Grains, Nuts, Seeds, Legumes - How to Prepare
Oats - The Healthy Way
All oats for consumption have been stripped
of their hard outer hulls, but retain the protective inner bran layer - its
inherent healthy nutritives and fiber intact. However, oats can also contain
Possible antinutrients in oats:
have substantial phytic acid content
- but low phytase enzyme content;
To break down phytic acid - All forms of oats
require soaking for 12-24 hours with extra phytase enzymes added
(Agglutinin). Oats typically have
agglutinin levels, provided
they have not been cross-contaminated with wheat, barley or rye; LOW
Gluten / Gliadin
(Prolamin). Pure/uncontaminated oats are
pretty much gluten free, just ensure they come from a certified gluten-free (non-contaminated)
Oats can become cross-contaminated with
other grains. Because of this issue, some
products are labelled specifically as "pure" oats.
Oats are often grown
near fields or in crop rotation with wheat, barley and rye.
contain lectins - such as gliadin (the troublesome component of gluten) or
- Packaging plants can
mix other grains in with the oats Available forms of Oats
And you thought that oats were just oats! :) Really though - the difference between
the forms is simply in the level of processing.
No matter the level of processing, all oat forms have
a similar nutritional profile;
Oat groats. Nutty flavor, chewy texture;
Steel-cut / Irish oats. Oat groats have been
chopped into 2 or 3 pieces; nutty flavor; rank lower than rolled
oats on the glycemic index , because it takes longer for digestive enzymes to reach
and break down the starch in thicker pieces, slowing down its conversion to sugar;
these oats have been heat-treated to about 110Â°F to prevent rancidity of polyunsaturated
Oat flour (ground whole oat). Contains the antinutrient
phytic acid and so should be properly prepared
Rolled "Old Fashioned" oats.
Steamed to soften
and prevent rancidity (partially cooked at 200Â°F for 4-5 hours; polyunsaturated
acids can otherwise go rancid within 3 months; even Scottish ), then put through
mechanical rollers to flatten them into flakes; this increases surface area for
a quicker soaking/cooking time than groats or steel-cut oats. Can be used in baked
Quick rolled oats. Same steaming / rolling as rolled oats, only more of it and rolled thinner; more fragmented than rolled oats
- creamier and less chewy; even shorter soaking/cooking time;
Instant oats. Steamed longer than quick oats,
so precooked, rolled even thinner and then dehydrated; no cooking required, just
rehydrate; often put in ready-to-use packets along with lots of sugar and artificial
flavorings and mystery ingredients.
Oatmeal powder. Sometimes used as baby food Buy in small quantities
Oats have a higher fat content than most grains and so tend
to go rancid faster -
Buy in small quantities and store
in the fridge. How to make healthy oatmeal / porridge
(for the Brits
among us :) )
Soak the oats before cooking them to reduce
phytic acid content:
Add to the pan you'll use for cooking the oatmeal:
1 Cup rolled or steel cut oats (Serves 4)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice or whey (required acid medium)
2 Tbsp. fresh rye or barley flour (lower agglutinin levels than
wheat) to provide the phytase enzymes missing from the oats; grind a few whole
rye grains in a mini grinder so they are fresh and so contain maximum phytase.
Leave 12-24 hours
Add 1 cup of water
(and I usually
add some anti-inflammatory cinnamon )
Bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes to desired consistency
(leave a bit soupy if you're going to top with flaxseed - it will absorb the liquid).
Serve with milk and/or fresh cream
(Optionally add berries, banana, pecans, walnuts, maple syrup, a Tbsp
of ground ) flax seed for some helpful
hormonal balancing and Omega-3 A note on sprouting oats
Phytate content of oat seeds decreased 79% during germination.
From 0.35% 0.11%, assumed due to an increase in phytase
activity as germination progressed. germinated (malted) porridge significantly
increased iron and zinc uptake in humans.
Processing oats, 2015 Oats were on the menu during hunter-gatherer paleolithic times
According to Sarah Pope MGA of
The Healthy Home Economist:
"The Archaeological Institute of America has recently reported the surprising results
of tests conducted by scientists at the University of Florence. The tests involved
a stone pestle recovered in the Apulia region of Southern Italy.
Apulia is home to the archaeological site knows as the Paglicci Cave that was used
by Paleolithic hunter-gatherers of the Gravettian culture between 32,000 and 34,000
years ago. These stone age humans painted murals on cave walls and engraved images
of goats, cows, a serpent, and a nest with eggs. They also painted hunting scenes
The stone pestle was originally discovered in the cave back in the 1950s, but tests
have only now revealed the composition of the stoneâ€™s starchy debris.
The tests revealed that the stone pestle had been used to grind none other than
dried oats! The oats were first gathered and then heated which likely served as
a primitive form of food preservation in the cool, damp climate. The heating also
helped to dry out the oats, making them easier to grind.
Researchers suggest that the oat powder that resulted from the grinding process
was boiled into a porridge-like gruel or even made into bread."
Processing Oats and Bioactive Components, Apollinaire
Tsopmo, in Processing and Impact on Active Components in Food, 2015