Some of us are really into soaking grains. Maybe this started because of some difficulties digesting wheat. Maybe it began after reading articles on how grains can be loaded with phytates, which interfere with absorption of nutrients.
For me, it was all the above. Plus, a savvy friend mentioned soaking oatmeal overnight in some yogurt (or lemon or vinegar), before cooking it. I was intrigued, since I’d been on the raw food band-wagon. At that point, I’d been soaking grains overnight, then eating them raw. As I researched the reasons behind adding yogurt (or lemon/vinegar) to the soaking liquid, I discovered numerous articles on how difficult raw grains are to digest. Maybe that explained, in part, why my iron levels were rather low, despite a “healthy” diet.
In the past year, since changing how I prepare grains, I’ve seen my iron levels improve dramatically. There have been other improvements as well; I am sold on the pre-soak method!
Part of the beauty of the following recipe is that it makes a big batch. I don’t go through the whole soak process daily–this batch lasts my husband and I over a week, which makes it worth my while. It can store in the freezer for weeks (or in the refrigerator, for a week or so).
For an easier recipe, the Oatmeal Breakfast Bar Recipe uses standard rolled oats, and doesn’t need to be processed, since the oat flakes are soft enough. And for an alternative to bananas, you might try subbing apples (plus extra cinnamon and nutmeg). That’s delicious too!
Makes 12-16 large bars.
- 1 1/3 c. whole raw buckwheat groats
- 1 1/3 c. quinoa (red or other)
- 1 1/3 c. steel-cut oats
- 1 1/2 c. boiling water
- 1 c. coconut oil
- 1/4 c. chia seeds (soaked in 1/2 c. water)
- 3 medium bananas, lightly mashed (or thin-sliced) (or sub apples)
- 1 1/3 c. diced dates, raisins, or other dried fruits
- 2/3 c. coconut palm sugar
- 1 c. coconut oil
- 2/3 c. macadamias, cashews, or other favorite nut/seed
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 tsp. almond extract (or substitute spices)
- 2 tsp. salt
1. Soak the buckwheat, quinoa, and steel-cut oats for one day. The following day, rinse, drain, and let sit one more day in a large strainer, in dark cupboard. Use: > 1 1/3 c. whole raw buckwheat groats > 1 1/3 c. quinoa (red or other) > 1 1/3 c. steel-cut oats
2. After a day of soaking and a day of sprouting, process about half the mixture in a blender or food processor- this will make the grains into a “batter”. (The other half of the grains can stay whole, to give the bars more texture.) Process only about two cups at a time if using the blender (so the blender isn’t over-taxed). While processing, add the following, so mixture is liquid enough to process better. Use: > 1 1/2 c. boiling water > 1 c. coconut oil
3. Set processed mixture aside; prepare other ingredients. Add chia seeds and water to a mixing bowl, letting the chia seeds absorb the liquid, stirring some if necessary. Use: > 1/4 c. chia seeds > 1/2 c. water
4. After chia seeds have softened, add to that bowl: > 3 medium bananas, lightly mashed (or thin-sliced) > 2/3 c. coconut palm sugar 1 1/3 c. diced dates, raisins, or other dried fruits > 2/3 c. macadamias (or other favorite nut) > 2 tsp. vanilla > 1 tsp. almond extract (or cinnamon and other spices) > 2 tsp. salt
5. Stir until the mixture is blended, then stir in: > The processed grains, plus the extra (that didn’t get processed)
6. Add mixture to an oiled 13″x9″ pan.
7. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.
8. Turn oven off, let finish baking with oven off for 25 more minutes. Serve warm or cold.