raw otameal

Why Peanut Butter No Bake Oatmeal Bites Actually Rob Your Energy

Peanut butter no bake energy bites.  Sounds simple and good, but when one of the hottest recipes for moms with young kids gets shared around the internet I start to cringe.  Not because peanut butter no bake energy bites don’t taste good, but because they do the opposite of what people are claiming.

No bake oatmeal recipes get applauded for being energy bites.  But there is one problem.  These energy bites can actually rob the body of energy (and often create the runs to the bathroom).

The recipe gets rave reviews because it is full of full of fiber, protein, iron, B vitamins (the energy vitamins), vitamin E,  magnesium, healthy fats, etc.

But this recipe is actually hard on the digestive system and body.

The problem?  The raw oats.

Raw oats are very hard for the body to digest and often cause the body more problems than good. When oats are raw, this phytic acid actually interferes with our absorption of vitamin B (the energy vitamin).

Oats traditionally were always soaked and/or fermented to remove the phytic acid.

What is phytic acid?  Think of it as the plant’s protector, the outside wall.  Our stomachs are not able to break down this phytic acid.  Anytime our stomachs cannot process something in the form we eat it, our bodies try to bind it with something else that is familiar.  So in an effort to process the raw oatmeal, our body can bind it with the exact nutrients we are trying to absorb like calcium, iron, etc.  Because of this, raw oatmeal can irritate the lining of the gut and lead to mal-absorption of nutrients and vitamin B deficiencies.  Loose nutrients, loose energy.  🙁

Not only does this problem occur with raw oats in no bake oatmeal recipes, but often with good ol’ oatmeal (if you prepare it wrong).  Yes, the very thing you eat for your heath.

The solution?

Soak your oatmeal in water and lemon (or whey) for at least 30 minutes (preferably overnight) to “unlock” the phytic acid and make it digestible.

how to soak raw oatmeal

Not only will your body be able to digest and absorb the nutrients, but the oatmeal will taste better.  🙂


I know this solution doesn’t help the beloved recipe, but it will help the gut and your gut health IS your health. If your gut health is poor, your nutrient absorption is poor.  If your body does not have the nutrients it needs, then when invaders came along be it colds, flu, allergies, cancer, your body cannot fight it properly because it doesn’t have the fuel it needs.

Our bodies are designed to work efficiently when given the necessary nutrients, lifestyle and mindframe (yes your mindframe and emotions impact your digestion, but that is a whole other post…) Different foods provide our bodies with a variety of enzymes, minerals, vitamins, probiotics, etc. and contribute to our acid/alkaline balance.  Start missing key ingredients and it is like your car not having any oil.  It simply cannot function the same.

Think of it this way.  Would your car run on kerosene?  Would it run on mineral oil?  But don’t kerosene and mineral oil come from petroleum?  They do, but they are in different forms. They break down differently, a car responds to them differently.

How something breaks down in your body (verses what it says on the ingredient box for nutrients and such) are often two very different stories.

This is the exact reason why there is so much health information out there that is confusing -most people do not look at the body as a whole and study the digestion process of how things break down.

And that is where I come in.



As a integrative, holistic health coach, my job is to understand how the difference processes in the body are connected.

My job is to understand bio-individuality, the idea that there is no one perfect way of eating for everyone, but the idea that there are key nutrients and minerals that are essential to life.

My job is to help you see how your digestive system literally fuels your body and why it matters, especially as our children are growing.

My job is to make health easy, not overwhelming.

Stick with me and I will help you navigate the world of health and make it simple and easy to follow.

To your health,






About The Author

Summer Brackhan

Mom, sociologist, teacher, author, musician, world traveler, parenting and health coach who believes healthy living incorporates body, mind and soul and that life is not about living in little boxes, but experiencing everything at its fullest.


  • Tenielle

    Reply Reply March 27, 2015

    Great article ! I will share this with all my mom friends. Looking forward to reading more posts

  • Luke Shavak

    Reply Reply March 30, 2015

    Hi Summer. Thanks for enlightening me with this informative post. I had no idea, and would never have thought that raw oats would be so detrimental to your energy. I’ll definitely keep this in mind – although luckily I don’t eat that many raw oats anyway.. Look forward to your future posts. Great stuff! 😉

    • Summer Brackhan

      Reply Reply March 31, 2015

      Hi Luke! Glad to help. 🙂 Once I started diving into nutrition I too have been surprised by what I have learned (and what I used to eat thinking it was ok…)

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field