Porridge oats can be a warming breakfast option during the winter but it is important to prepare oats properly. Whole-grains contain something called phytic acid which can impede absorption of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. Soaking grains in a slightly acidic medium (i.e. warm water with lemon juice) before cooking, helps to activate an enzyme in the grains called phytase which breaks down the phytic acid. However certain grains, including oats, don’t contain much phytase, and need some extra help to break down the phytic acid. So to prepare oats, take one cup of oats, add warm water, 1 tbs of lemon juice and 2 tbs of rye flakes or buckwheat flakes, and leave to soak at room temperature for 24-48 hours before cooking.