"To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art." - La Rochefoucauld

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Meal Idea: Super Healthy Oatmeal

Did you know the package directions for oatmeal (rolled oats) used to include directions for soaking? Eventually these directions were removed as it’s not critical if your goal is to have hot, edible cereal and many consumers are only interested in convenience. Here is a brief description as to why it is so important to soak your oats:

"All grains contain phytic acid (an organic acid in which phosphorous is bound) in the outer layer or bran. Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron especially zinc in the intestinal track and block their absorption. This is why a diet high in unfermented whole grains may led to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss. The modern misguided practice of consuming large amounts of unprocessed bran often improves colon transit time at first but may lead to irritable bowel syndrome and, in the long term, many other adverse effects. Soaking allows enzyme, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to break down and neutralize phytic acid. As little as seven hours of soaking in warm acidulated water will neutralize a large portion of phytic acid in grains. The simple practice of soaking cracked or rolled cereal grains overnight will vastly improve their nutritional benefits. " From my favorite cook book: Nourishing Traditions.

Recipe from the nourishedkitchen.com:

To prepare this soaked oatmeal recipe, you’ll need:
  • 1 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Raw Cider Vinegar, Whey, Yogurt, Lemon Juice or Kefir
  • 1 Cup Whole Milk
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
  • ¼ Cup Nuts and Seeds
  • ¼ Cup Raisins

Instructions for Preparing Soaked Oatmeal:

  1. Soak rolled oats, seeds and nuts overnight in enough water to cover – adding lemon juice, kefir, whey, yogurt or cider vinegar to the water.
  2. In the morning, drain oats and rinse them well.
  3. Add milk to a pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  4. Immediately turn down heat and add remaining ingredients.
  5. Stir frequently and continue to simmer until oatmeal has thickened to your liking.
  6. Serve with yogurt, kefir and natural sweetener of your choice.
** Personal Notes about soaking: Soaking oats is not a timely thing. In fact, they cook much faster (maybe five minutes) if you have soaked them overnight. I am talking about large rolled oats that would normally take 20 minutes to cook. Buying large rolled oats from a bulk section at Whole Foods is much more cost effective and way healthier then purchasing instant oatmeal. Also, when soaking, I prefer whey (the watery stuff on top of the yogurt) or vinegar. Lemon juice gave the oatmeal a citrus flavor.

Enjoy!!! :)

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