You Should Be Soaking Your Oats

Soaked oats cook faster, taste creamier and are even more nutritious than non-soaked oats. I always thought a bowl of porridge was just about the healthiest breakfast option, but oats actually contain phytic acid, an anti-nutrient that binds to some minerals – iron, magnesium, copper and zinc – making it harder for your body to absorb them. It has also been found to contribute to anaemia, tamper with your hormones and block the production of digestive enzymes.

Thankfully the effect of phytic acid is easily reduced with an overnight soak. Bear in mind that when you soak the oats the phytic acid will leech out into the soaking liquid. You can either strain the oats in the morning and cook in fresh liquid or add acid to the soaking liquid which neutralises the phytic acid. This could be a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or a drop of apple cider vinegar – one teaspoon for every 250ml of water. You could also soak and cook your oats in kefir or buttermilk, (though I’m not sure how nice this would taste.)

I don’t love the taste of lemon juice or ACV in my porridge, so I strain. I cover my oats with filtered water, leave overnight, strain in the morning and then cook with either full fat dairy milk or sometimes oat or coconut milk. The general ratio is one part oats to three parts liquid.

This bowl pictured is what I have been digging lately. A tablespoon of flax, a mashed up banana, a drizzle of tahini, sliced blood oranges and cacao nibs.