Soaked Oatmeal: How to Quickly Adjust to the Taste + Video

by Sarah Breakfast, Traditional Preparation of Grains, VideosComments: 75

soaked oatmeal

One of the trickiest aspects of implementing the traditional method of soaked oatmeal in order to maximize the nutrition, eliminate antinutrients, and considerably improve digestibility is getting used to the slightly sour taste.

Some of you are even going so far as to rinse the soaked oatmeal after cooking, for example, in an attempt to lessen that slightly sour taste that some find unpleasant. Unfortunately, these efforts are not working very well for those of you that have emailed me about it.

I’ve got a better idea!

In today’s video, I talk to you about the single easy step required to quickly adjust your family to soaked oatmeal.

I also talk to you about the huge benefit to your backside of soaked oatmeal and tell you the story about my 3 kids and their experience eating unsoaked oatmeal versus soaked oatmeal.

If you ever doubted the need for soaked oatmeal before, after hearing this story, you may find that you change your mind!

For those of you who want to take the plunge and prepare your first batch of soaked oatmeal, click here for a video lesson where I show you exactly what to do.

How you cook the oatmeal is the critical step that most people completely miss and which determines how much nourishment and benefit you will actually derive from the experience.

Preparation also determines how long the oatmeal will fill you up.  What good is a bowl of oatmeal if you are hungry again and ready for a donut fix by 10am?

Preparing your oatmeal the traditional way as practiced for centuries by ancestral societies will take a little planning on your part, but you will be greatly rewarded with a much more nourishing, digestible breakfast that will stay with you all the way to lunchtime!

Traditional peoples knew through observation that grains were very hard to digest and caused health problems over time for those who consumed them without careful preparation.

Throwing out those boxed breakfast cereals that are at least twice as expensive per serving and toxic to boot and replacing with a simple, nutritious bowl of soaked oatmeal will also help your food budget considerably with no loss in pleasure or enjoyment particularly on chilly winter mornings!

How to Easily Adjust to the Taste of Soaked Oatmeal

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist


Sources and More Information

Soaked Oatmeal Benefits Without the Soaking?

Why ALL Boxed Breakfast Cereal is Toxic

Picture Credit

Comments (75)

  • Bethany Langford

    Hi Sarah, I’m living in an area where I can’t get lemons, would using lime juice be ok? Thanks! :)

    October 19th, 2015 10:02 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Yes, that would be fine. It’s the acidity you really need :)

      October 21st, 2015 5:39 am Reply
  • Leysan

    Sarah, is discarding water after soaking and rinsing the oats before cooking an option? If not, why?

    September 15th, 2015 3:57 am Reply
  • Laura

    What about neutralizing the acid with some bicarbonate?

    July 16th, 2015 9:35 am Reply
  • Kristen

    What about soaking with almond milk?

    March 30th, 2015 6:02 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Almond milk from the store? This is highly processed and not something that can be used for a traditional cooking purpose.

      March 30th, 2015 8:26 pm Reply
  • Kim

    Do you soak any seeds or nuts along with the oatmeal if you are going to add them?

    December 12th, 2014 12:53 am Reply
  • Tiffany Kenst

    Do I need to rinse the oats after I soak them (like you would for beans)?

    July 19th, 2014 1:44 pm Reply
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  • Lauren

    Are there any ratio’s for liquid vs. flour? I have been scrolling through all of these comments and am not finding a ratio. I have seen the 1c. oats per 2Tbs. of lemon juice/apple cider vinegar. Is that all the liquid needed to ‘soak’ ? I really want to get this right and make things easier on my digestive system. Thanks for the videos!

    February 23rd, 2013 5:36 pm Reply
  • Debi

    Awesome! Thank you for this “easing in” process! We are up to 1T of lemon juice per cup of oatmeal and the kids are loving it! Today was the first time they noticed the lemon and they enjoyed it :) I am just THRILLED! I have let them know what these changes are going to mean for their bodies (3, 5, 7 & 9). I think that is one reason why they are choosing to adjust. We still have a tablespoon/c of oats to go, but we’ll get there :)

    We’ve been adding yummy cinnamon, raw honey and butter. I am SO happy inside knowing what these little changes are going to add up to!

