But why in the WORLD would you "soak" your oats?
Well, some nutritional experts (especially those in the Sally Fallon/ Weston Price camp) say that soaking grains is the more traditional way to prepare them for cooking. They also believe that by soaking them it breaks down the naturally occuring "phytic acids" that apparently can inhibit the body from digesting the foods properly (or something along those lines.)
I won't try to pretend to be a scientific food expert or a nutritionist... so I don't have any real idea if all the hype about phytic acid is or isn't a big deal nutritionally. All I know (as a lover of all things oatmeal) is that these oats are super tasty, probably healthy, and incredibly easy to make.
So the reason I personally soak oats... because it's so darn easy and it means I can make breakfast the night before and eat it cold or heat it up for a hot, cozy cereal! I love oats and oatmeal. I always have. I grew up eating it and while I don't eat a lot of refined carbs, I love having a warm bowl of oatmeal for breakfast.
Gluten-Free Soaked Oats Recipe Template
free of gluten, dairy/casein, eggs, and soy
1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats (or quick oats, or steel cut oats, etc... I use Bob's Red Mill)
3 cups water
1/3 cup honey, coconut palm sugar, blackstrap molasses, or sugar substitute of your choice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 - 3/4 cup raisins, dried blueberries, dried cranberries, etc...
1/2 cup chopped nuts or seeds
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1-2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice, etc...
Add all ingredients to a glass jar. Stir to combine and cover tightly with lid or plastic wrap. Store in refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight. Soaked oats can be eaten cold or can be heated either on the stove or in the microwave (only takes about 90 seconds.) This recipe makes about 4 (3/4 cup) servings. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Want more info on the reasons other people soak their oats?
Check out these links:
- Kath Eats Real Food, Overnight Oats http://www.katheats.com/favorite-foods/overnightoats
- Nourished Kitchen, Soaked Oatmeal Recipe http://nourishedkitchen.com/soaked-oatmeal-recipe/
- Kitchen Stewardship, Soak your Oats http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/11/30/monday-mission-soak-your-oatmeal/
- The Nourishing Gourmet, Soaked Oatmeal http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2009/03/soaked-oatmeal-a-filling-and-frugal-start-to-the-day.html
- Passionate Homemaking, Soaked Oatmeal Breakfast http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2008/09/soaked-oatmeal-breakfast.html
Note of Curiosity:
If you click through to some of the links listed above, a few of the recipes have wheat flour included in the soaking ingredients. Since we're gluten-free, we're definitely not adding any type of wheat flour to our soaked oats. I'm not exactly sure how the addition of wheat is supposed to "better" the soaking process... but our soaked oats are completely delicious on their own, all naturally gluten-free.