When I wrote about why I soak grains and my experience with the process I was asked how I prepare a soaked oatmeal porridge. This is one of the easiest ways to start soaking anything, as the process literally takes two minutes of hands on time. The soaking also makes for a quicker cooking time in the morning. That means you can have a hot, nourishing breakfast in under five minutes.
When I first started soaking oatmeal I simply added twice as much water to oats and then a splash of whey or vinegar. I then would let it sit overnight. But what I have realized is that we are trying to simulate a fermentation process, if not produce one all together.
Keeping that in mind, all grains need a few things to neutralize the phytic acid:
- the enzyme phytase
Oats are actually lower in phytase, the enzyme necessary to neutralize phytic acid, than many other grains. For that reason it is helpful to add a small amount of a grain higher in phytase, such as wheat or spelt.
Another misconception that I had was that the whole grain is better than a cracked or milled one. The problem with this is that keeping the grain whole makes it more difficult to break down the phytic acid as well as some difficult to digest fiber. I think the ideal way to go would be to freshly crack or mill your grains and then soak them, but rolled oats is what we use right now.
Especially since I recently purchased 50 pounds of them when they were on sale.
Soaked Oatmeal Porridge
Recipe Note: I like to start this soaking right after breakfast the day before I am going to serve it. We also like to add chia seeds for the extra protein and good fats. There are also a million ways to make oatmeal – thick or thin – so adjust the amount of liquid to your liking.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 3-4 tablespoons whole wheat or spelt flour
- 2-3 cups hot water to cover
- 2 tablespoons whey or vinegar
- pinch of sea salt
- The morning before you want to serve the oatmeal start some filtered water in a tea kettle. Meanwhile add oats, chia seeds, and wheat/spelt flour to a quart jar. Put the lid on the jar and shake until combined.
- Once the water is just warm enough that you can still place your knuckle in it without burning pour it over the oat mixture until about 2 inches from the top. Add whey or vinegar, cover with lid tightly and shake over the sink in case of a leak. Be sure to incorporate the chia seeds well otherwise they will clump.
- Place in a warm space like near a wood stove, on top of your refrigerator, or in a lit oven for about 20-24 hours.
- In the morning add 1-2 cups of water to a saucepan. Add the contents of your soaking oat mixture to pot and turn the heat on medium. Bring to a simmer and lower heat. Add a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally and then more frequently towards the end, until it is your desired thickness.
- Serve with lots of grass-fed butter (see sources), raw milk, nuts, fruit, or sweetener.