If you’ve been following my Instagram page for a while, you probably know how obsessed I am with green smoothies. That being said, I have to say I’m a big proponent of eating according to seasons. So during fall and winter, I try to reduce my smoothie intake and include more warming and hearty dishes like oatmeal and other types of porridge.
I first heard about soaking and fermenting oats in one of our classes in nutrition school and I still remember the sheer joy and fascination I felt as I learned about the amazing benefits of fermentation on gut health. The process of fermentation preserves the nutrients in food and generates beneficial enzymes, K2 and B-vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotics. Fermentation also breaks down the hard-to-digest components of grains, reduces their phytic acid, and makes them easier to digest. I’ve had various clients who found oatmeal quite heavy and bloating, but once they switched to fermented oats all that digestive distress went away.
To set off the fermentation process you can add a bit of a starter medium such as raw apple cider vinegar, kefir, yogurt, or whey to your oats and cover them with warm water over the counter. The speed of fermentation will vary depending on the temperature. Warmer temperatures will activate the beneficial bacteria that break down the sugar and starches in grains and speed up fermentation. Also, the longer you let the oats sit, the more fermented, complex and flavorful they will become. If you don’t mind a hint of tartness, I encourage you to ferment your oats for 2 days, for even higher levels of beneficial bacteria, enzymes, and nutrients.
As the oats start to ferment, the water will get absorbed, leaving you with oats that are soft and rather mushy in texture. You can either cook them or enjoy them raw mixed with almond milk, natural sweetener of choice, nuts, seeds, or other desired toppings.
This time I decided to mix in vegetables and turn them into Carrot Cake Oats!
Have you ever tried fermenting oats before? If not, I hope you give this recipe a shot. If you do, don’t forget to tag me @Nutriholist on Instagram or Facebook, so I could see your creations and hear your thoughts.
Fermented Carrot Cake Oats Recipe
- 1/2 cup gluten-free steel-cut or rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon raw (unfiltered) apple cider vinegar
- 3 dates, pitted
- 1 cup non-dairy milk of choice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon all spice
- 2 tablespoons hemp hearts
- 1/2 cup carrot, grated (reserve some for decoration if desired)
- 2 teaspoons raisins
- Handful of pecans
- Add oats to a bowl the night before, pour warm water on top to cover them by about 1/2-inch and add apple cider vinegar. Place the bowl on the counter overnight
- Throw the oats into the blender along with the rest of ingredients, except for raisins and pecans, and blend to reach your desired consistency
- Top with raisins, pecans, and grated carrots (if desired) and enjoy!