Oh, the Benefits of Oatmeal

An oatmeal hack to smooth out your morning routine

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Jar of oats
We have a hack that makes the mighty oat even more nutritious.

Updated Jun 29, 2017 @ 12:52 pm

With all the talk about ancient grains, it reminded us of the sweet, humble oat. Remember when oats were the healthy “it” food in everyone’s bowl?

Oats still are the perfect breakfast food. They’re full of fiber and B vitamins and studies have long shown they keep you full throughout the morning and help you eat less at lunch.

But we have a hack that makes the mighty oat even more nutritious.

Oats contain the highest amounts of phytic acid, of any grain, and this “anti- nutrient” can actually block mineral absorption and make some people feel bloated.

Not to fear: one simple step—soaking your oats overnight—will make them more digestible and keep your body’s mineral reserves intact.

Prior to WWII, everyone soaked their oats, and up until the 1950s, the recipe directions on Quaker Oats boxes called for it. And then convenience got the best of us, and we lost this tradition to instant oatmeal packets.

All you need to bring back this health-supportive step is to put your oats in a bowl and cover them with an equal amount of warm water. By the morning they will look a little plumper and cook up in about five minutes. And it works for all varieties from oat groats to steel-cut to rolled oats.

The hardest part about this healthy habit is remembering to do it at night. But once you’ve got it down, you can check out more recipes such as the Baked Oatmeal below for inspiration on what to do with your healthier oats. Yes, to savory Sriracha oatmeal with an egg on top!

Baked Oatmeal

  • Serves: 6
  • PRINT Print This Recipe

Ingredients

  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup whole Marcona almonds
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • Scant 1/2 teaspoon fine- grain sea salt
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup kefir or buttermilk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pound ripe pluots, quartered and pitted (or other stone fruit)
  • A bit of cream, to serve

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° with a rack in the top third of the oven. Generously butter the inside of an 8-inch square baking dish (or equivalent), then sprinkle with lemon zest.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the oats, almonds, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, kefir, water, egg, half of the butter, and the vanilla.
  3. Arrange the pluots in a single layer in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Cover the fruit with the oat mixture. Slowly drizzle the kefir mixture over the oats.
  4. Gently give the baking dish a couple of raps on the countertop to make sure the liquid moves through the oats.
  5. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is nicely golden and the oat mixture has set. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Drizzle the remaining melted butter on the top and serve.
  6. Finish with a bit more maple syrup if you want it a bit sweeter, and a thread of cream to bring it all together.