    Thank you for making this a confidence building step for all of us!

    January 21st, 2013 6:19 pm Reply
  • T

    For the soaking of oatmeal, do you recommend this for all oatmeal? For example, sometimes I make Steel Cut Oats and sometimes I make Quaker Old Fashioned. Should I soak both varieties? Thanks!

    January 20th, 2013 11:48 am Reply
  • Adrianne

    Thank you Sarah! I’ve made the plunge to soaked oatmeal (from my hand rolled oats) and right away noticed I was very full and satisfied till lunch. I started with 2 dry cups and its lasted me all week for breakfast. I am also currently sprouting some red wheat, taking GP cod liver oil, and drinking the best quality whole milk I could find in my area (not raw but its a low heat pasteurization and different method of homogenization) which I can actually tolerate. I had been drinking grocery store almond milk because I couldn’t tolerate straight milk anymore. My husband thinks I’ve gone crazy but I’m already enjoying the difference in my life! Thank you.

    September 23rd, 2012 8:52 pm Reply
  • Roma Yorgey

    Thank you for your wonderful website, Sara.
    I just watched the video on soaking oatmeal. We are oatmeal fans,too. After I discovered steel-cut oats at our Mennonite bulk food store, I decided to try making my own. I grind my own flour, so I always have oat grain on hand to use in my bread.
    I simply blend the raw grain in the blender – one cup at a time – for about 10 seconds, which partially cuts the grain, leaving some whole. I add it like that to my whole grain bread.
    For breakfast, I soak the “steel-cut” grain the night before, just as you described with a measure of ground flax seed and the result is delightfully textured. BUT until I watched your video e-mail a few minutes ago, I was appallingly ignorant about adding the acid. Could I use my raw milk kefir?
    Thank you again for all the great information. Roma Y

    September 20th, 2012 10:40 pm Reply
  • Josefina

    My son loves cream of wheat which I cook up like a pudding with milk and butter. Has anyone tried to ferment cream of wheat/farina? I currently have a bowl sitting with grain, water and a spoonful of yogurt, a very thick lump. My room temp is about 25 C, so will be interesting to see what happens to it after a couple of days at least. I’ve tried all filmjölk (store-bought) before, for 24 hrs and nothing really seemed to happen. The filmjölk taste wasn’t to my son’s liking either.

    Also, does anyone know where the idea of using an acidic medium came from? It seems that the traditional recipes I’ve managed to come across either call for the entire liquid to be buttermilk/yogurt (in Indian recipes, as well as Lebanese Kishk), plain water with nothing added, or water and an inoculum added (esp in southeast Asian recipes). But never water mixed with a bit of sour.

    Sarah, I noticed on another post about whole grains causing cavities that you quoted Ramiel on soaking in buttermilk, yogurt etc not being effective. But then there are recipes I mentioned above, kishk, and Indian concoctions that do use this as the only liquid, so assuming these guys ‘knew’ what they were doing, what could be happening with that? I know that for kishk, the mixture has to be kneaded every day, for 10 days. Could that be the difference? Just some thoughts, would be interested in hearing what others have to say about it.

    September 16th, 2012 11:33 am Reply
    • Beth O’Neal

      Amaranth tastes just like Cream of Wheat and is a really nice grain-like seed that you can also soak first overnight.

      August 20th, 2014 8:47 am Reply
  • Jaime

    Where did Oliver go? Sarah- he raised some interesting points, even if they were only partial truths.

    Like the “facts of chemistry and physics”… Since he was so fond of quoting famous scientists, I think it was Eistein who said, “a thousand experiments could never prove me right, a single experiment could prove me wrong..” The “facts” of science are evolving all the time! Chemistry and physics are only a few fields of science where most variables can be isolated and controlled, and what is learnt is often confused with “fact”. Most areas of science understand that the interconnectedness of variables means it is much more difficult to progress past “theories”… certainly the case in biology!

    And as for his idolising raw, in-tact proteins- what happens to said proteins when they are ingested? They are attacked by acids and enzymes etc, which are designed to “degrade” them- they cannot be used in-tact by our bodies! When whole proteins are absorbed by our digestive systems, we have major health issues!

