There really isn’t anything quite as comforting as a hot, creamy porridge for breakfast. In our house, making this with real oats is a rare treat. Most often, we’ll make grain-free versions. Here, I’ll cover the healthiest and yummiest ways to make both.
Although Dr. Price studied traditional peoples such as the Scots-Highlanders whose diets contained large amounts of oats, most of us find that grains such as these should not make up too large a part of our diets. One of the issues with oats are that they are high in phytic acid (an anti-nutrient) and low in phytase (an enzyme which helps to break down phytates). To reduce these phytates, oats need to be properly prepared. This happens most often by soaking, sometimes with an added phytase-rich grain.
The other main issue with oats is that they are processed. Sometimes they are processed with gluten-containing grains, and so although oats themselves are gluten-free, they are contaminated for sensitive individuals. Often, they are processed at high heat, and so denatured and rancid.
Choosing & Soaking Oats
You can read through the articles above for the long story, but here’s the short story on choosing and soaking oats.
Look for oats that are organic and raw or processed at a low temperature. If gluten-sensitive, look for certified gluten-free oats.
Cover the oats with 1-1/2 times as much WARM filtered water.
If desired, add in 1 tsp. of raw apple cider vinegar or lemon juice for every cup of oats.
Add in 4 tsp. of ground buckwheat groats (you can grind them using a dedicated coffee grinder) or buckwheat cereal for every cup of oats. (If you’re not gluten-intolerant, ground rye berries or rolled rye flakes can be used instead.)
Soak overnight, in a warm location. (I choose the oven with light on. You can leave the door ajar if your oven gets too warm that way.)
Drain and rinse the soaked oats, and then add filtered water to cook (an amount equal to, or slightly less than, the amount of oats you used). Cook to desired consistency. (They’ll cook quicker than you’re used to!)
Not interested in soaking your own? You can buy pre-soaked and low-temp dehydrated oats (in lots of flavors!) at JoshEWEa’s Garden. (I keep some of these single-serve cups on hand for breakfast emergencies. )
Make it Interesting
Plain oatmeal, sometimes with a bit of cream (or coconut milk), is delicious. Adding butter or coconut oil adds healthy fat and delicious flavor. All kinds of fresh, frozen or dried fruit go well with oatmeal, and adding chopped crispy nuts or coconut shreds/ flakes add texture. Want some more specific ideas? Try some of these:
Our Family’s Favorite Breakfast Porridge & Crockpot Oatmeal for a Crowd (This post also has a recipe for homemade granola or homemade “quick oats.”)
Coconut milk works well in these recipes as a substitute for dairy milk, if desired.
There are number of ways to make grain-free breakfast porridge. I make it different every time I make it, based on what we have and what I’m feeling like. It all started with a recipe in one of Mark Sisson‘s books. (You might remember me saying that this book about saved my life when we first had to go gluten-free.)
Here’s my very-adapted version of that recipe. Again, use these measurements as approximations. You decide how thick/ runny you’d like it, how sweet, and whether you want additional flavors.
Grain-Free “Oatmeal” (Paleo, WLC)
*3/4 cup mixed crispy nuts (I usually use half cashews, half almonds)
*1/2 – 1 cup coconut milk
*1/2 to 1 tsp. vanilla extract
*Tiny pinch salt
(Also, see Variations below.)
Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend to desired consistency.
(If desired, you can add additional sweetener. Either throw in a couple of soft dates (soak them for a few minutes before adding) or, if not doing WLC, a drizzle of grade B maple syrup or raw honey. When I first began making this, I would add maple syrup for my daughter. I’ve since weaned the amount down and we don’t use any additional sweetener now.)
Serve cold, or heat cereal on the stovetop for a few minutes, stirring constantly. (I prefer it hot, but the Little loves it both ways!)
*Add 1 tsp. (or more) of cinnamon. (Maybe add nutmeg and ginger if you’re in the mood!)
*Substitute almond extract for the vanilla.
*Add in 2 Tbsp. flax seeds or chia seeds.
*Add in a tablespoon or two of melted coconut oil to add some healthy fat.
*Use any of the ideas from the Make it Interesting section above.
High Protein Option
We had been enjoying the above recipe for quite a while when someone at my box introduced me to this recipe. Um… Mind=Blown. It never occurred to me to add EGGS! Let me tell you, I am the mom of an egg-hater and adding eggs to the above recipe is an easy-peasy secret way to get more eggs into her.
When you heat the above cereal in the saucepan, simply add in three or four eggs, slightly beaten. Stir well while heating. That’s it!
Maybe this is a New York thing, but growing up we always had farina. It’s a hot, small grain white breakfast cereal, and you normally add milk and sugar to it. When I moved to Virginia almost twenty years ago, not only could I not find it (probably a good thing), but no one even knew what it was!
Anyway, if you know what it is… here’s a grain-free version (loosely based on this recipe).
Grain-Free Strawberries & Cream “Farina”
*12-14 oz. coconut milk
*5 Tbsp. coconut flour
*Pinch of sea salt
*1 Tbsp. grade B maple syrup
*4-6 drops liquid stevia, or 1/4 tsp. green stevia powder (optional)
*2 Tbsp. coconut oil
*2/3 to 1 cup chopped strawberries
Combine first six ingredients in a saucepan and use an immersion blender to blend thoroughly until smooth. Heat over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Add in coconut oil, lower heat and stir to combine (and melt coconut oil if solid). Add in strawberries, heat for another minute.
Serve garnished with additional strawberries or any desired toppings (see ideas above).
Fun Fact: If you’ve been a reader for a while, you might remember this post where I asked you to vote on which recipe you would like next based on the picture. The Grain-Free “Oatmeal” was picture #7. Now only 10 more recipes to go…
Do you have any interesting variations or toppings for hot breakfast cereals?
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