allowing your body to assimilate the actual nutrients in the grain.

How to soak?  Glad you asked.  It's really quite simple.

You'll need (per Nourishing Traditions):

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup warm filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons of an acidic medium (i.e., whey, yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, or for lactose-intolerant, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds (optional)

2 cups oats -
(I usually make more and reheat leftovers the next day)
Mix oats with the warm water and 2 TBSP of acidic medium in a bowl. Cover and leave for at least 7 hours or overnight.

In the morning, bring 1 cup of water and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt to a boil, and add the oats & water & acidic medium mixture.  Reduce heat, cover and let simmer.  Once cooked (should probably only take about 5 minutes!), you may add ground flaxseeds if you'd like for additional nutrients.

2 cups of oats + 2 cups of water with
2 TBSP acidic medium
Make sure to serve with plenty of butter, coconut oil or cream if you prefer. We like to add butter, cinnamon and maple syrup or raw honey over here!

**Frugal Tip: If you're an avid oatmeal eater, I'd highly suggest participating in Amazon's Subsribe & Save options they provide for groceries. You sign up to receive these rolled oats on a regular basis (you select the frequency) and because you are a subscriber, you save between 5-15%! It also ships free!  The last time I ordered oats from Amazon, I paid $16.69 total for 4 packages.  That's a little over $4/package.  I should be receiving another shipment soon (the box lasted me quite a while!) and Amazon let me know that the price has dropped and I'll only be paying $12.75 with my discount.  That's $3.18/2-lb package, and if you are soaking these bad boys, you'll probably go through the package more slowly as soaked oats tend to be more filling.  This means this can be a very filling and frugal breakfast route!


laura said...

this is on my food "to do" list for this week! thanks for breaking it down simply.

Unknown said...

One question. How long can you keep them soaking in the fridge? We eat oatmeal every morning. Can I soak several cups and have oats ready to go for several mornings?

Megan said...

Hi there! I have soaked several cups and then I cook them all up the next morning, and then place the leftovers in the fridge and reheat them the following mornings. I have probably done this up to 4 days tops, but I'm not sure scientifically what is recommended. I have also seen tutorials where some soak their oats (or other grains and beans) for up to 48 hours, so I do not see why you could not continue to soak them in the fridge for up to 2 days and use them as needed. I guess I would just give it a sniff check and scope it out visually to see if anything looks "off." Hope that helps!

Amanda said...

Thanks for this great information! I was wondering why, in the photos, you doubled the oats and water, but not the vinegar.