I don’t do this often, but sometimes I brew coffee simply for the smell. That’s right. I don’t drink a sip. I just walk around in my bathrobe enjoying the quiet world waking, coffee mug in hand. I’ve never liked the taste of it, but I appreciate the ritual of starting the day with a comforting cup of joe.
Homemade soaked oats do it for me too. Their creamy deliciousness gently eases me out of my bathrobe and into the daily grind. I used to think oatmeal was boring and I would occasionally choke it down, but soaking the stuff changed my life. The soaking process transforms gruel into velvety bliss.
And then there’s the mix-ins. Oh the mix-ins. These limitless toothsome ingredients can be added to oats and change up the flavors any way you like. I’ve compiled a list for you of my nine favorite and hope you’ll join me in waking up to a nice bowl of soaked oats because
the best part of waking up is soaked oatmeal in your cup.
I mean bowl.
I don’t eat a lot of grains these days, but I do enjoy gluten-free soaked oats on occasion!
The Science Behind Soaking
Oatmeal is high in phytate, an antinutrient found in grains. Soaking grains in an acid medium (like apple cider vinegar, lemon or yogurt) should help activate phytase, which is an enzyme that breaks down phytate. Unfortunately, oatmeal does not contain phytase so to break down the phytate we need to hack soaking by adding a grain that contains phytase.
Enter whole wheat flour or buckwheat flour (gluten free). Both flours contains phytase. Combining the oatmeal, flour and acidic medium together in water works to break down phytate. Grain hacking accomplished.
Recipe for Soaked Oats
1 cup rolled oats (if gluten free, get certified gf oats)
3 tbsp of gluten-free buckwheat flour
1-2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
Cover the rolled oats and buckwheat with warm, filtered water in a bowl. There should be enough water that the oat mixture is completely covered. Add apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to the water. Cover and let sit over night.
In the morning, transfer soaked oats to a mesh strainer to drain the oats and rinse them with water. The rinsing will remove the acidic taste from the oats.
1 1/4 cup coconut milk (or other milk or water) (I like this one here because it is BPA-free)
pinch of salt
prefered mix ins, see below
Put drained oats and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan. Add coconut milk and bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Immediately turn down heat and add desired mix-ins. Stir frequently and cook on low heat until the porridge is the desired consistency (should take only a few minutes).
- Banana Nut (add banana slices and soaked pecans or walnuts after oatmeal is cooked)
- Blueberry Banana (add blueberries a few minutes before finished cooking, add banana slices at the end)
- Mixed Berry (add a berry mixture of raspberries, blueberries and blackberries a minute before finished cooking)
- Apple cinnamon (peel, core and dice apple, add diced apple and cinnamon to oatmeal while cooking)
- Peaches and cream (add sliced peaches and fresh cream to oatmeal once it’s finished cooking)
- Maple pumpkin (add in pumpkin puree while cooking along with a little maple syrup and a few dashes of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger)
- Cinnamon Raisin (add in a few dashes of cinnamon and a handful of raisins while cooking)
- Strawberries and Yogurt (add in some of your homemade yogurt and fresh slices of strawberries at the end of cooking)
- Cranberry Nut (toss in some dried cranberries and soaked nuts, or make this yummy cranberry spread ahead of time and add in a few dollops)
How do you enjoy your oats? What are your favorite mix-ins? Let’s talk about it below.
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