Mornings are about smiles, hugs, coffee and my daily greeting to my kids “How did you sleep, my love?” as each of them wakes up and emerges from their rooms.
As the aroma of coffee fills the kitchen, it becomes the place in our home that we busily pack lunches, get breakfast, chat about the days activities and to-do items … before my hubby rushes out the door and I chauffeur the kids to school. The chauffeuring is my FAVORITE part of the day!
We chat about what happened the day before and they share what is on their ‘agenda’ for the day. Yes, even 2nd graders have things on their ‘agenda’ … it’s fun to listen to them grow, share achievements and worries. I don’t want to think about how different it might be … if I didn’t take them to school.
While working in the corporate world just a few years ago, my mom lovingly took care of our kids, so we could work. Each day, before they were school age, my mom made them breakfast!
My mom being raised in the North, turned to a breakfast that would “stick to your bones” as she always said. For me and my brother, as kids, and even my kids today … that means, hot cereal!
We LOVE … Oatmeal, Cream-of-Wheat, CocoWheats and don’t forget Malt-o-Meal!
My kids would remind me if they were reading over my shoulder … “Don’t forget the Dunkie-Toast!”. More about that in a minute!
Along this journey of getting more healthy one Baby Step at a time, I came across an article ten years ago about soaking oatmeal … All I can remember today was it talked about getting the ‘most’ nutrition out of the oatmeal. Being I was not exactly “crunchy” at the time, I thought I was doing the best I could by making Homemade Oatmeal, but was I?
Why do we soak oatmeal before cooking it?
Actually, soaking grains has been done for centuries. It was probably something my grandma did all the time. The only problem, was my grandma did it, but did not share the “how” and “why” … so I’m hoping to bring back the old traditional way of cooking oatmeal …
By soaking grains using an acidic medium (aka: yogurt, whey, apple cider vinegar or lemon juice), it improves the digestibility of the oats. Oats, like all grains, contain phytic acid which can inhibit the proper absorption of minerals like zinc and iron.
We want our body to absorb all the nutrients and minerals that we are trying to feed it, right?!
How do you soak oatmeal?
This is the crazy EASY part! Why, no one told me about this … I have no idea!
I take the saucepan I plan to cook the oatmeal in the next morning and soak the oats in it overnight! Saves dirty dishes, right?!
I pour into the saucepan … 1 cup rolled organic oats (not quick oats), add 2 cups of filtered water and 2 TBSP of an acidic medium (we LOVE yogurt, because it does not leave a taste or flavor after the soaking). Then I cover the saucepan with the lid and let the oats sit overnight. I generally do it after dinner dishes and I’m done till the morning.
I also tend to double the recipe, so I have enough oatmeal for both breakfast and a batch of leftover oatmeal muffins.
We follow a method called our Meal Rhythm, so Monday’s are oatmeal for breakfast and also the day I make Muffins for the week. I have a super simple recipe for Leftover Oatmeal Muffins, I’ll share next.
What is the Basic Soaked Oatmeal Recipe?
Basic Soaked Oatmeal Recipe
1 cup rolled organic oats (not quick oats)
2 cups filtered water
2 TBSP acidic medium (yogurt, whey, apple cider vinegar or lemon juice)
1/2 cup raw milk (or any milk of your choice)
1-2 TBSP butter
dash of cinnamon (add more if you like it!)
pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Method: (1) Pour into a saucepan the ingredients above for soaking. Cover the saucepan with the lid and let sit overnight.
Oats go in the saucepan first …
Then I add water …
Next I add the yogurt …
After you stir in the yogurt, see how milky or cloudy is looks …
Then add a cover and let it sit overnight … while the yogurt does its job!
(2) The next morning, drain the soaked oats and rinse. You don’t have to rinse the oats, but my kids prefer the taste, if I do. It’s about the little things we do, so our kids like what we cook, right?!
We drain the soaking water, but you don’t have to … my kids just like it better.
After rinsing, here is what the oats look like …
(3) Once the oats are rinsed, I put them back in the same saucepan and I add the cooking ingredients: raw milk, butter (you need a fat for your body to bind the nutrients, so you can absorb them), cinnamon, sea salt and vanilla extract.
(4) I put the saucepan on the stove and turn on medium-high until the butter melts and then turn down to low and cook until all milk is absorbed. It usually takes 10-15 minutes. Keep in mind, you might need to stir more often when the temperature is higher, so the oatmeal doesn’t stick.
All cooking ingredients are in the saucepan …
(5) Your Soaked Homemade Oatmeal is done! Less than 5 minutes the night before and on the stove for 10-15 minutes and BAM!
I serve the kids oatmeal with a little more raw milk and usually maple syrup (or brown sugar!), along with a side of dunkie toast!
I prefer my oatmeal with seeds, nuts, dried fruit (dried mango and flaked coconut!) and yogurt (or kefir!)
For anyone trying to transition from the “packages” of oatmeal, I always suggest a huge dose of Grace! Celebrate that you want to cook your own Homemade Oatmeal and worry about “how much” sugar you need to add to get your kids needs to eat it … later! Your biggest step is making oatmeal your kids will eat! It’s about Baby Steps, Right?!
What is Dunkie-Toast?
The trick to getting kids to eat a hot breakfast cereal is maple syrup (or brown sugar!) and Dunkie Toast. Just keeping it real, right?!
You simply take your favorite bread and toast until golden brown, making sure it’s hard enough for kids to hold. It needs to be a little more toasted or dried out than regular toast.
Then slather with butter and cut in long strips about 1 to 1-1/2 inches wide. We let our kids, scoop the oatmeal onto the dunkie toast or better yet, let the dunkie toast be the spoon … yummy!
Who says getting kids to eat hot cereal is a problem?!