soaking grains and some banana coconut cream pie oats

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!

55 thoughts on “soaking grains and some banana coconut cream pie oats

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  3. Hey! I never knew the benefits on soaking grains until now, though I have to ask, “Why drain the grains, if some of the vitamins and minerals are left in the water?” Like I said, I am new to this…Please explain!

      • Ahhh! Thank you so much for responding:) so I soaked my grains and so far I am loving it!! My aunt always was against soaking grains but my grandmother always did it when she made arroz con pollo…but after rereading about what the chemical components do, there are far more advantages in  doing so. Thanks for explaining! Now I can sleep well tonight..:).                    

        by

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  7. thanks for the soaking oats info! just ate some this morning. :) is it just me, or are soaked oats twice as filling? and i love the banana coconut cream combo…will have to try it sometime.

    • You’re so welcome! Soaked oats leave me feeling a different kind of full- more satiated and less bloated- which is soooo much better! I’m glad you liked them :) Hope you try this flavour combo- it’s just like dessert!

  8. Lovely recipe. Thank you for sharing with us on Allergy-Free Wednesdays.

    I do soak grains, mostly oatmeal. For my kids, I soak 1 cup of oat overnight with 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon ACV. In the morning I drain the oats and cook with 1 cup water.

    Have a beautiful weekend.

    Be Well,
    –Amber

  9. I really enjoyed reading this post, I knew soaking grains was important, but this post helped me clarify some doubts I had …
    And I loved the Banana Coconut Cream Pie Oats recipe ! And I may try it with buckwheat :)

    • I had to do a bit of research but I think I got all the major points here- there was some conflicting info I had to route through!

      Let me know what you think if you try out! It’s such a good treat in the morning.

  10. Wow, this was an informative post! I had never thought to soak my grains, but now I think I need to start experimenting! Thank you so much for this, Gabby- you’ve really opened my eyes!

    • I don’t even know how I came up with it, but when I thought of it I wrote it down immediately so I wouldn’t forget- I knew it needed to be made and shared :) If you like coconut and banana this won’t disappoint! Let me know what you think!

  11. Thanks for this information on soaking. I had heard this too so I do soak my oat groats overnight for my green thickies the next morning. I also rinse them but I don’t cook them, I thought it was fine just to add them to a smoothie. Do you usually cook your oats for your smoothies?

    • I have to admit, I don’t put oats in my smoothies too often, at least I haven’t since I discovered this little nugget of info! If I were to do that (and it’s high time I try something from your site ;)) I wouldn’t cook them! I cooked the soaked oats there just because I wanted them warm, not because I really needed too. I am going to try eating soaked oats without cooking them in the morning, I’m excited!

  12. This was a very informative post! I’m assuming the acidic medium is to help with drawing out the phytic acid? I usually eat overnight oats on work days, but just soak my oats overnight in almond or coconut milk…since there is not acid in there, wonder if there is still benefit to eating the oats this way (as opposed to just cooking without soaking overnight)?
    And the combo of banana and coconut…well, I just have no words for that! Makes me so hungry right now!

    • Thanks Shelby! I think that to get the benefits you need to discard the soaking liquid as well, because even though some phytic acid gets released even without and acidic medium, I think it gets release into the liquid. So you’d just be eating or anyway. At least that’s what I took away from it!

      And yes, it’s an unbeatable flavour combo, especially in the summer :)

  13. Yay! Congrats on the recipe feature, you clever gal, you :)

    I am a big believer in soaking too (what a weird thing to type!) I reckon it makes a big difference in nutrient absorption, plus it cuts down on cooking time – win & win!

    This banana breakfast-dessert looks fab, what a delicious way to start the day… I love coconut “whipped cream” it’s SO yummy and fluffy!

    Hope you’re feeling better :)

    • Thanks Lou! Ya I think I’ll be soaking my grains from now on! While I can’t feel the extra nutrition, even though it’s there, I can feel the improved digestion and when my system is as out of whack as it is, that’s enough right there :)

      This breakfast is a great treat and you could totally indulge in it very morning of you wanted!

  14. Looks amazing girl!!! I am back and just getting caught up – what a yummy breakfast!! I love the coconut whipped cream – awesome!! Congrats on your recipe feature too – that is awesome! Good to hear things are going well in your part of the world! xo!

  15. Congrats on the velvet aroma shout out, Gabby!! I can’t wait to try that delicious looking recipe. Today’s recipe looks amazing as usual ad I can’t wait to start soaking my grains and see if it aids in my search to cure my indigestion/ acid reflux. Lately, I have been craving coconut water and watermelon like mad! Hydration much?

  16. Congrats my friend on the feature :D
    Well done!!! It looked so delicious!
    And I felt like I should have been in a lab coat while reading this post – scientific, healthy and super yum :)
    Great job!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  17. You have done an amazing job as this doesn’t even remotely look like a healthy breakfast. Loved your scientific discussion of phytic acid :-)

  18. I never thought to soak my oats before,- this was so informational and inspiring! Thank you for sharing Gabby, I have been getting so many ideas from your blog…..and can i tell you I am totally addicted to the Oatmeal Spinach Smoothie, I make a cheater version before I work out with just banana, spinach, oats, almond milk and cinnamon – SO GOOD!

    • You are such a sweetie! I have to say your blog inspires me, so beautiful! So I’m glad I can reciprocate just a little :)

      So glad you like the smoothie! When I first made it I knew it had to be shared, it was too good not too! I haven’t made it in a while because of the cleanse I was on- I think I’ll make one this afternoon!

  19. Congrats on having your recipe featured! That is so exciting! It was a beautiful recipe so I’m not surprised it was chosen ;)

    This recipe sounds amazing! Banana and coconut are two of my favorite flavors and you know I love my morning oats :) This sounds so perfect for a lovely summer morning. Thanks for sharing the recipe, enjoy the sun and I hope you are feeling better!

    • Thanks dear, both for the well wishes and the congrats :)

      If you like banana and coconut you will love this- both of the flavours really shine in their pure, natural form because theres not much else there to compete with them!

    • That could definitely work, would be a little more watery and less creamy but would still add some good flavour. Let me know if you try it! If all else fails just add in a splash of some non dairy milk with the water to add some creaminess back :)

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