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Frugal Nourishing Breakfast: Coconut Oil Oatcakes

November 29, 2010

This post is submitted to Monday Mania at the Healthy Home Economist!

The weather is turning cold here. We’ve been building fires, there is snow on the ground, and we are naturally craving heartier fare. I enjoy oatmeal for breakfast, especially in the winter months. Where I live, it can get quite cold (the average temperature here in January is -10C (that’s 14F)), and when it’s that cold outside, it’s nice to start the day with a hot, filling breakfast.

In days past, I used to buy quickoats, and boil them on the stove, or even (in days WAY past) zap packets of instant oatmeal sugar in the microwave. That was before I found out about the proper preparation of grains.

In order to absorb the nutrition in grains, they need to be fermented to some extent. Why? Well, for one, grains contain a substance called phytic acid, which binds with minerals in your gut, blocking them from absorption. Soaking the grain neutralizes this acid. There are also various enzyme inhibitors present in grains. You can find out more about this fascinating topic here, and there is an interesting debate series on the issue here.

Scared? You needn’t be. For oatmeal, it’s as easy as this:

  • pour your oats into the pot you’ll cook them in (I use Bob’s Red Mill Organic Rolled Oats),
  • add as much water as oats,
  • add a few tablespoons of an acidic medium (I use plain yogurt), then
  • cover it and leave it in a warm place for 12-24 hours.

All you need is acidity, warmth and time. Then when you are ready to cook the oatmeal, you just add more water, and bring it to a boil. The pot is ready in minutes since the oats are already soft. You won’t likely find much of a taste difference, but your gut will thank you, because you’ve provided a food much easier to digest than its unsoaked counterpart. This is seriously such a small change in terms of effort, but huge in terms of nutrition.

Toppings I enjoy on my morning oatmeal include cinnamon, raw coconut oil, raw cream, butter, berries, sliced bananas, nuts, and maple syrup (but not all at the same time :)

Once you’ve gone to the (minor) trouble of soaking your oats, you won’t want to throw out the leftovers in the bottom of the pot once breakfast is over! I have a tip for making use of those leftovers, and it’s another delicious, nourishing breakfast food.

While the leftover oats are still warm in the pot, I stir in some raw organic coconut oil, and then I store the mixture in the fridge till the next morning. The coconut oil will harden within the oats, which makes it possible to form small patties for frying on the stove. I put a little more coconut oil in the pan, form balls out of the coconut oats, and press them down into little cakes with my spatula. I sometimes sprinkle the cakes with cinnamon and nutmeg, for extra flavour. I let them brown a little sometimes, and other times I just heat them up and enjoy them fairly soft. Then, I serve them with butter, or maple syrup, or pureed frozen berries, or…you get the idea. Anything goes!

I enjoy these oatcakes so much that I make a point of soaking and cooking more oats than I need, so that I have two days’ worth of breakfast prepared by one simple, two minute technique.

Anyone out there have any other ideas for leftover soaked oats? If you have a blog, feel free to comment with links to posts where you’ve shared your frugal, nourishing breakfast ideas! I’m always looking for more :)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 1, 2010 11:05 pm

    I had oatmeal for breakfast this morning. It actually has been quite a while since I had oatmeal or another cooked grain for breakfast, I had forgotten how filling and balanced it keeps me all morning.
    That’s a good idea about the coconut oil hardening with the oats, I’ll have to try that!

    • December 3, 2010 11:18 am

      I do that too – I sort of forget about things I love for a while, and then I get back into making them (maybe too much!). For example, I haven’t made a smoothie for breakfast in ages, but I used to make them every other morning! Habits, I guess!

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