Friday, October 3, 2008

Soaked Oatmeal

I have discovered a wonderful and nutritious breakfast I would love to share with you.
Soaked oatmeal . Ok the name doesn't conjure up the taste buds, but once you taste it.
Delicious and smooth!

Why soak the oatmeal?
Several reasons.
1.) Basically soaking (with an acid like yogert) helps to break down phytates in grains which prevent proper digestion of the nutrients and allows the body to properly absorb all the good content of those whole grains!
2.)It cuts the cooking time of old fashioned organic oatmeal to only about 5 min, if that!!! (It usually takes about 20-25 min.)
3.) Soaking expands the oatmeal so it yields more servings. Which makes oatmeal a very frugal meal!

I like to add dried fruit (not treated with sulfites) like cranberries and apples, slivered almonds, coconut flakes and flax seed to the mix too. Soak it all overnight in a glass jar or tupperware container on the counter (I have found the oatmeal isn't as smooth if you soak it in the fridge).
Top it off with a little soy milk, maple syrup or honey and you are on your way to a super nutritious breakfast!

What arephytates?
Phytic acid is found within the hulls of nuts, seeds, and grains.[1] 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 in an acid medium, lactic acid fermentation, and sprouting.[5]

Phytic acid is a strong chelator of important minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc, and can therefore contribute to mineral deficiencies in people whose diets rely on these foods for their mineral intake, such as those in developing countries.[6] It also acts as an acid, chelating the vitamin niacin, which is basic, causing the condition known as pellagra. [7] In this way, it is an anti-nutrient.[1] For people with a particularly low intake of essential minerals, especially young children and those in developing countries, this effect can be undesirable. (Copied from Wikipedia link provided above.)

There have been some studies about the chelation effects of phytic acid in depriving cancer cells of iron. Something I have just started learning about and interested looking into further. Phytic acid's same mineral binding properties may also prevent colon cancer by reducing oxidative stress in the lumen of the intestinal tract.[12] Researchers now believe that phytic acid, found in the fiber of legumes and grains, is the major ingredient responsible for preventing colon cancer and other cancers.[1][13]. (copied from the phytate wikipedia link provided above). Also grain fed animals who do not produce phytase excrete large abouts of phosphorus into the environment because of the phytic acids chelation effects and binding properties with phosphorus. Phytase is used as an animal feed supplement - often in poultry and swine - to enhance the nutritive value of plant material by liberation of inorganic phosphate from phytic acid (myo-inositol hexakisphosphate) and, thereby, to reduce environmental phosphorus pollution.

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