Steel cut oats make a fabulously nutritious porridge containing complex carbohydrate, protein and essential fats. Their history dates as far back as the Bronze Age. Wet cool climates are ideal for their growth which is why porridge became popular in Europe, especially Scandinavia and Scotland.
When oats are soaked overnight, something magical happens; they become an even greater powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and immune boosting microflora.
You see, the outer shell of oats contains phytic acid which inhibits digestion. Soaking for 12 hours breaks down the phytic acid allowing all the wonderful minerals, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, to become available and easily absorbed. Furthermore, mixing a little probiotic yoghurt into the oats as they soak, ferments the starches boosting their levels of healthy probiotic cultures.
Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria living in your body that help protect against illness. You may have seen them in an advert for tummy health or spotted them in the yoghurt aisle of the supermarket. While we typically think of probiotics as being good for digestive health, they do more to promote overall health in the body and are essential to a healthy immune system. Friendly bacteria are found lining the mucous membranes of your digestive, urinary, and vaginal tracts.
Finish preparing your overnight oats by adding in a handful of nuts or seeds for extra protein and good fats. A little molasses or some chopped dates to sweeten and some warming herbs such as ground ginger, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg, and you’ve got a delicious complete meal in one.
- 30g steel cut oats (you can use cooked quinoa if you’re gluten free)
- 2 tbsp natural probiotic yoghurt (cow, goat, sheep, coconut)
- 2 tbsp of milk of choice (I use almond)
- toppings as desired – handful of mixed nuts and seeds make a good addition and become more digestible when soaked with the oats overnight
- Chopped dates and raisins add sweetness
- Herbs add warming flavour – cinnamon and ginger are favourites
- I topped with some frozen berries that I’d stewed with some molasses
In an old jar add the oats, nuts and seeds and a pinch of your spice of choice. Pour the milk and yoghurt over and stir. Cover with a lid and refrigerate for at least 4 hours – or overnight. Add fruit toppings as desired. Enjoy.
Have you a healthy breakfast idea you can share with us?