Friday, November 30, 2007

Overnight Oatmeal: eat it the old fashion way!

Soaking Mikey's oatmeal is another huge change in the way that I prepare food. I soak the morning's oatmeal the night before. This method was the standard way of preparing all grains during my great grandmother's era. Soaking grains, like I soak beans today, is a more healthy way to prepare them. I guess that in our fast paced world this tradition got lost. Grains contain phytic acid that blocks the absorption of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc. By soaking Mikey's oats overnight, the bacteria in the yogurt, lemon juice, whey, kefir, buttermilk, or vinegar digests the phytic acid. It is the soaking that neutralizes the phytic acid. Now with the phytic acid out of play, Mikey's body (and mine and my husband's!) can benefit from the nutrients in rolled oats! (Nourishing Traditions )

For a family of three (2 adults, 1 child):

2 cups rolled oats
2 cups warm water for soaking,
1/2 cup water or milk for cooking
4 tablespoons yogurt, lemon juice, whey, kefir, buttermilk, or vinegar for soaking
1 teaspoon salt

The night before I want oatmeal, I put the oats in a bowl and add 2 cups water plus the yogurt, lemon juice, or whatever is available from the above list for soaking the oats. I cover with a plate and soak overnight on the counter top.

The next morning, I warm up 1/2 cup water or milk (I prefer milk) on the stove. Then I add the oats to the pot and cook on low until the liquid is well incorporated into the oats. It takes about five minutes.

To cool Mikey's oatmeal, I add a little milk. Milk also provides the fat that the body uses to absorb the oatmeal's nutrients. I also like to add maple syrup and mashed bananas to sweeten it up a bit.

I buy my oats and maple syrup from the bulk section at Rainbow Grocery so there is no waste with these items. I refill the same container over and over again.

I tried this technique thinking that I wouldn't do it all the time, but now soaking oats is part of my routine and the oatmeal is so much better!


Read more about phytic acid on the Cheeseslave blog:


Lydia said...

I was never a fan of oatmeal growing up, but I thought I'd give it a shot after we started eating the NT way. Yum! And it's so frickin' easy! To my surprise, Taylor loves it too!

I'll have to try soaking the oats in yogurt. So far, I've been using whey from yogurt. If I skipped making they whey, it would sure make life a little simpler.

Taylor calls...

Lydia said...

Just thought I'd write with an update...I was going to use yogurt instead of whey today, but then it jogged my memory about why I've been using whey all this time. It lasts a lot longer (some say up to 6 months) than yogurt. I only use yogurt/whey for soaking oats, so it'd take awhile to use an entire container.

Kate said...

I was inspired by your post and I tried soaking my oats. It was quick and easy and I like that it's healthier. But the oatmeal was quite mushy. I like a crunchier oatmeal--not so soggy. I wonder how this method would work with steal cut oatmeal? Have you tried it?

Thais said...

I haven't tried steel cut oats but I've included a recipe from Mothering that I haven't tried. :) I am thinking that I could make the rolled oats less mushy by adding no or less water in the morning. I'll experiment.

Steel Cut Recipe from Mothering:
At night, measure out 1/4C oats and 1/2 cup raw milk per person and put in pot. Cover.

30 minutes before breakfast, put on high, stirring once. When it starts to make noise, run! and turn it to as low as it goes and let simmer 20-30 min, stirring once or twice. Add half a bag of frozen berries, 1/2 to 1 cup more milk, and eat.

virginie said...

Do you soak any grains, cereals, seeds, ... before eating? Quinoa, rice, pumpinks seeds and other? I try to soak lentils but I never imagine it is also better to do it with the rice etc...

Thais said...

Yes I soak my grains and seeds. Like you mention, I soak rice, quinoa, pumpkins and sunflower seeds. I love to soak quinoa because I can see the sprouting root come out of it. It's a great visual to know when it's done soaking.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I was reading Nourishing Traditions, and wanted to impliment this soaking technique with my steel cut oats (by President's Choice in Canada). I did the soaking thing once, but I didn't know I was supposed to drain off the liquid. ie. last time, when I had the oats soaked in the water/yogurt mixture, the next day I just added more water. I know it's a silly question, but are you sure you are supposed to drain? Please let us know. Thanks!

Spinach and Honey said...

I did the same thing when I first started soaking my oatmeal. I started rinsing them for taste and texture. I think that the oatmeal tastes a little better and is a little less soft when rinsed.

Also I am not sure I want to eat the water that the oats were soaked in. I don't have any reference for this but I wonder if all the bad stuff that we get rid of in the soaking process doesn't end up in the water. In which case, I don't want to eat the dirty water. That is why I rinse the oats after soaking them, but I don't have any reference to a study that proves this to be true. It is just how I think about it.

Whitney said...

Hi, I'm another Traditional Foods eater. I wanted to answer the questions about steel cut oats and soaking water.

re: steel cut oats
This is all we use and we love it! It keeps a bite once soaked and doesn't end up as soggy or gooey.

re: soaking water
I don't rinse, but I also use less water to start. My understanding is that there isn't "bad stuff" in the water from soaking oats...the phytic acid was neutralized not just pulled out (especially if you add a little whole wheat flour to the soak...see I sometimes add milk instead of water for the cooking medium for a creamier product or cool it with milk as Spinach and Honey mentioned.

my method adjusted from NT:
per 1 cup steel cut oats
soak in 1 c water plus 2 Tbs whey, yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, lemon juice, or vinegar
warm up 1/2 c water or milk with 1 tsp salt then add everything from the soaking bowl and cook on low until soft and thick
(I add lots of butter and a bit of maple syrup)

FYI: When soaking quinoa I do change the soaking water once, if possible, and also rinse them, drain them ,and cook in fresh water or stock...they contain saponins.

JerryCS said...

Yes, I soak my oats overnight (at least), but I don't drain off the water, and I don't cook the oats in the morning. Just add soaked nuts and sunflower seeds, raisins, and eat, with or without milk. Saves energy and nutrients.

Anonymous said...

I also soak my oats per Nourishing Traditions recipe, not rinsing before cooking. Curious: do the oats lose the sour flavor from the whey if they are rinsed? (I actually have come to love the sour flavor but am just wondering.)

Thais of Spinach and Honey said...

To: Anonymous June 25, 2009 6:18 AM,

I stopped rinsing my oats as well. One less step, right! But I do remember that it did limit the sour taste.

Chris said...

As I understand it, soaking oats is not about sprouting them but about letting the bacteria in the yogurt / kefir/ whey digest the phytic acid.

Thais of Spinach and Honey said...

Hi Chris - Thank you for your comment. I have updated my post. When I first started out soaking and sprouting, I was always confused about what got sprouted and what got soaked. Any way, I wrote this post back in 2007 and my confusion is captured in it. Boy, I can't believe that it has been that long. This post is one of my most popular posts, and so I am so happy to keep it accurate and up-to-date. Thanks again.

ben said...

To remove the phytic acid, is it possible to use a slow-cooker overnight, to combine the soaking and cooking?

For example, slow-cooking overnight:
1/2 cup of black rice (china forbidden brand)
1/2 cup amaranth
1/4 cup shredded coconut flakes
2 cups of water

Then in the morning rinsing and just a quick reheat of using:
1 cup of water
2 Tbsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. baking chocolate
2 Tbsp. Chia Seeds

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