    And Oliver, proteins are not the only nutrients! Starch, you have mentioned, but fat you have done nothing but deride! Cut all fats out of your diet, and tell me how long you will be able to have healthy babies for! Although, this isn’t an experiment that could be conducted in a lab with all variables controlled, perhaps it isn’t worthy of your consideration…

    September 15th, 2012 7:57 pm Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Hi Jaime, folks were emailing me to complain that Oliver was dominating the conversation and they were annoyed. I don’t mind different points of view, but excessive commenting by one person intend on monopolizing the conversation peppered with occasional rudeness will not be tolerated.

      September 15th, 2012 8:27 pm Reply
      • Jaime

        Fair enough. :-)

        September 15th, 2012 8:43 pm Reply
      • Helen T

        Absolutely right! Oliver, get your own blog and stop co-opting others……

        September 16th, 2012 1:10 am Reply
      • Josefina

        I’m sorry, it’s fair to say that I am partly to blame for engaging in his conversations. And I was probably not always polite… I’m a newbie here so wasn’t aware of what level of discussion is welcome/tolerated.

        Love your blog by the way!

        September 16th, 2012 8:42 am Reply
  • Stacy

    My grains seem to be sour only sometimes, usually when the weather is hot. I have access to 100% grass fed vanilla yogurt. Is it okay to soak grains in it, or does it have to be plain yogurt?

    September 15th, 2012 6:59 pm Reply
  • Beth

    Do you soak quinoa or rice before using them? I like to eat quinoa with pear butter or jam in the morning or Rice with cinnamon and stevia. I was just wondering if you would soak these two grains also? (i usually use brown rice so it has the tougher outside)

    September 15th, 2012 4:53 am Reply
  • Dan Shumway

    Your repeated reference to “the slightly sour taste of soaked grain” is quite the understatement. Two tablespoons of agent per cup of grain is EXTREMELY sour.

    September 15th, 2012 1:07 am Reply
  • Shannon Otto via Facebook

    I sometimes rinse the oats after soaking, if they are a little too tangy! Kifer and lemon juice are strong, yogurt gives a nice milk taste.

    September 15th, 2012 12:05 am Reply
  • Joyce

    Sarah, is there any way to soak your oatmeal and cook it in a crockpot overnight at the same time? As you know, it takes a crockpot quite a long time to become hot on the low setting. Is that long enough to soak the oatmeal before it begins to cook?



    September 14th, 2012 7:22 pm Reply
    • Rochel

      I’ve been making oatmeal in the crockpot for a while for my husband…He leaves at 5am and doesn’t have time to make his oatmeal before he leaves for the gym…and I’m a slacker wife and don’t get out of bed before he leaves. I went to the store and bought one of those plug timer things and have it set to turn the crockpot on 1 hour before he needs to leave (different crock pots might take longer/shorter). The crockpot I use is pretty small so it doesn’t take very long to heat up. When I first started doing this I put enough oatmeal for him and for me, he took his, and then left the crockpot on until I got up…which was around 7…cooking it that long was not very good, so I would not suggest just cooking it overnight…the timer has been great for us :)

      September 14th, 2012 10:05 pm Reply
      • Joyce

        HI Rochel,
        thanks for the info; can you please tell me your “recipe”–how much water and how much oats? also, do you set the crockpot on high or low? You are certainly not a “slacker!” everyone needs their sleep. Maybe your husband could just turn off or unplug the crockpot when he’s done and you could reheat the oatmeal if needed…

        thanks a bunch!


        September 17th, 2012 1:41 pm Reply
  • lara

    sorry one other question. With oatmeal do you just stir some butter or cream in after it has come off the stove?

    September 14th, 2012 7:14 pm Reply
  • lara


    GREAT video . My kids dont mind soaked grains except for oatmeal that they taste the souriness much more so I will try this with them. Can I ask you a question re oats. If I grind oats and make your cold cereal with oat flour not spelt do I need to increase the whey/lemon juice I use to soak . I thought I read somewhere that oats were harder to break down the antinutrients in.

    Thanks again

    September 14th, 2012 7:12 pm Reply
  • Josefina

    There is no recognized, definite and single cause for heart disease or diabetes. Why would a Western child be more prone to metabolic diseases than say a Kitavan who eats a diet composed of mainly nutrient-poor but energy dense starch? Because he’s sedentary? Give a kid plenty of good nutrient- and energy dense food and he will be nothing but sedentary. If his teacher forces him to sit down for hours on end, switch schools to a more movement focused one, or homeschool. There are options.

