Lacto Fermented Oatmeal

Sounds weird, doesn’t it? Well, it did to me when research about fermented oatmeal lead me to try something different with our breakfast cereal.


Two years ago when we found out Frank needed a double bypass, research about natural ways to lower cholesterol and blood pressure went into high gear. The soluble fiber found in oatmeal, as well as apples, carrots, flax and a number of other foods, is thought to help lower the LDL, or bad cholesterol, in the bloodstream. The initial blood work indicated Frank’s cholesterol was within the recommended overall level, but his LDL was 142. The doctors recommended 100 or below, so I went to work on our diet.

Initially, we ate regular oatmeal with a little goat milk, sea salt and water, brought to a boil, removed from the heat, covered and let sit for about 5-10 minutes for absorption. A small pat of butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a few berries, finished off the bowl when served. We also cut out bacon from our breakfast at this time. For a number of years we had a strip of bacon, two eggs and berries for breakfast as part of our low carbohydrate diet.

The change in diet lowered Frank’s LDL from 142 to 103 in about three months. The doctor was very impressed, but still wanted him to take statins, which he did not, and still doesn’t, take. The side effects of many of the medications they wanted Frank to take for the rest of his life were many and wide ranging. Now, two years later, his LDL is 98 with diet alone. Of course, now the doctors recommend it be 70 or lower because of his bypass. The numbers are ever changing to benefit the medical industry, in our opinion.

Jar on the left is 48 hours old, jar on the right is 24 hours old.


All of this leads us to the research on fermented oatmeal. The addition of a carbohydrate heavy item to our breakfast was impacting the scale and waistline a little so I wondered if we could still reap the benefits of oatmeal, yet decrease the carb load through fermenting like we do wheat for our sourdough bread. That lead me to this site, which in turn, lead me this one that incorporated yogurt into the regimen.


Now we don’t strictly follow either of the routines depicted at these sites, but over time, this is what we have ended up doing.

In a quart jar I add:
About 1 cup of filtered water
2/3 cup regular oats
Approximately 1-2 tbsp. kefir

This jar will sit on the counter for 48 hours, swished around a couple of times a day, before we have it for breakfast. There is no cooking required by this time, the oats have softened, so it takes little time too heat. After I pour it in the saucepan, a good sprinkle of sea salt is added. It will thicken and bubble when it reaches a certain temperature, then the burner is turned off, the pan is covered and allowed to sit for a few minutes while the eggs are cooking.

This old broken spatula came from my Mom’s house when she went in the nursing home.

We serve the oatmeal with a small amount of butter, sprinkle of cinnamon and a few berries. No sweetener. It’s different. The kefir adds a different flavor which takes a little getting used to, but it’s good. By the way, I didn’t tell you the kefir I use has been strained and flavored with juice from the berries, cinnamon and honey, allowed to continue fermenting on the counter for a few hours before refrigeration to consume some of the carbs in the fruit juice and honey. I don’t really measure it out anymore either, I just pour some into the oatmeal jar.

Oat husks


 

I have discovered after everything is put in the jar and stirred up, the few oat husks there are float to the top of the liquid, so I fish them out with a spoon. A side benefit of fermenting.


Another benefit to fermenting the oats is adding another form of probiotics to our diet. Since Frank and I are retired, we don’t go much. This prevents exposure to the many germs, viruses and illnesses out in the general population, but we have also discovered that we don’t get sick near as often as many people we know. There is no way to tell how much may be lack of exposure and how much is diet and life style, it’s probably a combination of both.

Please share your experiences and ideas. There are medications Frank & I do take that we need, and are grateful for, but it’s our choice what we put in our bodies, as it is for you.


Until next time – Fern

P.S. Please enjoy this beautiful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by singer-songwriter Anthony Hamilton.

24 thoughts on “Lacto Fermented Oatmeal

  1. I hope you enjoy the new kind of oatmeal, Fiona, I ran across it somewhat by accident while trying to figure out how to reduce the carb count.Kefir is great for your immune system. I hope you get more up and running soon. Homegrown food makes a huge difference as well, the more the merrier as far as health and well-being goes.Good to hear from you. Fern

  2. Fantastic information, Ralph gets oatmeal with fruit and flaxseed in it, our dried blueberries or applesauce. Cinnamon as well. He is tired of the sameness of it right now. I never thought to ferment it although we ferment a lot of our food. I am going to get new kefir grains next week as I killed my last batch somehow. We have been very healthy until Ralph had a physical. The waiting room was full of sick people and we brought home a bug. We had not been sick for 3 years. (Excepting stitches for Ralph) Raising and cooking your own food makes a huge difference. Thank you for this idea.

