A Bowl Full of Goodness

by HEAB on February 4, 2011

This morning’s breakfast was very special…


Why is this bowl of oat bran so special you ask? Well, let me me tell you…

1) It was inspired by Lauren. Lauren and I are kindred spirits in that we both like to do weird things with our food. :)

2) My grain of choice this morning was oat bran, my favorite. I love the texture of oat bran and find it so filling. You can read about the differences between rolled oats and oat bran here. Perhaps it will inspire you to try it. My favorite brands are Quaker Oats and Trader Joe’s.

3) I soaked my oat bran (1/2 cup oat bran with 2 cups water) overnight on the countertop. I don’t always remember to soak my grains before preparing them, but I do believe it is a good thing to do. According the Weston A. Price Foundation,

antinutrients in whole grains include enzyme inhibitors which can inhibit digestion and put stress on the pancreas; irritating tannins; complex sugars which the body cannot break down; and gluten and related hard-to-digest proteins which may cause allergies, digestive disorders and even mental illness.

Most of these antinutrients are part of the seed’s system of preservation—they prevent sprouting until the conditions are right. Plants need moisture, warmth, time and slight acidity in order to sprout. Proper preparation of grains is a kind and gentle process that imitates the process that occurs in nature. It involves soaking for a period in warm, acidulated water in the preparation of porridge, or long, slow sour dough fermentation in the making of bread. Such processes neutralize phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. Vitamin content increases, particularly B vitamins. Tannins, complex sugars, gluten and other difficult-to-digest substances are partially broken down into simpler components that are more readily available for absorption.

Animals that nourish themselves primarily on grain and other plant matter have as many as four stomachs. Their intestines are longer, as is the entire digestion transit time. Man, on the other hand, has but one stomach and a much shorter intestine compared to herbivorous animals. These features of his anatomy allow him to pass animal products before they putrefy in the gut but make him less well adapted to a diet high in grains—unless, of course, he prepares them properly. When grains are properly prepared through soaking, sprouting or sour leavening, the friendly bacteria of the microscopic world do some of our digesting for us in a container, just as these same lactobacilli do their work in the first and second stomachs of the herbivores.


4) I added both turmeric and cinnamon. Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and is thought to help prevent cancer. Cinnamon, besides being my favorite spice, helps control blood sugar levels.

5) See the cooked carrot? Carrots provide antioxidant compounds, and are the richest vegetable source of the pro-vitamin A carotenes, which are thought to prevent heart disease. Carrots are also thought to help increase milk production in breastfeeding women, and unfortunately, I’m still dealing with a low milk supply.

6) For a little sweet love, I added a chopped green apple. I don’t normally eat a lot of fruit, but I do love a good warm apple cinnamon combo, especially for breakfast.

7) Last but not least, I stirred in a TBSP of butter. I know all of you (or most of you anyway) love adding nut butter to your oatmeal, but have you tried real butter yet? It’s really amazing and adds so much flavor. Are you scared of butter? Why? Did someone tell you it was bad? Now who would say a silly thing like that? Did you know our bodies need saturated fat, and that the fat-soluble vitamins found in butter and other animal fats will help your body to better absorb the calcium, phosphorus, iron, B vitamins, and the other nutrients that grains provide? Personally, I think I’ll stick with Nina Planck’s advice when it comes to eating my fat:

Aren’t some fats unhealthy? Yes. It’s easy to remember the bad ones: they are the industrial fats recently added to our diet. The unhealthy fats are refined vegetable oils, including corn, safflower, sunflower, and soybean oil, and synthetic trans fats. Industrial vegetable oils are unhealthy because they are too rich in omega-6 fats and because they are typically refined with heat, which makes them rancid and carcinogenic…the moral of the story is simple. If you’re trying to remember which fats are healthy, follow this rule: eat the foods we’ve eaten for thousands of years in their natural form.

Was your breakfast special today?