    We started eating grains 2000 years ago? Really, no. I mean, you’re really way off here.

    If a plant can’t be eaten raw, but digests nice and easy when first fermented and then cooked, and you feel a good energy after eating it, I’d say eat it like your ancestors did 11,000 years ago, possibly even 25,000 years ago.

    “So what you are doing essentially is send your kids off to school with not vitamins and proteins — just a mass of starch and fat”

    You mean grass-fed butter doesn’t contain vitamins? Also consider that bowl of oats if it was served with liver pate and a fried egg? You may be right about the nutrients in the bran and germ ‘disappearing’ after having been broken down during fermentation, but that’s irrelevant. Most ancestral cultures did not bother with the germ and bran–they discarded it. They didn’t know it was full of minerals, they only knew it didn’t digest very well, and didn’t taste very good, and didn’t store very well. The human body runs very well on pure starch, and that’s what they were after. Macro nutrients play a significant role in health, not just the little guys.

    I think your criteria for good health are far more eaxcting than mine, cause when I review reports on cultures who subsisted largely on starches, they seem to be in a quite admirable state of health. I’ve seen plenty well-developed beautiful faces on people whose diets include rice, corn, wheat, oats. They have low rates of caries and degenerative disease. They’ve managed to reproduce for generations, and I think that in particular says a lot. Consider how quickly people loose the ability to reproduce on a less than optimal diet. Pottenger’s cats were sterile after 3-4 generations and I think we’re seeing a similar effect in the Western world as we speak.

    The only thing I’ve read about physical activity in hunter and gatherer societies, is that work duration was typically 4-6 hours per day. I stay home all day taking care of my kids and most days I feel like I never get the chance to sit down! People who take care to soak their grains and otherwise prepare traditional foods, can hardly be considered couch potatoes. There’s so much work involved. I think couch potatoes don’t bother with these type of blogs and nutrition advice.

    September 14th, 2012 6:40 pm Reply
    • Jaime

      “Even the person who wrote Nourishing Traditions has never been in a lab…” Really? You are definitely showing your ignorance here. NT was co-written by Mary G. Enig, PhD. The doctorate is in the field of lipid chemistry. I think she may have spent more than her fair share of time in labs…

      Please, Oliver, instead of the overly critical replies on this site, READ “Nourishing Traditions” and “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration”. Perhaps people who follow WAP principles may actually take your comments a bit more seriously.

      September 14th, 2012 10:22 pm Reply
    • Josefina

      It sounds like you would be most happy taking in your meals in a laboratory setting, after each item has been carefully analyzed for nutrient content, and then see whether or not your body was able to absorb said nutrients and in what form.

      I have no desire to go there. I can understand the zealousness, I think there was a time when I felt I had to know all the little details, but I’m a much happier eater not striving for absolute knowledge. It’s such a recent development that we’re even capable of knowing these minutiae. Is it healthy? Are we able digest our food, break it down and absorb when we think about the process so carefully? Do we even have to go outside the borders of our own food cultures, and into a fairly obscure history to find the answers?

      Like I said previously, I’m fine knowing that whatever food I choose to eat has been tested and tried without any major repercussions. If butter was so horrendously artery-clogging, there’d be no Scandinavians today, and no Tibetans either. Etc.

      But in your lab, you might have found that Scandinavians are currently dying from heart disease because it’s been brewing throughout the generations for the last 10,000 years, and is just now making itself known. But when I compare old Swedish farmers with the younger generations, they really do *look* healthier, even though they shouldn’t be because they grew up eating porridge and lots of dairy. They’re well built, they have broad faces, wide nostrils. Strong jaws. These guys are mowing their enormous lawns and carrying heavy stuff into their 80s, 90s. They have a clear mind. If dairy kills you, they wouldn’t be alive, they wouldn’t have been born.

