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How to process whole grains naturally

Whole Grains: Good or Bad?

In reaction to the over-processed, nutrient-deprived grain products that fill our supermarket shelves, many families have returned to using whole grains. Whole grains are what our ancestors used before we reinvented food to what you see today. So shouldn’t this return to the past be great?

Yes, but we are missing a pivotal step.

Whole grains are what our ancestors used, but we have lost the skills that allow us to naturally process the grains so that our bodies properly utilize the nutrients in the grain. Even our ancestors “processed” the grain before eating it. They didn’t use heat, machines, and extruders; instead they used God’s natural fermentation process to help release the nutrients from the grains.

Grains naturally contain phytic acid, a nutrient blocker. This phytic acid keeps the grains safe while going through the intestinal track of animals so that the seeds can travel to new places to be reintroduced to the ground. However, this is bad news for humans. We want to gain nutrients from the grain and this phytic acid blocks the absorption of magnesium, calcium, zinc, and other essential nutrients.

Therefore, we need to soak and ferment our grains (including seeds and beans) to decrease the phytic acid before we consume them. For oatmeal, this can involve taking 2 cups of oats, 4 cups of warm water and 2-4 tablespoons of whey, yogurt, or buttermilk and soaking them for 7 to 24 hours. Other grains can be soaked in other methods to get rid of the phytic acid.

Do you have any questions about soaking, fermenting, or phytic acid?

How to soak oatmeal

Simple Soaked Oatmeal Breakfast Recipe


2 cups of oatmeal, rolled (I use this brand –> Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Rolled Oats)

4 cups filtered water (I filter my water with a –>  Berkey Water Filter)

2-4 tablespoons of whey, yogurt, or buttermilk (with a dairy allergies consider using lemon juice or –> apple cider vinegar)

1/4 teaspoon of sea salt (I like this brand –> Celtic Sea Salt)

Toppings: Kerrygold Butter (or alternate grass-fed butter), Dark Amber Maple Syrup, a sprinkle of sea salt


–> Large 8-cup Pyrex Measuring Bowl

–> Top Choice: All Clad Stainless Steel Pan (will last forever) or Second Choice: Kitchen Aid Stainless Steel Pan (will last close to forever)

Avoid: Aluminum and non-stick cookware.


  1. A night before or two nights before, combine oatmeal, water, and whey, yogurt, or buttermilk into the large glass bowl.
  2. When you are ready to cook your oats, pour all of the mixture into your stainless steel pan.
  3. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
  4. Bring to a boil and reduce to a low simmer.
  5. Cook for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Serve into bowls and top with grass-fed butter and an unprocessed sweetener such as Dark Amber Maple Syrup, raw honey, or dehydrated coconut sugar.
  7. Add a sprinkle of sea salt for flavor!

Note: For steel cut oats, add 2 cups of water before cooking!

Happy cooking!

Brooke Shambley

THE Boholistic Mom

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I am an Amazon Affiliate and the links included in this post will take you to Amazon.  As an affiliate, I get paid when my readers shop from those links.  Feel free to shop from the links if you’d like to support my blog, but feel free to shop elsewhere especially locally!

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