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Most people don’t know that chia seeds are high in phytic acid (and lectins). This recipe provides an easy solution, that reaps a great reward! Overnight oats are currently popular because the work is done the night before and yields a ready-to-go breakfast. But if we’re already letting something sit out overnight, why not SOAK that porridge in the right medium to reduce phytic acid?? SO easy! This overnight chia porridge effortlessly soaks chia seeds in the very same creamy, dairy-free milk (with a little-something-special added) that you’ll enjoy come breakfast-time, for better digestion and nutrition! (Read more here about which seeds need to be soaked and why.) Overnight Chia Porridge is Paleo, GAPS and Keto friendly.
The reason soaked nuts and seeds digest better is the same reason they’re more nutritious after being soaked: The dormant seeds or nuts have been awakened! The defense mechanisms (the phytic acid that protects a plant) convert; the plant sprouts. It was asleep, but now it’s a living thing with more nutrition! You don’t have to see the sprout. Enzymatically the seed or nut has changed. Your body can now break it down easily and utilize its nutrients.
I talk a lot more about soaking seeds here, but in short, we use an acidic or probiotic medium to soak seeds. This pH change lets the seeds know it’s time to begin the germination process. Many modern people soak their oats or chia seeds in plain liquids because they don’t yet know that by adding a small amount of acidic or probiotic liquid they render their food more edible. Many former cultures knew this rule of predigestion, and the same concept is why many native cultures fermented certain foods.
What is Phytic Acid?
What is phytic acid? Phytic acid is a naturally occurring plant compound that interferes with mineral absorption, so it makes our foods less nutritious. Soaking is a first stage of fermentation that reduces phytic acid. Phytic acid reduction is important for digestion, absorption of nutrients and thyroid function. (source)
Chia Seed Nutrition
Once soaked, chia seeds are more the super-food they’re touted to be: high in complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein, minerals and good fats. Chia seeds even contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory plant compounds.
(Chia seeds are not for everyone. If you have leaky gut or autoimmune issues, seeds and nuts may be inflammatory to your body.)
Fiber, Carbs and Keto, Prebiotics and Probiotics
If you just look at the carbs by grams in chia seeds, they seem high, which is fine and great for those who want their energy from complex carbs. But why are chia seeds a safe Keto seed? Chia seeds are actually 86% fiber. (source) Here’s the breakdown for 1 ounce of chia seeds:
- 12.4 carb grams
- 10.7 fiber grams
- 1.7 net carbs
The fiber in chia seeds is mostly insoluble. Chia seeds help move the bowels, cause beneficial (prebiotic) fermentation in the gut and can contribute to the production of ketones. (source) In short, chia seeds can help to create a more diverse and robust gut microbiome.
This Overnight Chia Porridge capitalizes on the prebiotic nature of chia seeds by also adding probiotics. This breakfast or snack ends up being a wonderful source of both, with the potential for improved colon health.
How much to make … and what to add
You can double this recipe, which is what I’ve been doing! That way my always-hungry-family has a ready-to-go and easy snack that’s high in nutrition and low in sweetener. High in protein and complex carbs! I even add Paleo protein powder (here’s the vanilla I buy; here’s the chocolate I buy) or collagen (find it here) to mine! It’s encouraging to make this kind of a treat — everyone likes it, it’s basically a ferment (which equals FUN in my book) and it’s HEALTHY!! 🙂
You can leave the porridge out overnight in jars or in one big ceramic bowl, covered. Once the porridge is soaked, you can simply garnish with berries, or stir in various options I list below.
- 2 cups homemade nut/seed milk see recipe below in Recipe Notes, or coconut milk; or use raw or cultured milk if you prefer/can have dairy (for Keto, use low carb nuts or seeds to make your milk, such as pecans, walnuts or macadamia nuts, or use heavy cream)
- 2/3 cup chia seeds
- 1 Tablespoon non-dairy whey* (see how below); or pickling brine (choose any liquid food source of probiotics with a mild flavor, sauerkraut juice will even work; but nothing spicy or with garlic, obviously)
- optional add-ins up to 2 Tablespoons maple syrup or honey, berries or dates; protein powder, collagen
In medium size ceramic or glass bowl combine 2 cups milk of choice with 2/3 cup chia seeds and whey (or kraut juice). Stir well.
Allow to sit 15 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes in the beginning to keep seeds from sinking and clumping before they expand. If you want individual portions, transfer porridge to ball jars and cover with lids. Otherwise, loosely cover mixing bowl.
Leave in warm location overnight, up to 24 hours.
Flavor to serve: For Paleo, add up to 2 Tablespoons maple syrup or honey, if desired. For GAPS, use honey. For Keto, use stevia or monk fruit sweetener to sweeten. Add any other mix-ins desired (berries, chopped dates [not for Keto], protein powder, collagen powder). NOTE: If you add protein powder, it is often *already sweetened*, so you won't likely need any additional sweetener added to your porridge.
Transfer to fridge, where seeds will continue to reduce in phytic acid (and probiotics will increase). Porridge keeps well 4-5 days.
Homemade nut or seed milk
Combine in a high-powered blender: 3 cups filtered water and 2/3 cup raw hemp seeds (or a soaked/sprouted wet nut or seed of your choice). Optionally, add 1/16 teaspoon powdered stevia (or 5 to 8 drops liquid stevia), to taste. Process on medium-high speed for 50 seconds. Straining is optional. I use Ellie's Nut Milk Bag when I strain. (Find it here.) The milk is now ready to use.
This can be collected from any non-dairy yogurt. Simply place yogurt in cheesecloth or coffee filter-lined colander, over a bowl. Allow to sit out overnight. The liquid that drips into the bowl is whey. It's full of probiotics and will inoculate a ferment or predigest the chia seeds in this recipe. (What's left behind in your colander is dairy-free Greek yogurt or yogurt cheese, thick, creamy and delicious.)