Fermented oatmeal, or oatghurt, was my gateway drug into the fermenting world and is still a weekly staple in my home. Below, I'm going to give you guys and gals a few options how to use your oats once they are fermented and full of little bacteria buddies.
So, why ferment?
We are symbionts.
We live in a symbiotic relationship with our microflora --the bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microbes that make up our inner ecosystem. They contribute to our mood, immunity, gene expression, and can be considered our second brain. Nurturing our microbiome is crucial to how we thrive as humans. The genes in our microbiome outnumber the genes in the rest of our body by 100 to 1 and the different species present outnumber our own cells 10 to 1. As the host, we have a responsibility to protect our little critters. Our survival is mutually inclusive. Probiotics found in fermented foods and prebiotics (which feed the bacteria) are the simplest way to maintain our symbiotic kinship.
4 cups steel-cut oats
8 cups filtered water, divided
1 splash apple cider vinegar with 'the mother'
1-2 probiotic capsules, as a starter
Soak the oats in the first 4 cups of filtered water with a splash of apple cider vinegar overnight in a ceramic or glass bowl, covered overnight. In the morning rise and strain the oats until the water runs clean.
Blend the activated oats in a food processor with another 4 cups of filtered water until the oats are broken down. The mixture will be pretty watery, don't worry! It will thicken while it's fermenting. Pour the mixture into a clean ceramic bowl and open your probiotic capsules and pour them in. Mix and cover with a damp cloth. Find a shady spot on your counter for it to ferment in for the next few days. Twice a day, re-dampen the cloth and give the oats a stir with a wooden spoon --don't use metal, as it reacts with the mixture and can hinder the fermentation process. The fermentation process can take 3-5 days depending on how dry or humid the air is in your area and how tangy you want the oats to be. I like a bit of zing to my oatghurt and I live in a very dry climate, so mine is always closer to the 4 day mark.
You can store your tangy oats in an air tight container in the fridge for 7-10 days. Pro tip: save a big tablespoon of the fermented oats and use it as a starter for your next batch!
So, what do you do with the fermented oats now?
Here is what I do:
I split the fermented oats in half. I put 2 cups in one container with 1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean and 1 tsp ground cinnamon and mix it all up. I reserve this mixture to snack on with nuts, seeds, pollens, and raw honey or to blend in my daily superfoods elixir.
The other 2 cups of fermented oats I save to make a pan-fried naan! You'll probably want a recipe for this one.
Fermented Oatmeal Naan
2 cups fermented oatmeal
1 tsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 tbsp arrowroot powder
1/2 tbsp baking soda
1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt
Optional: 1 clove crushed and minced garlic and 1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup melted coconut oil or grass-fed butter or ghee, set aside to brush on once done
Mix all the ingredients, aside from the 1/4 coconut oil, butter, or ghee, in a bowl. Heat a dry pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, take a pancake-sized scoop of fermented oatmeal and fry it up. Flip after the indents have formed and the top side is dry. Fry the second side until it is browned. I usually fry two at a time. Once fried, place the naan on a cooling rack (I have a fancy kitchen, which means I use a plate) and brush one side of the naan with your melted fat of choice.