Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Oatmeal is the cereal of choice in our house.  Personally, I can't stand quick-cooking oatmeal, although I will admit that for a time it was the only cereal my son would eat.  I think it's nasty.  It took me a while to figure out how to get a texture that I liked using a less processed product; I buy whole rolled oats, and soak them overnight.

Sounds like a pain in the butt, right?  No, really it's not.  Grains contain something called phytic acid, which is basically the seed's way of protecting itself as it traverses the gut of an animal, so that it can then germinate on the ground after it's been passed.  This phytic acid isn't always nice to OUR guts, so we take a few steps to deactivate it. This process also makes the nutrients in the oatmeal more bioavailable and easier to digest.

After dinner I take a cup of whole oats (that's three servings for us, because we add nuts and fruit).  To the oats I add 1 cup of warm water and a heaping teaspoon of plain, whole milk yogurt. You can add other things, such as cider vinegar, but they change the flavor so I stick with yogurt. Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and let it sit on the counter until the following morning.  I promise it won't go bad and you won't die of food poisoning.

In the morning, rinse the soaked oats and put them in a saucepan with another cup of warm water or milk - milk gives a better flavor but water is fine.  Bring to a simmer and then turn the heat down very low.  I usually let mine simmer 8-10 minutes.  When it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan it's done. We add maple syrup, walnuts and cranberries to our cooked oatmeal, as well as a little cream or whole milk.  This recipe is based on one from the Weston A. Price Foundation's Healthy 4 Life cookbook, which you can download here

I've found that my gut is much happier when I prepare my oatmeal this way; and I think it imparts a nuttier flavor to the oats.



Virginia said...

This method is also beneficial when preparing quinoa - which is actually a seed, not a grain, and amaranth. I also pre-soak rice. Not only does it aid digestion, they cook faster and soaking seems to improve the texture. Check out Donna Gates' book: 'The Body Ecology Diet'.

Trish Percy said...

I've not done this with quinoa - I'll have to give it a try. I find that when I soak the oatmeal I get a consistent texture. Without soaking it doesn't cook as evenly.

Trish Percy said...

I did try the quinoa - what a difference! I always have trouble with it being either overcooked or soggy - neither issue with the soaked grain! Perfect!