I love porridge for breakfast in the winter months. It is so warm, cozy, and nutritious. Over a decade ago, when I first learned about Weston Price's research into the superior nutrition of traditional foods, my husband and I enjoyed eating soaked oatmeal porridge for breakfast. Then came parenthood and the discovery of food intolerances, such as my daughter's grain intolerance after the GAPS Diet. For the last many years, oatmeal porridge has been just a pleasant memory.
But this year things are different: my daughter's grain intolerance has gotten better and better, to where she no longer shows an obvious strong reaction to consuming most grains (and even wheat) in moderate amounts! So, over the last month, the kids and I have been loving soaked oatmeal porridge for breakfast.
I like to make up a big pot of oatmeal once a week, and then we can easily have re-heated oatmeal for breakfast for several days throughout the week. This recipe makes a large amount of oatmeal, so feel free to scale back the amounts if you want to make a smaller amount.
Why Soak Oatmeal?
Like other grains and legumes, oatmeal contains the anti-nutrient phytic acid which can interfere with the absorption of essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. Soaking oatmeal in an acidic medium helps improve digestibility and makes the nutrients in oatmeal more readily available. Because oats are generally heat-treated and not actually raw, the soaking process can be made even more effective by adding a bit of Einkorn, wheat, or rye flour to the soaking liquid. The Einkorn, wheat, or rye flour will contribute phytase enzymes that aid in neutralizing the phytic acid.
Soaked Oatmeal Porridge
For soaking the oats:
1 pound (4&1/2 cups) rolled oats, preferably organic
2 Tb Einkorn, wheat, or rye flour (OPTIONAL)
For cooking the oats:
8 cups of filtered water
1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, preferably nutrient-dense yellow butter
1 tsp celtic sea salt
Optional toppings: butter, heavy cream, maple syrup, sucanat
Required equipment: large pot that holds at least 5 quarts
Put the oats in a large glass bowl. If desired, stir in the optional Einkorn, wheat, or rye flour. Cover with plenty of filtered water. Stir in the apple cider vinegar. Allow to soak overnight.
In the morning, drain off most of the water from the oats. You could use a colander if desired, but I prefer to just use the lid of my bowl to roughly cover the bowl while draining off most of the water.
Put the drained oats in a large pot (5 quarts or larger). Add 8 cups of filtered water.
Over medium heat, bring the oats to a low boil, stirring occasionally. Skim off and discard the foam that rises to the top of the liquid.
Reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer. Add 1 stick of butter and 1 tsp salt to the oats. Stir occasionally and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the oats are cooked to your desired consistency. Feel free to add more water if you like your porridge to have a thinner consistency.
Turn off heat and ladle into bowls. We like to top each bowl of oatmeal porridge with a pat of butter, a glug of heavy cream, a drizzle of maple syrup, and a sprinkle of sucanat. Enjoy!
Leftovers should be refrigerated. When re-heating oatmeal porridge, add additional filtered water as the porridge will become quite thick upon refrigeration. A potato masher or large fork works well to break up the oatmeal and get it mixed with the additional water.