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soaking grains and some banana coconut cream pie oats

Posted May 22 2012 6:15am

Hello all! How is everyone doing today? The lovely weather we’ve been having here continues and I am blogging from a chair on the deck. It’s so nice to be able to listen to the birds and feel the breeze as I sip on my kombucha and type away :)

Before I get into the real (veggie) meat and potatoes of this I just wanted to do a little (shameless) self-promotion! My recipe for the Banana Beet Cake I made at Easter was featured on the Velvet Aroma blog in their post on Gluten-Free Baking in honour of Celiac Awareness Month! Click here if you guys want to check it out! I get so excited when people even stop by my blog so when a recipe get’s featured I can’t help but bubble up a little :)

Now, back to the regular programming…

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Who like’s desert for breakfast?

What a silly question right? While the concept of eating dessert for breakfast definitely appeals to me, what I wouldn’t like is the heavy feeling that would follow. I like starting my day with something nutritious and easily digestible and dessert doesn’t always fit that bill (although you may find a couple that do on my recipe page ;) )

These oats are so simple and have fewer ingredients than the name suggests! There is absolutely NO added sweetener, including dates and stevia, yet they taste like you are eating dessert. Of course, if you have a big sweet tooth, there are a couple areas where you could definitely add in some sweetener and I’ll point those out.

I have also made this using my raw buckwheat porridge as the base (where instead of the hemp seeds I used 1 tbsp coconut and omitted the extra 2 tbsp almond milk and stevia) and that tasted great as well (and also raw!). I thought I’d share with you this version though since I also wanted to share something else I’ve been doing- soaking my oats.

When I was doing my cleanse, I read up a lot about sprouting and soaking grains for the purpose of being able to eat them raw. What I wasn’t expecting though was that this could have loads of benefits for cooking the grains as well. I’m not sure why I never thought of this since soaking legumes before you cook them is important but oh well….

Here’s why I’ve started soaking my oats (and other grains) before I cook them now: It’s all about phytic acid.

source: Wikipedia

Phytic acid is the main form of storage for phosphorus in plants, which is not digestible by humans. It is of such a molecular structure that many essential minerals (such as iron (!!), magnesium, calcium, zinc, copper and niacin) bind to it, preventing their absorption!

Phytase is the enzyme that neutralizes phytic acid and liberates the phosphorus and other minerals. We don’t produce a ton of this enzyme on ourselves, although having good intestinal flora helps you produce a bit more. Phytase also exists in plant foods, but we have to help it get liberated so it can break down this phytic acid. To make it even more complicated cooking grains at too high a temperature neutralizes this enzyme.

Soaking grains helps activate phytase and reduce the phytic acid! Phytic acid won’t completely disappear (especially in oats since they have a lower amount of phytase to begin with) but it will lower it, enhancing mineral absorption!

Not to mention soaking grains makes them super fast to cook- you can use less liquid and it takes 1/2 the time!

So as someone who has difficulty with iron absorption and a passion for healthy eating, I decided it was time to start soaking my grains and get all the possible nutrition out of them. I mean who doesn’t like getting more bang for their buck?

The basics you need to know for soaking your grains:

  • soak 1 cup of grains in 2 cups of warm water
  • add 1-2 tbsp of an acidic medium per cup of grains: lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, coconut kefir. Some people say you can use buttermilk or yogurt too, but I read a little research that suggested that something in dairy products might actually reduce the amount of phytic acid released). You won’t be able to taste this since you’ll rinse the grains later
  • mix this all up, cover with a cloth and soak for a few hours. Some grains like buckwheat, rye and wheat will release phytic acid very quickly so only an hour or 2 is needed. Oats need a long time though. 8-24 hoursis recommended, the longer the better!
  • when you’re ready to use them drain and rinsethem really well.
  • once the grains are soaked you can dehydrate the grains again and make flour if you’d like!

And now for a recipe using those soaked oats of yours!

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Banana Coconut Cream Pie Oats (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Raw Option*)

These oats taste rich and decadent but are super nutritious! Loaded with healthy fats from the coconut milk and chia seeds, and fibre from the oats, these are a health indulgence.

Oats:

  • 1/2 cup oats soaked overnight, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup lite coconut milk
  • 1/2 a ripe banana
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut flakes
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • optional: stevia or agave for extra sweetness

* you can make this raw by using the base for my raw buckwheat porridge instead. Substitute the 2 tbsp hemp seeds for 1 tbsp coconut flakes, leave out the stevia and extra 2 tbsp almond milk)

Toppings:

  • 1/2 a banana, sliced
  • sprinkle nutmeg
  • sprinkle coconut flakes
  • coconut whipped cream (recipe below)

First soak the oats overnight in 1 tbsp lemon juice. In the morning drain and rinse well. To prepare the oats, take 1/2 of the soaked oats with the rest of the ingredients and combine in a blender until smooth. Pour this and the rest of the oats in a small pot and heat over medium-low heat until it reaches the consistency you like!

Top with sliced banana, a sprinkle of nutmeg and coconut and a dollop of coconut whipped cream!

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Coconut Whipped Cream (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Raw)

Better than regular whipped cream, this version has healthy fats and tastes slightly coconutty (which is awesome in my books!). Feel free to sweeten or add flavour extracts to help mask the coconut if desired.

  • 1 can coconut milk (full fat not lite)
  • optional: agave, honey, stevia, etc. to sweeten or extracts for flavour (like vanilla, almond, coconut, rum, etc.). You could even try whipping in juice or berries for something fruity!

Place can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight or for a couple days. I found a couple days to be more effective. You do this to separate the cream out from the more water part.

Open the can and scoop out the thick cream that has settled on top. Reserve the water that is leftover for use in smoothies.

Place the coconut cream in a large bowl and using and electric hand mixer, beat the cream until light! Easy peasy!

Use this to top anything from puddings, brownies, cupcakes, fruit, or even oats ;)

Here’s a picture of the raw buckwheat version if anyone’s interested!

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It was cold and perfect for the warm mornings we’ve been having. I’ve been craving smoothies and chilled food like crazy lately!

Do any of you soak your grains? What are your reasons?

What foods have you been craving lately?

That’s it for me today. Enjoy the day everyone!

I am submitting this post to Slightly Indulgent TuesdaysAllergy-Free Wednesdays , Foodie Fridays , Allergy-Friendly Friday  and Wellness Weekends !


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