Soaked Oatmeal (w/Gluten-Free Option)

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Soaked Oatmeal

One of our favorite breakfasts (especially on cold mornings) is homemade soaked oatmeal! The boys always get excited when they see me get out the rolled oats and soaking jar.

If you’re not familiar with the traditional practice of “soaking,” please check out the note “How to Soak Grains for Optimal Nutrition.” Soaked oatmeal is truly a delicious and nutritious method for preparing this classic breakfast favorite!

P.S. This is just one delicious way we like to spice up our morning oatmeal. For more delicious ideas, check out my special recipe section devoted to Wholesome Oatmeal Recipes and Breakfast Porridges. Enjoy!

Soaked Oatmeal Close Up

How to Soak Oats for Delicious, Nutritious Oatmeal:

Step One: Soak your oats overnight, following the recipe instructions below. If you’re new to “soaking,” please check out the note “How to Soak Grains for Optimal Nutrition.”


If you’re GF and can tolerate oats, I recommend using certified GF rolled oats and combining them with slightly ground buckwheat groats for your soak, as described in the recipe notes below.


Step Two: Tired of sour-tasting soaked oatmeal? Gently rinsing soaked oats not only helps them to be less “pasty” in texture, but also helps to reduce any sour flavor that may develop as a result of the soaking process. In fact, by using apple cider vinegar instead of a dairy acid medium (such as kefir or yogurt) and by making sure to gently rinse your soaked oats, your family will be able to enjoy completely “sour-free” soaked oatmeal!

Step Three: Cook the oats to your desired consistency and ENJOY – so simple and SO delicious!

P.S. Be sure to check out my little secret on How to Add a Boost of Healthy Protein & Nutrients to Your Favorite Oatmeal!

Soaked Oatmeal (Gluten-Free Option)

Yield: 2 servings

Soaked Oatmeal (Gluten-Free Option)

Ingredients

    Step One: Soaking
  • 1 cup organic GF Rolled Oats (not quick cook)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts (optional)
  • 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar (or fresh-squeezed lemon juice)
  • 1 tbsp rolled rye flakes (if *GF, see note below)
  • Pinch of Celtic sea salt
  • Step Two: Cooking
  • 1 1/4 cup plain almond milk (or raw whole milk)
  • 1/3 cup your favorite dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, cherries, blueberries or a combo)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pure organic maple syrup to taste (about 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp)

Instructions

    Step One: Soaking Instructions
  1. Place above ingredients into a ceramic (or glass) mixing bowl or jar. Add enough warm filtered water to completely cover the mixture by 1-2 inches. Mix well to combine.
  2. Cover the bowl and place it in a warm area of your kitchen for 12-24 hours.
  3. Step Two: Cooking Instructions
  4. Once soaking time is completed, drain oat mixture in a fine-mesh strainer and gently rinse.
  5. Add drained oat mixture to a small saucepan. Add milk and bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat. Immediately turn down heat and add dried fruit and cinnamon. Stir frequently and continue to simmer another couple of minutes or so, until oatmeal is cooked to desired consistency.
  6. Sweeten with maple syrup to taste. Ladle into individual serving bowls and top with a splash of milk.

Notes

* For my GF Friends: If you’re gluten-free and can tolerate oats, I recommend using certified GF Rolled Oats and combining them with ground buckwheat groats (not rye) for your soak. Buckwheat is actually a fruit, not a grain, and is completely gluten-free. It's often sold as buckwheat "cereal" (because it's slightly ground).

Substitutions: If you do not have access to rolled rye flakes, you can always use rye, whole spelt or whole wheat flour for your soak.

Alternate Serving Option: Follow above recipe, except do not include dried fruit, cinnamon and maple syrup. Instead, sweeten to taste using raw honey. Then, ladle cooked oatmeal into a bowl and top with a dollop of plain whole milk yogurt and fresh seasonal berries.

http://thenourishinghome.com/2012/04/soaked-oatmeal-wgluten-free-option/

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Comments

  1. M says

    Can you please tell me why the buckwheat is needed for the gluten free version. I don’t have any and want to know if I can just use oats?

    • Kelly says

      Hi, Marianna. Buckwheat is high in phytase which is a natural enzyme that helps break down the phytic acid in oats. Rye is also high in phytase, but for those who are GF, rye is not an option. That’s why I recommend buckwheat to accomplish this task. To read about why you want to reduce the phytic acid in oats, please check out this post, as I think this will help better answer your question: http://thenourishinghome.com/2012/03/how-to-soak-grains-for-optimal-nutrition/
      Blessings, Kelly :)

  2. Ranita says

    We’ve made up the whole months meal plan with your recipes and cant thank you enough! My picky eaters are devouring it all. Last night it was Pineapple Chicken and Salsa, soaked beans and steamed veggies(with some garlic grapeseed oil YUM!) This morning the oatmeal was wonderful! I used coconut milk as its what I had on hand and fresh fruit and honey. I’m thinking they’re ready to start school with a happy belly as is the teacher. It truly does this mommas heart good to see my kids eating up nutrient rich real foods. Thank you so much for being faithful in serving the King by helping others through your blog.

    • Kelly says

      It’s notes like yours, Ranita, that really touch my heart and bless me beyond words. To know that the Lord is using me to help others like you and your precious family is such a tremendous honor! Thank you so much for taking the time to be so kind and encouraging! Lots of blessings to you and your family, Kelly :)

  3. carmen says

    I have been reading quite a bit about soaking oats and I have a question about the amount of acid you use. One other websites its suggested to use 2 tablespoons of acid per cup of oats, meaning 1 tablespoon per 1/2 cup. I’ve tried using 1 tablespoon of lemon juice/ACV and it’s too sour to consume! I am going to try your suggestion of one teaspoon but is that adequate enough to do the job when everywhere else I read says a tablespoon? Thanks!

