If your digestive system is sensitive to eating oat groats, then I am pleased as punch to present you with an option that might change things!
Just to give you some background, neither my husband nor I had any issues digesting grains until the past several years, when I became very gluten-sensitive and then my poor hubby started having some serious digestive issues (apologies if this is T.M.I., but I want to share this info in case it helps you or someone you know).
We know now that his issues were at least partly if not fully the result of a zinc deficiency discovered through a blood test. I then found out that the zinc issue isn’t all that uncommon with plant-based folks, especially men. It seems as if this is due to phytates from certain plant foods that can inhibit absorption of minerals. There is a brief article from Jack Norris, R.D. here if you are interested in learning more about zinc, vegetarians, and our possible increased needs.
I’m learning that both the problem with mineral absorption and improving the digestibility of grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes is something that can be remedied by taking some extra steps like soaking and even sprouting them, at least some if not all of the time. There are actually some health benefits of consuming phytates as seen in this video from Dr. Greger, so it seems as if it’s a balancing act.
Since I am at the beginning of my journey on this topic, I promise to keep writing about it and sharing my experiments. This Sprouted Oat Groat Cereal is the first! I started with gluten-free, raw oat groats (I’ll be doing a fun giveaway for my favorite brand later this week so please keep watch for that):
I soaked the groats in filtered water overnight, rinsed them, and placed them into a sprouter (although not pictured in this tutorial, my current favorite sprouter is the Easy Sprouter found on my Amazon.com store). Here’s what the groats looked like after being soaked 12 hours, rinsed, and and sprouted for one day:
I was sooooo excited when the groats grew their little tail thingies:
At the end of the second full day of sprouting, the groats were definitely ready to be harvested. The white fuzzy stuff is totally normal; they’re called root hairs which sounds ick but they are harmless and get washed away when you rinse them:
I suppose one could technically eat the sprouted groats without cooking at this point, but I wasn’t taking any chances with my or my husband’s ability to digest them. So, I rinsed the sprouted groats one last time and then put them in my rice cooker on the “germinated brown rice” setting with about a cup of water. A simmer for a good 15-20 minutes on the stovetop will do the trick as well:
- Rinse your raw oat groats and place them in a medium-sized glass bowl or sprouting device. Cover with fresh, filtered water and a pinch of sea salt. Let sit for at least 8 hours or up to 12 hours.
- Use a strainer to rinse the oat groats thoroughly. Place the groats in a sprouting device. Rinse 2-3 times a day for at least two days or until the groats have sprouted.
- Rince the groats one last time and place in a rice cooker or a saucepan. Add one cup of water, raisins, and cook for 15-20 minutes. If serving right away, defrost the frozen berries in the microwave and serve with the oat groats. Otherwise, you can store the cooked groats in the fridge for up to 3-5 days or in the freezer.
The last time I tried to eat cooked oat groats without sprouting them first, I got a terrible stomachache afterwards. Since I started sprouting and cooking, I’ve had no problem and I get to enjoy the fantastic nutritional benefits of eating oat groats, not to mention the chewy texture and warming, delicious comfort that comes from eating a bowl of whole grains:
I’d love to hear your input on this topic of soaking and sprouting. Let’s discuss in the comments section. See you soon, I promise!