      It really boggles my mind to suggest that the only people qualified to have an opinion about food and nutrition, are those with a fancy degree and extensive lab experience. It’s food, for crying out loud. Everyone eats it, and thus are equally qualified to determine what’s good and what’s not. You eat and you feel how it makes you feel. You’re equipped with a fair amount of intuition to understand and make the connection between what you ate a few hours ago and how you feel now.

      Sure, humans are the only animal eating cooked food, but there are so many other things we’re alone about. It might go hand in hand. But who knows, history can’t be relived, so we can only make educated guesses based on whatever ‘evidence’ we happen to find. Until another piece of evidence comes along to invalidate this or that theory.

      By the way you articulate yourself, in absolutes, you must know better though. So please inform me. I’m well known for being open minded:).

      September 15th, 2012 11:38 am Reply
  • Jeanette

    I have been soaking my steel cut oats, and seriously I don’t know why people make a stink over it. You just do it when making dinner and then cook a huge amount the next morning. I still do get hungry if I eat them soaked (and yes I do eat with a ton of butter/coconut oil) which is why I MUST have it with 2 eggs. I like to reheat mine with coconut milk and cinnamon and then add a banana. It is very very creamy!

    September 14th, 2012 6:38 pm Reply
    • Josefina

      Maybe try rolled oats? I would imagine that steel-cut oats take longer to ferment than rolled grains. Generally, if a grain based food doesn’t stay with you, it means you’re not digesting as much starch as you’re taking in. Or you could be having a low metabolism and you simply need more calories for some time.

      September 14th, 2012 6:43 pm Reply
  • Tennille

    I whole-heartily agree with unsoaked grains not lasting. I need 2 bowls of oatmeal if I eat it unsoaked and the kids are back in the kitchen eating the leftovers an hour later if it is unsoaked.

    When using lemon juice as your acidic medium, can you use organic bottled lemon juice or does it have to be fresh from the lemon?


    September 14th, 2012 2:57 pm Reply
    • teresa

      Of course, fresh lemon is always best but I use the organic bottled (not from concentrate) and it is real quick which is what I need right before bedtime.

      September 14th, 2012 3:50 pm Reply
  • D.

    I have always rinsed off the lemon or whey or whatever soaking medium I was using. Didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to! After all, if the anti-nutrients are soaked out, they must be in that soaking medium liquid, right? So I just rinse and it helps quite a bit.

    September 14th, 2012 1:53 pm Reply
    • Josefina

      The phytates and other antinutrients are degraded, not leached out. So they no longer exist in the form it was originally in. No need to rinse. Consider sourdough bread. The dough isn’t rinsed after fermenting.

      September 14th, 2012 4:47 pm Reply
  • Josefina

    I’ve been reviewing traditional grain recipes and water is often the only medium used. It’s possible that adding an acidic medium speeds up the process, but apparently, it’s not necessary for fermentation to start.

    If you don’t taste any sour flavor, it may be that no fermentation has taken place. It doesn’t always work and at times it takes more than the 12-24 hours called for in Nourishing Traditions. I live in a northern clime and when I’ve soaked flours in buttermilk (no water at all), even after 24 hours, oftentimes nothing has really happened. I found an old traditional Swedish recipe for bread soup that calls for soaking old sour dough bread in water for 5-6 days. Indian recipes for idli and such however, call for only an overnight soak, but their room temp is significantly higher than ours (with added humidity). In Ethiopia, injera can be made in three varying degrees of fermentation, and each bread has a different name. The first is only slightly fermented after a day or so, and the third is very sour having fermented for several days.

    As for adding buckwheat to oats, it’s meant to put some phytate-degrading phytase into it since oats have been heat processed with the phytase destroyed. Buckwheat is a bit of a pain to prepare since the saponins should be rinsed off. However, adding a bit of rye flour to the oats would be easier and I think the phytase level is higher in rye anyways. I think grains without phytase can be soured too, but you wouldn’t know unless you soaked the oats in water only since the added whey and such could be the only thing contributing to a sour taste.

    September 14th, 2012 1:51 pm Reply
    • Sharon

      Just wondering. Would taking enzymes containing phytase with a meal containing non-soaked grains break down the phytates sufficiently?

      September 16th, 2012 12:58 am Reply
  • thehealthyhomeeconomist via Facebook

    @Jim all the videos are categorized under the “Videos” tab at the top of the blog in the header.

