RAW. SOAKED. OATS.
How does that sound to you? Yum? Gross? Someone like me would probably go with gross because eating uncooked grains looks just so wrong! That was my reaction too when I came across this idea years ago. I have always enjoyed my mom’s warm oatmeal bowls. But I could never get my head around the idea of eating raw oatmeal. So I happily let it pass.
Fast forward three years to 2017. I’m now in charge of prepping breakfast for two people. My evening routine now involves scouring the internet for “the quickest breakfast ideas in the world”. It was during one of those searches when this idea popped up again.
So What on earth is overnight oats?
It is basically soaking oats in buttermilk, juice or any acidic medium for 8-12 hours before consuming it. Soaking grains is not new. Grains like rice and wheat are soaked before cooking to remove phytic acid present in them which inhibits the absorption of crucial minerals. But a study suggests that Oats, unlike rice and wheat does not have high phytic acid content and can be consumed even without soaking. So why soak oats? The process involved here is apparently called “lacto-fermentation”. Soaking oats in probiotic-rich yoghurt and milk for a long period breaks down the structure of oats, making it easily digestible even without cooking. That’s the science behind it!
My first bowl of overnight oats went surprisingly well. The texture was not like that of regular, cooked, oatmeal. But it definitely did not taste raw. With yoghurt and berries, my tummy felt good. Honestly, it was like having dessert for breakfast! A high fibre, high protein dessert (check the nutrition label for more details)! This guava version is one of my favourites!
It’s been two months since I made the switch and I have no complaints whatsoever. Now I can safely say that eating uncooked oats is not so bad after all. All health benefits apart, what’s better than waking up to homemade breakfast waiting for you?!
Combine all the ingredients in a clean jar, give a good mix using a spoon and refrigerate for 8-12 hours.
Bring to room temperature before consumption.
OPTIONAL: If you like a warm breakfast, cook further with milk or simply heat it in a microwave for 30 seconds.