  3. I understand the 'twangy' taste, SJ. Ours tastes that way too, especially with the kefir, but it is good. Different from regular oatmeal for sure, but good. The bread idea is a good one. I have concocted a recipe that uses oatmeal, canned squash, with the starter and wheat flour to make a different kind of bread. We don't have it very often, though. Good ideas, thank you, Fern

  4. I hadn't thought of whey, Leigh, interesting idea. We usually feed the whey from cheese making to the chickens, cats and dog, but the dog doesn't like it much. Thanks for the idea, Fern

  5. Interesting! I soak our oatmeal with either a bit of whey or kefir, but only overnight (a la Nourishing Traditions). I am definitely going to have to try this. And I like that you do the second ferment with your kefir. I need to do more of that too.

  6. No mention on the tv show about what he did with the oat solids. I'd probably use them in muffins or bread.I had the oats this morning – about 12 hours 'incubating'. They were a bit twangy in taste but I like it. Another two batches on the kitchen counter in progress. I'm making mine in 1/2 pint canning jars so that each jar is a serving. Thanks again.SJ in Vancouver BC

  7. Another idea I had never heard of, thanks, SJ. Did Alton say what he did with the oats? I wonder if the other nutrients, like protein, calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus are also water soluble and come out in the drink? Now you have me thinking. I don't plan on trying the drink, but it would be interesting to know. Just in case.Hope you like your 'odd' oats. Let us know how they turn out. Fern

  8. One of the links at the top of the article talks about using yogurt, Spinnersaw. I just use kefir because it is what we have instead of yogurt. I have never heard of oat yogurt, but if it has live cultures, give it a try and see how it does. Interesting. I just love learning new things, especially about things I've never heard of. Thanks! Fern

  9. Hello, Pete, nice to visit again. Everything you say I agree with, I comment often how most of our disciplines have deteriorated sharply – government, education, churches and on and on. The medical industry is just one of them. Without the medical advances, I probably would not be alive right now, so for that I am thankful. My heart doctor, the one that did the surgery, refused to keep seeing me when I told him I would not take the statins or beta-blockers. Let me share a funny with you. I like coffee, but recently it's been bothering my stomach. I have no doubt that if I had gone to my doctor would have put me on Protonix again. Here is the funny part. I was reading an article about a man and his coffee was giving him trouble, so he started adding a little cream. His stomach problems went away. Even though I prefer coffee black, it now has a little fresh goat milk in it daily. The miracle is, I have no more stomach pain. Let's see here, stomach pill or milk?? That 's one of the problems with our medical industry.Thank you for sharing, Frank Feral

  10. I'm all set to get 'your' oats started tonight. Thanks for the inspiration. Also, I was watching Good Eats with Alton Brown on the Cooking Network last night. The show was about oatmeal. I came in when he was making oatmeal cookies but had made his own oatmeal flour using his food processor. Otherwise the cookie recipe could have come out of the Betty Crocker cookbook. He also made a drink combining a gallon of warm water, some quantity of oats, lime peel and some spices. Let that ferment for a few hours, strain and drink the liquid over ice with a little more lime juice. His claim was that a lot of the nutrients that help lower cholesterol are water soluble and available in this drink. You get the benefits but no carbs.SJ in Vancouver BC

  11. We have never had kefir. When I was at the grocery store yesterday I saw Nancy's yogurt made from oats instead of milk. I wonder if that would work as a ferment too?

  12. \”The numbers are ever changing to benefit the medical industry, in our opinion.\”I share that opinion…My doc wanted me to take statins for my cholesterol. I told him I didn't want to, partly because my sister-in-law died from statin-induced liver failure. He told me my cholesterol was low enough that diet and exercise would do the trick. He also told me this; Of all the people who take statins, only half actually see lowered cholesterol. Of that 50%, half will die of a heart attack anyway. So… I'm supposed to take something that could kill me, with only a 25% chance that it'll do me any good… Uhhh… NO. On second thought, HELL NO… As you folks said, this was MY PERSONAL CHOICE.Once the doc figured I wasn't a pill-popper, he changed his course and has suggested holistic remedies first ever since. …And yes, he's a prepper…

