I'm a week into my sugar free month and, apart from probably eating a bit too much fruit as a coping mechanism, plus one mistakenly ordered mocktail over the weekend, I have been doing pretty well all up....considering that in one week, there's been an influx of gourmet chocolates from a returning work colleague, and an afternoon tea to welcome new colleagues that stretched over two days due to excess cake (I'd like to say this was an anomalous week at work, but it's a pretty common scenario).

One of the most successful additions to my daily menu in recent weeks (even before I went sugar free) has been overnight-soaked biodynamic oats for breakfast. Soaked oats are incredibly good for you for a number of reasons, not least of all because the process of soaking rather than cooking means you reduce the levels of phytates (an antinutrient) that are present in the grain (read up more on the benefits of soaking oats here). An additional benefit of using biodynamic oats is that they often aren't steamed (a manufacturing process that helps extend their shelf life), which means they have a much better nutrient profile.

Ok, so the biodynamic label is something I've seen a lot more of since moving back to Australia. Although I'm a bit of a conscious organic foodie type, and have always had a pretty healthy diet (if you ignore the cheese, chocolate and biscuits food groups that have considerably contributed to my waistline over the years), until recently I have to admit I didn't know what biodynamic meant, exactly (activated? organic? unprocessed? All three?)

Google to the rescue!

Or then again maybe not.

The concept of biodynamic systems is more complex than I first realised, and although the techniques employed seem to closely resemble organic and permaculture practices, there are a specific set of licensed standards that are unique to biodynamic agriculture. At face value I couldn't quite understand the difference between permaculture and the biodynamic approach though it appears the tenets of biodynamic farming are a little more rigid and in places these conform to the intuitive ideologies of the founder, Rudolf Steiner, whereas permaculture is a more adaptive approach based on ecological principles. The main crux of the method though, irrespective of some of the magic pixie pseudoscience labels that have been attached, is treating the land as a holistic system, which is more in keeping with the ideals of permaculture vs strict organic farming (which, as far as I can tell, has more to do with how you grow the plants or rear the animals than how you manage the land as an entire system).

Either way, cooked or soaked, biodynamic or steamed, oats are a super healthy way to start your day. Presoaked biodynamic oats with half a banana keep me full all morning and do a great job at curbing my morning snacking!
Oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, vanilla and pumpkin seeds soaked overnight in yoghurt and milk, topped off with half a banana and a blob of nut butter.
For a great basic recipe plus a few tasty variations, head on over to the Kath Eats Real Food blog


  1. It's funny, I've always wondered what biodynamic was too. I had only caught snippets along the way, like planting by the lunar calendar and the like, so thank you and your soaked oats look fantastic. I'm going to give them a shot x

    1. Cybele, they're really delicious. There's also something satisfying about preparing yourself something to wake up to the night before too. I live in the tropics so I soak mine overnight in the fridge, though if you lived somewhere cooler you could leave them sitting on a benchtop instead. The addition of nut butter, cinnamon and a bit of fruit helps offset the need for a sprinkle of sugar. Enjoy!