great grains: optimize your oatmeal


With the link between autoimmune disease and gluten, I’ve been living an almost entirely gluten-free existence since my diagnosis. (Which I thought was going to be impossible. Not that it’s easy, but when you eat a mostly whole foods diet, it’s not so bad.)

One of the issues being grain intake. The rotation of brown rice/quinoa/oatmeal gets really old some days, especially when the quality of oatmeal ain’t what it used to be.

Have you noticed that? At least compared to the oatmeal from my childhood (’70’s and ’80’s), today’s regular oats cook up more like cardboard. Even cooking them with boatloads of heavy cream (which I once tried) doesn’t give them the velvety texture that I remember.

Until one day, I persisted in finding techniques on the web, one that didn’t involve blenders or any fancy equipment. And I thought I’d give one a try that a few bloggers have mentioned: soaking overnight before cooking.

Soaking expands the individual oats, making them fluffier. There’s also some evidence that soaking reduces phytates in the oats, substances that prevent nutrients from being absorbed as well. Double bonus!

Here’s my very basic recipe:
2 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups water
2 cups milk (of choice)

Put all into a sealed container, and shake to mix. I put it in the fridge overnight or for at least 12 hours. Then, I pour the whole thing into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook for about 5 minutes or until thick.

This provides 4 portions for me, which I keep refrigerated. I “regenerate” each one by adding some milk, mushing it up, heating in the microwave (stovetop would also work, but that’s not on my agenda at 5:45 am) and then add whatever toppings I want.

And that’s another way to get some gluten-free grains!

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