Hearty, with a touch of sweet, and filled with all the spices we love this time of year. Apple pie soaked oatmeal is a nourishing version of those little brown packets (you know the ones I’m talking about). The ones filled with artificial colors and flavors, and other ingredients that can’t be pronounced. This version is hearty, nourishing, and soaked ahead of time to reduce the anti-nutrient phytic acid, making it more digestible.
I confess, I picked up a box of those instant brown packets of oatmeal this past summer. We had just returned from our annual vacation to Cape Cod, and received a phone call that our three-year adoption wait would be coming to an end in a short four hours. A two and a half year old boy would be arriving at our home that evening. Would we be able to take him? Of course we would! A mad dash to Target was made as we picked up clothes, a few toys, some snacks and “kid-approved” food to get us through a few days.
Those brown packets sat mostly untouched (turns out our boy loves scrambled eggs) until a few weeks ago. I decided to give him the option of oatmeal one morning when I was in a hurry (and had run out of freezer breakfasts), and boy did I pay for it! He was obviously “off”, behaviorally, for the remainder of the day. It was very strange (and very hard), and I knew in my gut that it was breakfast that brought him there. I threw away the rest of the packets, and vowed to never make them again.
Soaking grains is a traditional practice, and one I’ve embraced quite a bit over the past three years. Grains and legumes contain an anti-nutrient called phytic acid, making them more difficult to digest. Soaking them at a warm temperature, with the addition of an acid medium, removes the anti-nutrients and releases the beneficial nutrients as well. It takes only minutes to do and is well worth it for your health.
Kimi, at The Nourishing Gourmet, (who I write for monthly), has written a great series about why soaking grains is so important.
I’ve since given my little guy this homemade soaked oatmeal with no adverse effects. No artificial colors or flavors, and no phytic acid to wreak havoc on his gut and, as a result, his brain which I believe are intrinsically connected.
It takes about two minutes to prepare these oats the night before. I chose to use (affiliate) raw apple cider vinegar for my acid medium as I always have it on hand. Cooking them the next morning doesn’t take much longer than those little brown packets, especially if you chop the apples ahead of time, and measure out the water into your pot the night before. A little bit of prep beforehand is worth it for me.
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 4 cups filtered water, divided
- 4 Tbls apple cider vinegar
- Pinch of salt
- A heaping 1 cup of chopped apples, ⅛-1/4 inch (about 1½ apples)
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ginger
- Optional: butter, maple syrup, honey, cream, raisins
- The night before you plan to eat this, measure out two cups of oats into a glass jar or container with a lid. Slightly warm up two cups of filtered water, cover the oats with it, add the ACV, and put on the lid. Stir it together and set it on your counter until morning.
- In the morning, pour the soaked oats into a strainer and rinse with cold water. While it's draining, bring 2 cups of filtered water to a boil, along with a pinch of salt.
- Add the oats to the boiling water, along with the chopped apples and spices. Cover on low and cook for about 10 minutes.
- When it's done add butter, cream, honey, maple syrup, or any other topping you prefer. I love mine with butter and maple syrup!
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