Posted by: onebeggarsbread | January 7, 2008

Why Soak Oats?

We began this practice after reading Nourishing Traditions.  Did you know the Quaker Oats box used to include soaking the oats overnight in the directions?  I think they taste better this way and the wisdom of others suggests they are better for us.

“The simple practice of soaking cracked or rolled cereal grains overnight will vastly improve their nutritional benefits.”

Soak Your Oats

Oats are low in gluten, which make them easier to digest than some whole grains; however, they are high in phytic acid. This organic acid is found in the outer layer, or bran. In days gone by, and today in traditional cultures, grains were treated before cooking and eating. If untreated, as most are today, phytic acid can block the body’s absorption of important minerals such as calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and especially zinc. A long-term diet of untreated (soaked or fermented) grains will lead to mineral deficiencies and disease.

Soaking oats allows enzymes and helpful organisms such as lactobacilli to break down the acid. Soak in warm water overnight so they’re ready to cook in the morning and require much less cooking time. This is a healthy way to have “quick” oats without the nutrient loss of manufacturing. All it takes is a little planning ahead for a significant increase in nutrition.



  1. Been reading some of your recipes and writings 🙂 Enjoying them and seeing how well you put what you learned into bite size pieces. I still need to read Nourishing Traditions! Good stuff!

  2. When you say oats, are you referring to rolled oats or steel-cut oats? I recently had Bob’s Red Mill GF steel-cut oats for the first time and they were fabulous but took forever to cook. I would love to hear that this soaking would benefit them too!

  3. M, soaking oats works with both rolled and steel-cut. And soaking them makes both taste REALLY yummy to me (not to mention the health benefits). We’ve recently been purchasing Irish Oats from Trader Joe’s. I believe they are the same thing as steel cut oats, but I’m not sure. From what I’ve read, oats grown in Ireland don’t have the cross-contamination issues we have with oats here. Good luck and have fun!

  4. […] Why Soak Oats? « One Beggar’s Recipes Posted on December 22, 2008 by Feebs Why Soak Oats? « One Beggar’s Recipes. […]

  5. Grain, beans and nuts must all be soaked in water PLUS an acidic medium added, such as 1tsp lemon juice or organic apple cyder vinegar, to be non-toxic. Please see Nourishing Traditions by Sally Falon or the Weston Price website for complete and accurate information about the different ways different grains need soaking/sprouting/fermenting.

    Additionally, soaking in plain water will not deal with mycotoxins, mold and fungus that are found in 90% of all commercially grown grain, beans and nuts.

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