This is my go-to breakfast on the farm, and it ticks all my boxes – fast, tasty, low-GI, gluten-free, probiotic, satisfying, resistant starch, boosts your nervous system, and superfood-charged. What’s not to like?
170 ml Chuckling Goat Kefir (per person)
1 handful of organic jumbo oats (per person)
50 g fruit of choice (per person)
1 TBSP chia seeds
100% pure stevia to taste.
Optional add ons: pinch of sea salt, ½ tsp natural vanilla extract
The night before, soak the oatmeal and chia seeds in the kefir. When you’re ready to drink in the morning, add the fruit and other optional ingredients, and blend until smooth. Sweeten with 100% pure stevia to taste. Thin with water to desired consistency.
This is a real powerhouse, and works in a variety of ways. Soaking the oats in the kefir overnight means that you’re soaking a whole grain in an acid mixture. This helps break down phytic acid, an antinutrient that interferes with digestive enzymes and inhibits mineral absorption. Cooking is one way to break down phytic acids, but research suggests that soaking with something acidic may be even better at easing digestibility.
You may have read about the benefits of chia. Chia seeds are great, but they need to be soaked before consuming, and this recipe provides a convenient and easy way to do that. Chia have a mucilaginous shell coating, and will absorb up to 12 times their weight in water – and you don’t want them doing that inside your throat! They need to be expanded before you consume, not after. Also, as with all seeds, they have phytic acids in them to prevent the birds eating them. Soaking chia will activate the seed making it more bio-available to your body, helping to prevent blood sugar spikes, decreasing cholesterol and keeping you hydrated longer. Also, hydrated chia slows digestion; it takes longer for your stomach to empty, so you feel full for longer.
So, you’re soaking the oatmeal and the chia in the kefir overnight. You’re waiting until morning to add the fruit, however, as the fructose in the fruit will degrade the probiotics if it sits with them overnight. This is why you never want to buy flavoured kefir – anything that flavours it will kill the good bugs as it sits on the shelf! Keep your kefir pure, and only blend it right before you’re ready to drink it.
Why raw oats, and not cooked? Raw oats are one of the best sources going of resistant starch. Resistant starch is what’s left over when your body has digested everything – and what’s left is what the gut bugs eat! This is one of the reasons why diets that are highly processed are so bad for you – your body burns right through that light-weight stuff like putting tissue paper in a fireplace, and there’s nothing left for your friendly gut bugs to eat. Gut bugs eat resistant starch and happily produce butyrate, which is the holy grail of the immune system. So gut bugs love raw soaked oatmeal!
Oats are one of the best remedies for for stress. In the medical herbal traditional, oats are considered specific for helping with nervous disability and exhaustion, especially when associated with depression. Oats are used as a nerve tonic, both relaxant and stimulatory, to strengthen the entire nervous system. And oats are naturally gluten-free! If you’re actually coeliac, it’s worth paying extra for gluten-free oats; this just means that the oats have been grown in an exclusion zone, where birds can’t drop in any outside grains that might contain gluten. Otherwise, just go for plain old jumbo unprocessed oats – you’ll be fine.
As a side-benefit, oatmeal boosts weight loss. It digests slowly in your system, triggering the release of digestive acids shown to suppress the appetite and speed up calorie burning. Swapping just 5 percent of daily carbohydrates for resistant starch could boost the metabolism by 23 percent.
Oat bran, which is in the whole oats, lowers cholesterol. Just 3 grams of oat fiber called beta-glucan has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels by 5 to 10 percent. You’ll need to eat two servings of regular oatmeal daily to reap the benefits. But just one bowl of overnight oats may be equally, if not more effective.
This meal also has a creamy, pudding-like consistency that makes it pleasant to eat – definitely has the yummm factor! That’s important because if you enjoy something, you’re likely to absorb more nutrients from it. Thai women fed a traditional Thai dish absorbed twice as much iron than a group of Swedish women fed the same meal, which they reported not enjoying. And when the two groups ate traditional Swedish fare, the Swedes absorbed 50 percent more iron than the Thai women who didn’t care for the meal, according to one study. The more enjoyable your oaty experience, the more zinc, copper, magnesium, biotin and B vitamins you’ll absorb.
Here are some weekly variations, so you can mix it up and keep it fresh:
- Monday – Blueberry Surprise (50 g blueberries per person, 1 TBSP coconut oil)
- Tuesday -Bounty Bliss ( 1 TSP coconut oil, 2 TSP raw cacao powder per person )
- Wednesday – Peanut M&M (2 TBSP natural peanut butter, 2 TBSP raw cacao powder per person )
- Thursday – Carrot Cake (½ large carrot, peeled and chunked, ½ tsp cinnamon per person )
- Friday – Pina Colada – (1/2 banana, 1 TSP coconut oil, 50 g pineapple per person)
- Saturday – Strawberry Surprise (50 g fresh strawberries,½ tsp pure vanilla extract per person)
- Sunday – Exotic Holiday – 50 g mango, 50 g pineapple, 1 TBSP coconut oil per person)