When I was growing up, oatmeal was not one of my favorite foods.
One of my favorite memories with my grandpa has to do with oatmeal. One morning, my grandma made oatmeal for us and I snobbishly boasted that “I don’t eat oatmeal.”
My grandpa walked over with a cup, dumps my bowl of oatmeal into the cup, and says, “You can drink it then.”
My grandpa was a really nice guy, but I guess something about uppity youngsters turning their noses up at oatmeal got him fired up.
Nowadays, I’m on the oatmeal bandwagon. It’s filling, it’s tasty, and you can make it taste different every time.
Before we get to the recipe though, let’s talk about soaking your oatmeal. I’ll be the first to admit that we don’t always soak our oatmeal, but when we do, I feel like it keeps me full longer and sits a little better.
Why should you soak your oatmeal?
Soaking your oats begins breaking down the phytic acid in your oatmeal, making it easier to digest.
Phytic acid is known as an anti-nutrient – as in it steals nutrients from your body. This enzyme has been shown to inhibit other enzymes needed for digestion, and binds to other minerals in the body making them unabsorbable (yes I made that word up).
How do I soak my oatmeal?
One nice thing about soaking oatmeal is that it’s pretty stinkin’ easy.
- Put 1 cup of water into your pot and bring to 100 degreesish (I just leave it over the burner for a minute or two)
- Add 1 cup of rolled oats, 1 tablespoon of acidic medium (apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or yogurt), and 1 tablespoon of rye or wheat flour.
- Turn off stove and leave overnight
- Add 1 cup of water the next morning and cook
You want to add the flour to your oats because oats are too low in phytase to do much. Phytase are the enzymes that karate chops (hydrolizes) the phytate. (Nerdy biology note – words ending in “ase” are the karate choppers of the enzyme in the first part of the word. Like phytate +ase = phytase)
I’ve also heard of people doing the soaking part, drying it in the oven or dehydrator, and storing it in their freezer. That way they don’t have to worry about making getting it all ready the night before. Plus they can use it in other recipes like our granola bar recipe.
What kind of oatmeal is best?
We tend to avoid anything “quick” in our house since it usually means it’s more processed than it needs to be. Supposedly quick oats are just rolled oats that have been chopped up, but I don’t believe ‘em.
Steel cut oats are just chopped up oats and are the least processed of your oat options. I think they make uber mushy oatmeal so I don’t like them.
We use rolled or old fashioned oats at our house. They’re usually made by steaming and then rolling.
Alrighty, enough talk about soaking already! Let’s get on to the cinnamonfied, sucanat-sweetened, tasty oatmeal recipe.