Overnight Oats – the importance of soaking!

As featured in Hong Kong JCI Jayceettes’ Snapshots e-news. I will share with you the benefits and importance of soaking your oats and what combinations and flavours you can create with it!

Say goodbye to hectic mornings and settling for a preservative-packed breakfast bar while running out the door. Overnight oats are the perfect solution to fuel your day properly, without having to get up at the crack of dawn.

The basic premise of these recipes is simple: Mix up the ingredients — namely oats and some sort of liquid — before bed and allow them to soak overnight in the refrigerator. This long soaking time allows the liquid to soften the oats, eliminating the need for any sort of cooking method. In the morning, all you have to do is dig in!


Peanut butter Chocolate Oats

 Ingredients
– 1 ripe banana
– 1 tbsp peanut butter
– 90 grams oats
– 100ml milk
– 1 tsp chia seed
– 1 tbsp flax seed milled
– Handful of almonds (optional)
– Toppings: Cacao Nibs

 

Instructions
In a medium bowl, mash your banana with a fork. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix until well combined. Pour the mixture into two airtight containers and add a handful of cacao nibs and refrigerate overnight. When ready to eat, give the oats a good stir and dig in!


Sweet Coconut Dessert

As for something with an Asian twist, why not try using coconut milk and chia seeds! Not only high in anti-inflammatory omega-3s, this sweet chia pot takes like Coconut Tapioca Dessert (Xi Mi Lu). This make-ahead recipe will save you time while filling you up on fiber, and help you de-bloat.

Ingredients
– 1/4 cup chia seeds
– 1 cup light or full-fat coconut milk
– 1/2 tablespoon honey
– Toppings: Mangos and Coconut Chips or Shredded coconuts

Instructions
Mix chia seeds, coconut milk, and honey together in a small bowl and pour the mixture in an airtight container. Top it with fresh mangos and coconut chips Let it set in refrigerator overnight. Remove it from the fridge, and make sure your pudding looks thick and the chia seeds have gelled.

 

 


Why oatmeal?

Oats contain slow carbohydrates, protein, and essential fatty acids. It’s an excellent prebiotic, meaning oatmeal feeds the good bacteria and helps contain a healthy gut flora.

These good bacteria have been shown to produce chemicals that are good for our hearts and gut linings. Oats also contain beta-glycan, which has been shown to have a wide range of health benefits.

Phytic acid

Oats as well as other grains, legumes, and nuts contain a high amount of phytic acid. In cereal grains, phytic acid is found in the outermost shell.

In our digestive tract, phytic acid binds to minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron, and zinc, which make them indigestible in the body.

It also acts as an inhibitor for important digestive enzymes such as pepsin, amylase, and trypsin. A diet high in phytic acid will therefore weaken a food’s nutritional value.

The solution: soaking

Before I go to bed, I prepare my breakfast for the next day by mixing oats and milk in a small dish or jar. You can also use water, almond milk, or coconut milk instead.

To add more protein, I always put in a handful of almonds, too. I store it at room temperature, but you can also put it in the fridge. Overnight, the oats and almonds swell up and the phytic acid is reduced.

The next morning you can either choose to eat the oatmeal raw or to heat it up. I personally prefer to heat it up a bit; if not, you can simply top with fruit and spices and eat.

Soaking is not a fancy new method but an old tradition for preparing grains—it’s similar to techniques like sprouting and fermenting.

There are so many different combos you can play with to, such as switching up the toppings, using a different type of milk and even adding superfoods in them!

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