Our family has been eating Paleo-ish for the last few years. And by “Paleo-ish”, I mean that we eat mostly Paleo: meats, fats, and lots of veggies. But we also eat dairy, rice, and some grains, like oatmeal, because we also follow the Weston A. Price-ish diet that contends that grains are fine if prepared properly. So that’s what I’m dedicating this post to: explaining how to prepare oatmeal properly.
We’re eaten more oatmeal since moving to Alaska. It’s a nice warm food in the mornings. Plus I’ve started making my own cereal, which most people probably wouldn’t like, but the kids and I like it because it’s the only cereal we eat.
Okay, so oatmeal. According to Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, grains were meant to be eaten only after soaking or fermenting them because grains contain phytic acid in the outer layer of the bran; Paleo people might have heard this term before and people like Chris Kresser suggest soaking and roasting nuts, like almonds, to remove some of the phytic acid. What’s the harm of phytic acid (aka phytate)? Chris Kresser’s link explains it more in depth, but if we get too much of this phytic acid, it binds to other minerals (that we need to nourish our bodies) and prevents their absorption. So a diet high in processed foods and unfermented grains and nuts can lead to mineral deficiencies, bone loss, allergies, celiac disease, mental illness, chronic indigestion, and whatever else. Geez! Sometimes it’s hard to know what’s best to put in our bodies, and when I say ours, I’m thinking mostly of our girls and their two tiny bellies that need the best nourishment possible. It’s a really hard thing to know what is best. I mean, even while writing this, I am wondering if organic steel cut oats are the best choice. Or even how much oatmeal is too much? Ahhh! This is tricky. But the important thing for me is to keep fighting the fight. Just keep trying to put what’s best in our bodies by researching what we’re doing. It’s hard sometimes because we have to spend a lot of time trying to figure out what’s best, but it’s worth it because it is true that food can hurt as well as heal. And I want to make sure we are all nourished the best way possible.
Okay, so here’s what I do:
1 cup oats (I use organic steel cut oats)
1 cup warm filtered water
2 tablespoons whey, yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, lemon juice or vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
butter (optional, I use Kerrygold or when I really hit the jackpot, it was butter from Spring Hill Dairy in Petaluma)
diced apples (optional)
Soaking the Day/Night Before: Mix oats and warm water with two tablespoons of whatever liquid listed. I usually use apple cider vinegar because I don’t always have the other stuff on hand (vinegar and lemon juice are good options for those with milk allergies). Cover the oats and place in a warm spot for at least 7 hours or as long as 24 hours.
Cooking: When you’re ready to cook, you just rinse the oatmeal thoroughly (this is especially important to get the vinegar smell and taste out). Bring 1 1/2 cup water to a boil and add oats. Reduce heat and cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally. It depends on which type of oat. With my steel cut ones, it takes about 8 minutes, or I just notice the water has evaporated. Remove from heat and then add cinnamon, lots of butter, some raw honey, and diced apples. It is soooo yummy! This really is a tasty treat!