Have you ever, out of the blue, had an urge to devour a particular kind of food? Something you haven’t had in a long time? Forget about fast food because, let’s be honest, we’ve all felt the big mac attraction.
But let me tell you, the oats attraction is real 😉
Growing up in Norway I ate a lot of rolled oats. I ate them dry, with milk, as porridge, as bread rolls, you name it. Extremely cheap, conveniently available and easy to prepare. Perfect student food you could say (it’s true). I did, however, enter a spell of oats-aversion after a while.
My oats-aversion was cemented when I made the conscious decision to avoid every kind of grain a couple of years ago (..since then I’m no longer harassed by my lifelong eczema – cause-effect relationship? Hard to tell).
Now, do I eat oats? Yes, and let me tell you why.
First off, oats are delicious! Second. They’re nutritious. Third. They’re cheap…et cetera. However, in oats, there is an anti-nutrient called phytate that should be avoided. It blocks uptake of all the good stuff (trace minerals and nutrients).
Being concerned about it, I tried a few methods…
- I’ve soaked the oats in WATER to remove some of the phytate
- I’ve soaked the oats in WATER AND YOGHURT to remove more of the phytate
- I’ve soaked the oats in WATER AND FENUGREEK SEEDS to remove some of the phytate (experimental! it’s a different ferment process)
- I’ve soaked the oats in WATER AND BUCKWHEAT to remove some of the phytate (experimental! it’s a different ferment process)
At the time I was experimented with yoghurt I first let it sit overnight. Then two days. And three… Most recently I let it sit for more than a week. The result? A sour, soggy oat mixture. Not too appealing, I know.
Initially I kept heating it up to get porridge. Then one day I left it for a little too long. Looking into the pot, I expected a burnt crisp that would be gruelling to get off. Instead, I found a crisp layer that reminded of the outer layer of fresh bread!
I wanted more of this crispiness! So I smeared it on baking paper and put it in the oven (180° C for about 30 minutes). It came out as one sheet of crispy oats.
By itself I find it quite delicious, but to bring it to a glorious level I decided to cheat.
“Salt and olive oil actually are cheating, and they are secret weapons and they always work. You could even add them to ice cream. They just always work.” -Seth Godin on cooking advice from Chris Schlesinger.
Try it yourself. Chef Schlesinger is not mistaken, I can tell you that!
You don’t have to add anything (But really, you should). You may use it as an appetiser or a side dish. You can even swap it for potato crisps on a Sunday evening while netflixing.
Also the fermenting process increases the amount lactic acid bacteria which makes life a little healthier. This is widely known.
How do you eat oats? Have you tried fermenting your own food? What is your favourite ferment? Go ahead and guess mine.
Some claims on oats and fermentation…
- Fermenting with bacteria reduces phytate, even more than yeast (62-90% vs 38%) (1)
- Fermenting increases nutrient bioavailability (calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, phosphorous, folate, ferulic acid) (1) (2)
- Fermenting produces butyrate, a powerful gut healer (3)
- Fermentation increases antioxidants (70%) and polyphenols (25%) (4)
- Fermentation increases lactic acid bacteria, which has many positive health benefits (5)
- http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2215017X14000368). Prolonged ferment can reduce phytate with aprox 90%, https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=QsR5CgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA68&dq=phytate+bioavailability+review+-animal&ots=q-k6KxchOK&sig=Ortqju-o_c-mgdGtQS-NodhNFMA#v=onepage&q=phytate%20bioavailability%20review%20-animal&f=false
Lactic acid bacteria health benefits https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=4d_vBwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=lactic+acid+bacteria+health&ots=bGiy9qQypd&sig=kN0jbF44tsv8NwzHHYw90Mm7FIk#v=onepage&q=lactic%20acid%20bacteria%20health&f=false
- Ferment glasses http://fowlersvacola.com.au/index.php?route=common/home
- Terra Madre Health Food Store http://www.terramadre.com.au/
Titbit – If you ever thought your stomach acid kills all bacteria, you were wrong! There’s a reason people get sick when going overseas. For the very same reason it is beneficial for you to eat probiotic foods (YES bacteria can survive stomach acid).