There is a hidden molecule that is floating in this bowl, do know what it is? It is called phytic acid. (I don’t know why the Jaws theme song plays in my head when I look at the picture haha) Phytic acid is found within the hulls of nuts, seeds and grains. In-home food preparation techniques can reduce the phytic acid in all of these foods. Simply cooking the food will reduce the phytic acid to some degree. More effective methods are soaking them in an acid medium, lactic acid fermentation, and sprouting. Apple cider vinegar works perfectly in this case. I encourage you to learn more about soaking oats, your digestive system will thank you!
It is always recommended that you soak any grains or grain-like seeds for a minimum of 8 hours. 24 hours is even better. Grains have phytic acid in them (as do nuts, beans and other seeds) that makes them difficult to break down in your digestive system. Since most people have weak digestive systems, eating grains without soaking them could cause symptoms of digestive upset. And as you are already learning, improper digestion leads to a toxic body.
Why is it important to soak oats?
Here’s an excerpt from Nourishing Traditions that explains why oats need to be soaked.
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 lead 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.
The Basic Soak
- 1 cup raw, gluten-free oats (or groats if you are using them)
- 2 cups warm water (room temp, and enough to cover and have room to swell)
- 1 Tbsp acidic medium (coconut keifer, keifer, yogurt, buttermilk, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar)
- If you can’t find raw oats, look for raw oat groats. They look like rice grains.
- Soak for 8-24 hours (the longer the better)
- Drain and rinse real well.
- You can use soaked oats wet in recipes or you can dry them as indicated below.
- Tip: if you are experiencing a sour taste in the soaked oats here are a few things to try:
- Make sure that you are rinsing them well. People tend to skip this step but from my personal experience, I find rinsing them well omits this. It also helps in washing away the sticky starch that can make oats gummy.
- Try using the lemon juice or the apple cider vinegar as the acidic medium instead of the keifer or yogurts. Again, rinse well.
- Experiment with different brands of oats. I have found that different brands taste different.
- Did you leave the oats soaking too long to were they started to ferment?
- To make oat flour from soaked oats, click (here)
- Looking for raw oats… Blue Mountain Organics.