Oatmeal Worthy of a Saturday MorningPosted: September 13, 2013
The humble bowl of oatmeal. We have relegated it to sugared up little packets of microwaved blech. Quick, yes. Satisfying and nourishing…eh.
But we have done a great disservice to this yummy grain. There is another way…
Start with hearty old fashioned or even slower cooking steel cut oats. And for optimal digestion, don’t forget the soak.
Why the soak? Oats are very high in phytates. This makes them harder to digest (ever had a noisy tummy after eating oats?) and inhibits the absorption of other minerals in your meal. No one wants that, right? So here’s a quick breakdown of the process I recommend:
- The night before (or as much as 24 hours before) measure out your desired amount of oatmeal into the pot you’ll use to cook them in. (I’m not a fan of extra dishes.)
- Add the recommended amount of water (slightly warm) and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or whey per cup of oatmeal. You also need to stir in a spoonful of wheat or buckwheat flour (for gf). The flour contains the necessary phytase enzyme that breaks down the phytates in the oats. Stir and cover. (And walk away. See, soaking isn’t hard!)
- In the morning, dump your oats into a fine mesh strainer and rinse with water. This eliminates any sourness from the acid.
- Pour them back into the pot and add about half the amount of water that you would usually use. (You might want to start with even less and add until your oatmeal reaches the consistency your family likes. The oats have soaked up a good amount of liquid, so you won’t need to add much as you cook them.) Add a pinch of salt (trust me) and cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently. Because of the soak, they won’t take quite as long to cook either.
Flavor them up!
Here’s where you can take plain old oatmeal to Saturday morning status. Some options to consider…
- Apple chunks sautéed in coconut oil (I usually just do these first in the pan I’m going to cook in before I add the oats back in.)
- Dried fruit
- Lots of cinnamon and a capful of real vanilla extract
- Toasted, chopped almonds or other nuts
- Shredded coconut
- Sweeten it up with a drizzle of honey or real maple syrup
(I have to confess, my bowls of oatmeal usually include ALL of the above…so good!) Be sure to include a little fat like a dollop of coconut oil, pat of real butter or some whole milk or cream to your finished bowl. Not only does it add a creamy texture, but the fat slows down the digestion of the carbs, meaning even blood sugar and energy levels and helps your body absorb the minerals in the grain. Bonus!
Now you have nourishing oatmeal worth of your Saturday morning breakfast table. Or Monday, or Tuesday, or…
For more helpful information on soaking grains, check out this incredibly helpful post at The Nourishing Home.