  13. Oh my goodness You are BACKKKKK!!! Yay!! Now that I know…I will be a regular. I had you guys on the brain the other day wondering what happened to you both! hugs and much love Mary

  14. It is milk kefir, Judy, made with our goat milk. Good question. This is the only type of kefir we have ever had. I've seen it in the grocery store and read about it, but we have never tried it.Thanks, Fern

  15. Yes, BJ, it is Oneida. My grandmother started my silverware collection a piece at a time for Christmas and birthdays when I was in grade school. I got to pick out the pattern before she started. The last pieces we bought were from Betty Crocker using their coupons. It's been a long time, but I think Betty Crocker is still in business. Good observation!Fern

  16. SJ, look at the response to BJ. It comes in a six gallon buckets from Sam's Club via internet. I keep them stored in my non-temperature controlled garage, and it never freezes in there. I buy 10 buckets at a whack, and we have never had a bug problem with this particular product.Thank you for your question. Frank

  17. I'm not sure why the link doesn't work sometimes. One time I click on it and it goes to Fox News and the story, and sometimes I gets Access denied. I do not know why. Sorry about that.Fern

  18. Hi, BJ, lots of issues.The oatmeal. We buy the oatmeal from Sam's Club and it is delivered via FedEx to our house. These buckets are pretty much air tight and have an oxygen absorber in them. Once we open the bucket, we take out enough to use then keep the bucket in the house in the storeroom. We have never had an issue with bugs. When we moved here 11 years back, we had a weevil issue, but I don't remember with what. The tornado shelter? Yep, that's one. Everybody in Oklahoma and the surrounding states are in tornado alley. In the 11 years we have been here we have gone to the shelter twice for tornado warnings. If we know we're going to have nasty weather, we go out and sweep and do a little dusting, takes about 5 minutes. Other folks I know spend lots of time in their shelter, it's one of those choice things.Okay, cholesterol medication. This is my choice and my choice only. I would rather control my cholesterol with diet, which I do. Over many years I have tried the medication a time or two, along with many other medications, and I just don't care for the side effects. I have a cousin that has never had a heart issue, and he's about my age, but his father did. He takes a handful of different medications as a preventative, that way he can eat anything he wants anytime he wants and to him, he leads the good life. Well, that's his choice. He made his, I have made mine. Life is filled with choices. Glazed donuts or plain donuts, decision, decisions. Or, another possibility, NO donuts.Take care, Frank

  19. Off topic but an observation while looking at your pics. The knife and spoon by the jars – I believe it is stainless by Oneida, pattern Deluxe? I have this same stainless I bought about 50 years ago. Still my favorite. The newer stainless is much heavier and I don't like it nearly as well. BJ

  20. Loved learning about fermenting the oatmeal. I'll have to give that at try. I too had bad cholesterol readings about 7 years ago – the good cholesterol was low and the bad was high. I too refused to take the statins. I'm still a bit high but now in the normal range. I also changed my diet and for awhile swam three times a week. The biggest change in diet for me was not eating out. I also try to have oatmeal 3X a week.I too am curious how you handle the large bucket of oats to prevent bugs. I'm like the reader above and put my oats in the freezer for a few days. But I'm buying them in 5# bags, not buckets.Cheers, SJ in Vancouver BC

  21. Fern, interesting article. I've tried the cholesterol meds. They did not work for me and caused a great deal of pain within the first 2 weeks of starting them. Same results for each of 4 different cholesterol meds. Diet works better for me and I believe for most people if they would stick to a diet. I expressed this to my internist and he agreed. He said the problem was that people wouldn't stick to a diet. Therefore, they prescribe the meds. He added that about 50% of the people will take the cholesterol meds and the other 50% won't. By the way, this doctor is a very good friend of ours and is pretty frank with us.I noticed the big bucket of oats. How do you keep the bugs away while using this quantity? I buy (from the grocery store) the large boxes and store them in the freezer for the first 3 or 4 days (longer if I have the space) to kill any larvae that might be in them. Do you reseal the bucket after each use and add an oxygen absorber or with a pump remove the air?Now that is a working man's/woman's breakfast with the oatmeal and fruit and the eggs! Beautiful to look at too!Also, is that your tornado shelter in the foreground of your header picture? I know Oklahoma is known as tornado alley – hopefully not in your area.Tell Frank this weekend was especially busy for me so haven't had the time to look at the videos he recommended. Will do when time permits and get back to him.I appreciate all the time both of you spend on these articles that you post. I enjoy and benefit from each one. BJ in GA

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