The Place Of Oats In A Gluten Free Diet Part 2

Have you been wondering where I’ve been all week ?
(And NO, I didn’t go on a hiatus.)

Monkey coolBelieve it or not, a large portion of the time, since my last entry into this blog has been spent on writing this one (!!!!)  Well, where is it then ?

Do you REALLY want to know what happened ? 
Well, I got SO excited and enthused with this topic that I ended up writing pages and pages ! Way too much to post here.

Then, finally, as I was proof-reading it to Karen I got a big hint that there was something very wrong, ……. when I could see her eyes start to glaze over……….  Does that tell you something ? I had lost her already and I had barely started.

Oh boy !! I’ve got SO much to learn about blogging and being able to condense my thoughts, facts and data down into a usable form (it’s very frustrating sometimes.) …..

 BUT WAIT A MINUTE !! 

Come to think of it, the culmination of this past week’s oat writing experience DOES, in a strange kind of way, come together as an excellent analogy to the subject matter at hand. (I suddenly see the gestalt of it all !! Yes !!  )

What, does my failure at writing an interesting article on oats have to do with celiac disease, gluten intolerance or consuming oats,  ?  …… and why should you be interested ?

Well, broadly speaking, BOTH have to do with the transfer and assimilation of “information”. 

Just as my complex, multi-page article caused Karen’s eyes to glaze over when it was “served up” to her, in the same way do oats and other grains cause our system to “glaze over” in various ways when NOT served up in a form that the body can deal with effectively (and this ability varies with each individual)

What the body wants and needs, are food materials presented in a form that it can easily recognize, break down and redistribute to where the various components are most needed. 

Just like with the subject matter of this very post.

You want useful information (or a good laugh) that you can use or enjoy. You want to feel good, UP and ALIVE. Not get put to sleep. Right ?  That’s exactly what your body wants as well.Oat Grouts

It’s designed and built to THRIVE, and to thrive well. When the amount and quality of nourishment available to it is less than what is required, then it soon reverts to a protective, survival orientation such that the various systems then operate in a compromised manner designed to ensure that the vital “basics” continue to operate as long as possible, hopefully, till circumstances change for the better.

So, expanding on our “blog post” analogy, celiacs, or those with digestive or immune issues who have difficulty with oats or other grains, to varying degrees, have had long, boring, hard to understand “blog posts” served up to them, somewhere along the line.

This has continued for so long, in fact, that those systems in the body, given the job of collecting nutrient “information” from certain foods, has effectively thrown up it’s hands and just said, “Nope !! This is too complex, too “boring”, I do not want to deal with this any more ….. get out of here !!” 

And everyone knows what “NOT fun” of an experience that is !

Reality Check Time If you’ve made it to this point then I must be doing better (because I think Karen began to fade at about the 300 word mark of my discarded multi-page version). Perhaps I have succeeded then, to some degree, in making things more “digestible” for you.

But how does this analogy translate back to the subject of oats and other grains ? How are these food sources best presented to the body in a form that it welcomes, or at least, begins to show more interest in ?

 The answer lies in how these foods are prepared. How they are served up. And the greatest lead we have been given on this is by the thousands of years of experience and trial and error that has been gathered and handed down through our ancestors.

oat flakesHow did they consume their grains ?  What processes did they use to prepare these foods ? Virtually universally, these foods were subjected to either soaking, sprouting, fermentation, or cooking. Often it was a combination of at least two of these.

Here is a summary of this traditional wisdom as applied to oat consumption in a gluten free diet. This method maximizes nutrient availability and absorption and helps minimize any anti-nutrients present. There are many variations of this idea but we’ll just share what we do.

 Preparing Oat Porridge

Quantities:   ¼ cup oat groats = ½ cup flakes = 1 serving.

  1. Find a way to crack, cut or roll your oat groats fresh. This also offers you the opportunity to physically pick through each portion of grain to ensure no gluten grains are present.
  2. For each serve, add ½ cup of warm water “spiked” with 1Tbls fresh whey (this is what we use). Alternatively you could use, whole yoghurt, kefir, lemon juice or cider vinegar.
  3. Stir the soaking mix thoroughly and set in a warm place overnight for 7 – 8 hours. You could go much longer if you like (up to 24 hours or so).  We set ours on the hot water heater during the winter months wrapped up in a woolen sweater.
  4. Next morning, or when you are ready, mix up ½ cup water + ¼ tsp Celtic Sea salt and bring this to a boil.
  5. Add the soaked oats to the boiling water and turn the heat down to a simmer.
  6. Let simmer for about 3 minutes (yes, it cooks very fast) then turn off the heat and set aside for 2 – 5 minutes. Then it is ready to serve..
  7. We usually stir in a good chunk of quality butter, a portion of raw honey or rice syrup, a touch of cinnamon and sprinkle of freshly ground flaxseed meal. Sometimes even a dash of cayenne.

There you have it.  A tasty, nourishing, “optimized” oat porridge to start the day.

Just as this article may have become more palatable than the former, so too have the oats, prepared this way, not only become more palatable but more useful to the body as well.

Shortly I’ll write out a little summary of each of the steps used in this preparation and why it helps to “optimize” the benefits and minimize the negatives of this wonderful grain. This is ALL positive news for those with gluten free concerns.

Maybe I’ll even do a little demo of the oat flaker that we use to make the flakes.

                   You just can NOT beat fresh-rolled oats for great porridge !!

Till then, remember the “glaze over” effect and try not to write long, boring articles.

Warmly, Sven

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One Response to “The Place Of Oats In A Gluten Free Diet Part 2”

  1. GlutenFreeCookingTips.com » Blog Archive » I Am Tired of Oats - What About Raw Buckwheat? Says:

    […] Yep, I’ve gotten tired of eating the plain oat breakfast I wrote about in one of my August’07 posts. (CLICK HERE to refer to it)  […]

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