    September 14th, 2012 1:43 pm Reply
  • Rene Whitehurst via Facebook

    Great timing! I soaked oatmeal using lemon juice for this morning and my husband asked what the tang was in his oatmeal! I thought lemon sounded good but maybe I should have used whey instead for the first time.

    September 14th, 2012 1:39 pm Reply
  • Lisa Buchanan

    When soaking whole wheat flour for making bread, what exactly do I do? Do I just measure out the needed amount, pour water and say, kefir on it and let it sit over night? Then the next morning do I rinse it before making it into bread? Or just run start making it into bread right away and cut back on the normal amount of liquid I use? Is it better to use half unbleached white flour and half whole wheat? This soaking thing, whole wheat being bad for us, white rice being better than brown bit is new to me and a little frustrating. I feel like my nutritional rug has been jerked out from underneath me. Just trying to figure out the adjustments I need to make. Thank you!

    September 14th, 2012 1:11 pm Reply
    • D.

      I simply do not now, nor did I ever, understand how to “soak” flour.

      And how in the world would you ever rinse off soaked flour? It doesn’t even make sense. I’ve been baking for 40+ years and if I make something with flour I just use flour – I don’t do anything at all to it. My kids grew up on traditional toll house cookies and they hate it when I mess with the recipe. I tried it with whole wheat flour a few times and they howled their heads off. Nope, some things just have to be traditionally made (in the sense of original, not NT type traditional). We don’t follow any WOE (way of eating) 100%. Never have. Sometimes we break tradition and do our own thing, which isn’t all bad. We have too many things to worry about these days and stressing over food isn’t going to help. Just do the best you can.

      September 14th, 2012 1:59 pm Reply
    • Josefina

      Sally Fallon claimed that whole grains were used by traditional people I’m assuming because Price said so in his book. I think Price was biased what with all the dietary trend towards vegetarianism and whole grains being better that was floating around his time even. He eventually abandoned his veggie stance, but I guess he stuck to the whole grain myth and didn’t bother to see if the grains used by his populations had the bran and germ removed. There are some accounts of whole grains being used by traditional people, but more common is the refined form.

      It’s totally understandable that you feel like your nutritional rug has been jerked out from underneath you. I was similarly swayed by the whole grain is better arguments. The first and foremost is that bran contains minerals. Well, the idea that one food should be a complete food, I think is also somewhat ridiculous. If you eat nutrient-dense animal fats with your refined grain, there’s no problem, right? No one is going to live on grains alone. This is the sort of thing that biotechnological experts worry themselves with when trying to come up with a single superfood to feed ‘the masses’ (in Africa mainly) because apparently they don’t deserve a diet that includes more than one food?

      And then there’s much talk about starch being bad for you, but in looking at the many traditional diets we know of, starch has been a major component. Energy is good, it’s what our bodies need to maintain life, right? All those great micronutrients would be useless with the fire to make use of them.

      September 14th, 2012 8:23 pm Reply
    • Nicole

      Check out Peter Rienhart’s book “Whole Grain Breads.” He “ferments” his whole grain breads, not necessarily for nutrition but for taste. The 100% whole wheat bread is started the night before and half of it can be soaked in buttermilk. The other half of the flour is soaked in water/yeast (I still want to play around with that and trying using an acidic medium). The next day I don’t have to add any other flour. It makes the lightest bread.

      September 14th, 2012 10:13 pm Reply
  • Marie

    About soaking flour for bake goods, I would like to share my method and ask you what you think of it. My daughter doesn’t like the taste of soaked flour with yogurt or with whey in her muffins. So, I started soaking the whole grain of spelt in water and apple cider vinegar 8 to 24 hrs. Then I rinsed the grains and dried them for 24 hrs in the dehydrator. After that, I can ground them to make flour and … make muffins or any other goodies. It works great for us. Let me know what you think!

    September 14th, 2012 1:01 pm Reply
    • Josefina

      Traditionally, the entire grain is soaked only to make it soft enough for wet milling, then the mass is fermented further. I don’t think a whole lot of fermentation is taking place when using the entire grain soaked in water.

