Friday, October 24, 2008

Healthy Hint: Soaking grains and legumes

Whenever we make oatmeal, quinoa, beans, rice, or any other kind of grain or legume, I usually try to think ahead and soak it the night before in warm water. This is because soaking increases vitamin content and makes all the nutrients more available. I usually add 2 Tbs. buttermilk or yogurt with my grains because it works to break down to phytic acid and complex starches. That just means it helps my body digest it more easily and absorb the nutrients better. You might not notice the difference, but I have relatives with stomach issues who cannot eat a bowl of normal oatmeal but can eat it after being soaked overnight. It really does make a difference!

To make my life easier, I usually store my grains in glass jars in my pantry, already measured in 1 cup portions. Then all I have to do is pull it out the night before, add a cup of warm water and 2 Tbs buttermilk, and let it set overnight. Once soaked, oatmeal, quinoa, or other grains cook in less than 5 minutes in the morning! So simple and yet it makes a huge difference nutritionally!

If you want to know more about the benefits of soaking grains, please click HERE
Here is my basic recipe for oatmeal, quinoa, etc:

Ingredients:
1 cup oats (not instant!) or whatever grain you are using
1 cup warm water plus 2 Tbs. whey, yogurt, kefir, or buttermilk
1/2 tsp. salt (sea salt is the most nutritious, but any kind works :)
1 cup water for cooking

Directions: Mix oats with warm water mixture, cover and leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours and as long as 24 hours. After soaking, bring an additional 1 cup of water to boil with salt. Add soaked oats, reduce heat, cover and simmer several minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for several minutes. Serve with sweetener of your choice.
*Karis and I use a combination of coconut oil, applesauce, and cinnamon to sweeten our oatmeal. Maple syrup or raw honey are other good options.

And what do I do with leftover oatmeal? I mix an egg into it and fry it in coconut oil! Its a great way to get more coconut oil in us and Karis absolutely loves it! She will eat fried oatmeal cakes for breakfast and almond butter on her fried oatmeal cakes for lunch :) Yummy and so good for her!

Recipe from Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

3 comments:

Kelly Crawford said...

Oh, this one's good! Thanks for sharing! And oh, I use coconut oil mostly when I cook, too. I love how it makes my body so healthy. But I'm planning to change brands. A friend of mine recommends http://products.mercola.com/coconut-oil/ Has anyone tried it?

Meg said...

Kelly,
I haven't tried Mercola's coconut oil, but he usually has top notch stuff, so I am sure it is good. He is usually slightly expensive, though, so I would definitely compare prices with Tropical Traditions, Mountain Rose, Wilderness Family Naturals, or even Nutivia on Amazon.

The Franzs' said...

Great idea with the fried oatmeal cakes! I'm going to try that! :) I LOVE coconut oil...