My love for oats is certainly nothing new. I have had to restrain myself several times from posting about how fantastic my morning porridge was. I haven’t always succeeded. Remember this? Most of the time, though, I tell myself that you people have your own fabulous bowls of oats in your own happy little mornings and you don’t need recipes for chucking apples and dates into a bowl of grains. However, my latest adventures in oating have been noteworthy.
It started with homemade oat milk, a culinary venture born of my desire to get plastic packaging out of our lives. Ever heard of the plastic gyres in our mama earth’s oceans? I curb my family’s plastic use because I know that we are connected to our land base, to our oceans. Using plastic contributes to the suffering of sea birds and marine animals and exposes my family directly and indirectly to toxic chemicals. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, please educate yourself. There is a wonderful blog dedicated to this subject called fake plastic fish if you need a place to start.
Making our milk at home is one way to avoid those awful tetra paks that most non-dairy milks are packaged in. Making your own is cheaper, better for you, better for the environment, and tastes WAY better, too. NO reason not to do this, kids. It is much easier than you think.
So far, we have made rice milk two ways, oat milk two ways, and cashew milk. The oat milk is my fav for sure! I found these recipes on the lovely blog sweet beet and green bean. So easy! So fantastic! Please try this.
recipe #1 easy oat milk
A raw oat milk recipe using the whole oat groat. I have not seen gluten free oat groats. If that’s how you roll, see recipe 2.
One nice thing about using the whole oat groat is that it is the least processed form of oat available to you. I tend to think the less processed the food, the more health benefits. Get yourself some whole oats. Here’s what they look like:
Soak 1 c. of whole oat groats in about 2 c. pure filtered water for at least 6 hours. I just let them soak overnight.
Why the soaking? Here is an excerpt from the book Nourishing Traditions:
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 led 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.
Next: Strain oats and discard soaking water. Place oats in blender with 4 c. pure water, a pinch of salt, a drizzle of agave syrup (or preferred sweetener), and 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract. Whirl in the blender until oat groats are well blended. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. The liquid is delicious raw oat milk.
The dregs in the strainer are about to be a new take on this morning’s bowl of oats! Just plop the oat groats into a bowl and prepare as you would with all the usual oatmeal fixins and enjoy! The long legged man had his with banana, walnuts, and maple syrup.
Quite good, really, if you can get over the whole room temperature experience. I’ll admit, some mornings the oats must be hot.
Why raw? Initially, I thought raw would be better because 1. I am lazy. 2. I thought cooked oats would result in a gummier, thicker oat milk. 3. I had a vague idea that maybe there are some health benefits to eating soaked, raw oats.
recipe #2 super easy oat milk
An uncooked oat milk recipe made from rolled oats. If you are on a strict gluten free diet, use certified gluten free oats. Or, IF YOU ARE TOO LAZY TO MAKE EASY OAT MILK, then try it the super easy way. Use rolled oats instead. These only require ten minutes of soaking, if that. Then proceed as you would with easy oat milk. Blend with water, sweetener, salt and vanilla. The vanilla and sweetener are optional, but the salt is pretty key here. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Yay!
Still not convinced? More reasons to eat oats:
- improve the body’s resistance to stress
- help stabilize blood sugar
- regulate the thyroid
- soothe the nervous system and digestive tract
- restore the reproductive system
- reduce the craving for smokey treats (yes, that is what I call cigarettes. no, they are not much of a treat. yes, I quit years ago. hooray for me.)
- reduce cholesterol from arteries
- high in protein
- strengthen cardiac muscles
- help renew the bones and connective tissues
- strengthen immunity and wards off contagions, especially in children
- build and regulate qi (chi) energy, aka prana
- think Highlander
Okay? It sounds like I’m making this stuff up! For more information, these are my go-to sources on healing foods: Rebecca Wood and Paul Pitchford. Here’s another fun source to remind you why you don’t subsist on luna bars and lattes. This web site lists the nutritional profile of the world’s healthiest foods.
I have a bowl of oat groats soaking right now, actually. However, this time it’s not for milk or groatmeal, but oat groat pancakes! Stay tuned for the recipe. Those beasties are delightful!