      The only food I can think of that consists of fermented wheat kernels is bulgur in kishk, but that’s using cracked wheat that first is boiled, then dried in the sun, bran removed and then cracked into fine particles. This can be made into kishk, where the cracked wheat is mixed with yogurt and left to ferment for 10 days, including daily kneadings.
      See this article about ‘ancient bulgur’

      September 14th, 2012 8:14 pm Reply
  • Jim McDonald via Facebook

    thanks Sarah…are all these videos posted on your site? where we can refer back to them later? thanks

    September 14th, 2012 12:57 pm Reply
  • Amy

    Hi Sarah! Love your blog and videos very much. You have taught me a lot! One thing, though, about oatmeal. If I don’t soak it, I never have digestive issues with it, but when I have soaked it, I get a massive tummy ache. Any idea what may be causing this? I have stomach/digestive issues anyway, so try to limit those things which make me nauseous or have pain. [obviously]

    September 14th, 2012 12:56 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      That is certainly a mystery. The only guess I could possibly come up with is that when you eat it unsoaked it passes right through you and is not digested much at all. When you soak it, it becomes much more digestible and when your gut digests it, it brings distress. Perhaps oats are not a good choice for you .. try another breakfast porridge perhaps. I love rice cereal for breakfast also. Try soaking that and see if that works better for you.

      September 15th, 2012 7:35 am Reply
    • Josefina

      Do you have issues with gastritis or ulcers? If that’s the case, sour foods can cause problems. But then other sour foods would do the same thing.

      September 15th, 2012 3:14 pm Reply
  • Elizabeth


    Before running into your blog, we were soaking our oats and beans over night in water only without digestive issues. Since reading about anti nutrients and your blog we attempted to soak our oats, pinto beans and garbazos beans in water with apple cider vinegar and have found that it takes longer to cook our beans and some remain hard. My husband has referred back to our old way of soaking. Any suggestions?

    September 14th, 2012 12:49 pm Reply
    • Helen T

      Years ago, I had the same problem with lentils staying hard – even after soaking them overnight. The tip I got which is PRICELESS: put backing soda in the cooking water. I don’t measure, so you’ll have to experiment how much you need to soften up the beans. But I would guess a half teaspoon. It suds up the water. Sometimes I remove the suds, sometimes I don’t. Someone else might be of more help here. I’m not sure what it does to the nutrients, but it does make the beans/lentils soft!

      September 15th, 2012 7:08 am Reply
      • Helen T

        So the fact that vegetarians in India that purposely food combine lentils and rice for a protein source is meaningless then?

        September 15th, 2012 11:15 am Reply
        • Josefina

          Oliver, I think we need some empirical evidence here. I find myself yawning at all the references to nutrient content and theories. It doesn’t prove anything of itself. It needs some back up. What raw vegan population do you know of with an excellent health profile?

          You still have not explained how people are able to reproduce for generation after generation on horrible, life-denying food.

          September 15th, 2012 11:47 am Reply
        • Helen T

          *This comment was written in response to one of Oliver’s that is no longer displayed.

          September 16th, 2012 6:13 am Reply
  • Mandy

    Sarah, what ratio do you use for soaking flour?

    September 14th, 2012 12:47 pm Reply
  • Saeriu

    At work I keep a big container of oatmeal in my desk for those days I don’t have time to bring my lunch to work. When lunch time comes around, it’s obviously not soaked, But, if I have some yogurt, I like to mix that in after I cook it (with milk, in the microwave–i know, i know). It has a very pleasant flavor, really filling. Even plain yogurt gives it a really sweet-tangy flavor. I definitely need to try this at home.

    September 14th, 2012 12:40 pm Reply
  • teresa

    The lemon taste is yummy! I would suggest starting with that acid med for soaking!

    September 14th, 2012 12:22 pm Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Yes, soaking in lemon juice is my fave too :)

      September 14th, 2012 12:30 pm Reply
  • Carolle Prytula via Facebook

    Never did soak my oatmeal before but I will certainly try this.

    September 14th, 2012 12:11 pm Reply
  • Shelly

    After you soak your oats, do you heat it up on the stove in the morning? I like my oatmeal warm (as do my kids) and most recipes for soaked oats I’ve seen just eat it cold.

    September 14th, 2012 11:53 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Yes, I soak a big pot and then cook it up the next morning nice and hot. After that, I refrigerate leftovers reheating on subsequent mornings.

