As we've begun to ferment foods and properly prepare grains again this past couple of months, every evening I find myself winding down my day by soaking oats, mixing up a batch of sourdough bread, or harvesting some kefir for our smoothies the next day.

There is something really grounding and simplifying about preparing nourishing food in your own kitchen. 

Knowing I can rise bread without commercial yeast and create a nourishing product like kefir, that costs a fraction of what it does in the store, is deeply satisfying. 

Something we are working on this summer is really simplifying our menu and buying a large majority of our food from local farmers.

This looks like only consuming our own bread in the form of sourdough, having kefir smoothies every day to improve our gut health, enjoying lots of pasture-raised eggs, baking whole chickens, cooking big batches of soups from ham hocks and soup bones from local farmers, and using the vegetables from our garden and what's available at the farmers' market. 

Every Sunday we plan to frequent the farmers' market a few miles from our house and we are also going to be getting all of our meat and a few other products from High Plains Food Cooperative--they only sell locally raised meat, much of which is grass-fed and organic. 

Once or twice per week, we enjoy a big batch of overnight soaked oats for breakfast.

By soaking the oats in an acidic medium like kefir or yogurt, you break down the anti-nutrients found in grains that can leach nutrients from your body.

Additionally, the soaking process aids in better digestion and absorption of the nutrients present in the oats.

In addition to sourcing more of your food locally this summer, I encourage you to find your own simple rituals in the evening to wind down your days as a means of stepping away from the TV or phone screens. Research shows that people who spend the last hour doing something like reading, cooking, yoga, etc vs sitting in front of a screen have deeper sleep and more productivity the next day. 

I hope you enjoy the simply and satisfying breakfast as much as we do! 

Soaked Morning Oatmeal
Serves 4

ingredients for soaking oats:
2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup hemp seeds (great source of protein)
3 T kefir or yogurt
water (enough to cover)

ingredients for cooking the next morning:
3 cups milk (we use a low-pasteurized, non-homogenized type...the closest to raw we can get right now; but any milk works)  
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins
2 pinches of salt
3 T grass-fed butter

1. The night before, place oats, hemp seeds, and kefir in medium-sized bowl. Add enough water to cover all of the ingredients and stir well. Place a towel or plastic wrap on top of bowl to keep bugs out and place on top of your refrigerator to soak (do not place in refrigerator). 

2. The next morning, drain and rinse oats. Then add oats plus remaining ingredients to a pot. Bring to a boil and stir frequently until oats are your desired consistency. 

We love to top our oats with peanut butter, blueberries, and raw honey and enjoy with some pasture-raised sausage for extra protein.