Q: "Is it important to soak rolled oats before cooking porridge? If so, for how long? Are there any health benefits to soaking them before cooking?"
Trina, via email
A: Accredited Practising Dietitian Zoe Wilson responds:
“Some people suggest soaking oats before cooking them to break down the phytic acid they contain. Phytic acid is present in the hull of most grains and can bind with certain minerals – such as calcium, iron, copper and zinc – and block their absorption. Soaking grains for 12–24 hours will break down much of the phytic acid and increase the amount of minerals that can be absorbed from the grain.
However, the processes oats undergo to become rolled or instant oats reduces their phytic acid content, so soaking them isn’t necessary.”