      There is no need or reason to ever eat it cold!!

      September 14th, 2012 12:30 pm Reply
      • C. Geist

        I actually prefer cold oatmeal, always have since I was a kid. All this talk about a sour taste is though is mind-boggling. I have yet to experience sour oats after soaking them. Am I forgetting to add something to the oats and water? Have my oats been pre-steamed (as mentioned above)? Sarah, I would love your feedback. I feel like you’re one of the few who understands me, another food purist. “Everything popular is wrong.” :-)

        So far I am loving soaked oatmeal and have a recipe to share.

        Blueberry oatmeal:

        Soak oats with frozen blueberries overnight. I combine 1.25 cups oats with ~1/3 cup pesticide-free wild blueberries, and just under 2 cups filtered water.
        In the morning I drain the water (am I losing any nutrients by doing this, by the way??) with a strainer, they go back in my bowl, and I add some Seven Stars whole fat yogurt (so delicious, thanks for the tip), 5-10 drops of stevia, and a little coconut sugar. Voila!
        Give it a try or spin it your way and let me know what you think.

        Mr. Geist

        December 29th, 2013 12:58 pm Reply
  • Steve A

    Don’t you need to add some Buckwheat to the Oatmeal while you are soaking it? I thought this was needed to neutralize the phytates??

    September 14th, 2012 11:43 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      No, you don’t need any buckwheat. If you want to add some fine, but there is no need to overcomplicate this process to achieve excellent results.

      September 14th, 2012 12:29 pm Reply
      • Jaime

        I had read on the WPF website about the buckwheat, as most “oatmeal” (although we use rolled oats in Australia) is “stabilised” (steamed) before it is processed, an this destroys the phytase. I have been able to find organic rolled oats in Australia that aren’t stabilised, and the taste after they have been soaked and cooked is drastically different to soaked, cooked, stabilised oats. My girls refuse to eat the unstabilised oats, and even taste them when I add a small amount to stabilised oats before soaking and cooking.

        Have you experienced this? Would this be the phytase at work? Apparently unstabilised oats go rancid more quickly then stabilised oats. Would this be a rancid taste that I can detect?

        September 14th, 2012 9:57 pm Reply
        • Josefina

          Does it taste ‘off’? You could call the company and ask whether they store the rolled grains for any length of time. My guess is that oats would store better ‘unrolled’, whole. Any grain with the germ retained will spoil quickly.

          I don’t think the phytase is to blame. The more it works, the more sour it gets.

          September 15th, 2012 2:54 pm Reply
          • Jaime

            Hmmm, probably is the phytase to blame then. They don’t taste off to me, just very sour, with a different texture- much less chunky and more creamy. Sally Fallon recommends buying pre-packaged oats etc to minimise the chance of spoilage etc, and every time I have tried unstabilised oats, the results are the same. So although they probably are better for us, there is NO chance I can get my girls to eat them!.

            September 15th, 2012 7:39 pm
          • Josefina

            It sounds like you’re getting a truly fermented oatmeal, which is good, but apparently not your girls’ liking. You could try and soak them for a lesser time and perhaps don’t add any acidic medium, the water alone should suffice. See if you can get them less sour/fermented.

            You could also try and make the fermented oatmeal into something else, like cakes fried with eggs. A casserole etc. And balance the sour flavor with honey or spices.

            September 16th, 2012 8:22 am
  • DaNelle Wolford

    Okay, can I just say I LOVE your blog! And this post is just what I needed, thanks!

    DaNelle recently posted…How to stick to ANY diet plan

    September 14th, 2012 11:04 am Reply
  • Donna

    Hi Sarah, I’ve been rinsing my oatmeal slightly, and never have had any sour flavor. We love it this way, and it is much more filling. But, am I reducing the nutritional value by doing this? Thanks for any help on this!!

    September 14th, 2012 11:03 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Some folks are more sensitive to the slightly sour taste than others … I don’t taste much if any difference either! Some folks really find it sour though. I would not rinse the oats as this is not a traditional step and yes, you would be washing some nutrients down the drain especially if you used yogurt or liquid whey as the soaking medium.

      September 14th, 2012 11:07 am Reply

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