    • Kelly says

      Hi, Carmen. Thanks for your great question. My NLN friend Amanda at Rebuild from Depression does a lot of research and she recommends bypassing the acid medium altogether if you’re using a phytase-rich booster (such as rye or buckwheat) with the oats. However, I do like to use just a touch of acid, thus my recipe. I have found that a full tablespoon of vinegar is just to soured tasting for us, but 1 tsp is barely noticeable at all, especially if you rinse the soaked oats a bit before cooking them. Of course, if you’re concerned about having a higher acid content, you could try 2 tsp of lemon juice (which is just one tsp shy of a full tbsp) and see if that works for you. Here’s Amanda’s article for your reference:
      http://www.rebuild-from-depression.com/blog/2010/02/oatmeal_phytic_acid.html
      Lots of blessings, Kelly :)

    • Kelly says

      Hi, Valerie. There’s conflicting info on whether steel cut are healthier than traditional rolled oats. They are definitely healthier than the quick-cook rolled oats. The key is to be sure to soak properly. As described in this recipe, you need both an acid medium (I prefer vinegar or lemon juice rather than cultured dairy) and you need a good source of phytaste (my recommendation is rye or buckwheat). I would also recommend soaking steel cut oats longer than rolled oats, because they are thicker and harder. So 24 hours would be a minimum for me. Hope you enjoy this recipe! Lots of blessings, Kelly :)

  4. Jessica says

    I’m curious what your thoughts are on cooking the oats in the soaking water. I was eating, and soaking, oats a lot awhile back and then stopped for some reason. But I remember reading that there could be health benefits to both sides of the argument. I personally have been cooking and eating my oats in the soaking water, I enjoy the taste of ACV so that was never an issue for me. What do you think?

    • Kelly says

      Hi, Jessica! You certainly can cook your oats in the soaking water. I choose not to because I like to further remove any “soured” residual taste by rinsing my soaked oats. But there is not a significant difference as far as phytic acid removal in using the soaking water, versus rinsing them first before cooking. The key with oats, as you probably already know, is that you have to ensure you add phytase to the soak in the form of rye (a high phytase grain) or buckwheat (a high phytase GF option). If you don’t add some form of phytase, then soaking oats is pretty much useless since oats in-and-of-themselves contain relatively no phytase, so simply soaking them in water with a acid medium is not sufficient to reduce phytic acid. Lots of blessings, Kelly :)

      • says

        Sally Fallon in her book NOURISHING TRADITIONS talks about the acid soak doing something quite special. I can’t find her statement but it seems that the soak water would have a lot of phytic acid which is bad. Seems the soak water should be thrown out and not eaten.

        • Kelly says

          Hi, Brian! I sent you an email as well to further clarify your question? As noted in the recipe, I opt to drain and rinse the oats after soaking to help reduce the soured flavor that can occur. The most important point in soaking oats is that added phytase (in the form of rye, spelt, or buckwheat, etc) is used since oats in-and-of-themselves do not contain sufficient amounts of phytase to neutralize their naturally high levels of phytic acid. So to your point, some believe tossing the soaking water out is beneficial, while others say this is unnecessary step. Regardless, I find it helpful to reduce the soured flavor. Hope this helps! Blessings, Kelly

  5. Nili says

    When soaking oats, is the phytic acid “released” into the soaking water, or does the soaking process simply neutralize it? Also, if we discard the soaking water, are we also discarding beneficial nutrients released from the oats themselves? I’m trying to decide whether to discard the water (and sour taste) or keep it for the nutrients from the oats- and I can’t find an answer to this question anywhere. Thanks!

    • Kelly says

      Hi, Nill. Check out this phytic acid paper on the Weston A Price Foundation’s website. It’s got a very thorough overview on soaking. Many do not discard the soaking liquid because you are correct that phytic acid is neutralized by the phytase during a soak. So you can either eliminate the soaking water or not. However most real foodies do remove the soaking water and rinse to improve taste and texture – I’ve included an article from Jenny at Nourished Kitchen that covers this as well – she works closely with WAPF and strictly follows their guidelines. So you may find her site helpful to you as well. Lots of blessings, Kelly
      • WAPF Phytic Acid Paper: http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/living-with-phytic-acid
      • Nourished Kitchen Soaking Q&A: http://nourishedkitchen.com/soaking-grains-nuts-legumes/

      • Nili says

        Thanks Kelly. If I discard the water and rinse, am I also rinsing our beneficial nutrients released from the oats?

        • Kelly says

          Hi, Nill. Anytime soaking water is discarded you will lose some nutrients, but you also lose some with cooking as well. I look at it this way … If my kids will eat soaked oats with the soaking water removed so it tastes good, they will benefit from the many nutrients that remain and these nutrients will be bioavailable due to the fact the phytic acid has been neutralized (so the nutrients they do get will not be inhibited from being absorbed). If I do not discard the soaking water, they will not eat the oatmeal, therefore, they reap no benefits at all from oats, particularly their important source of soluble fiber (not impacted by the soaking water). If you don’t mind the soured flavor, then you may want to just cook your oats right in the soaking liquid, it really is a personal choice as to which is most palatable. Blessings to you, Kelly :)

          • Nili says

            Hi Kelly, I just have one more question to clear up my own confusion on this topic[and promise it will be my last one :)] In which case would more beneficial nutrients be retained and bioavailable: a) Soaking oats, rinsing well and then cooking (in which case beneficial nutrients will be lost both in the soaking water and also in the cooking), or b) cooking unsoaked oats in its own cooking water (and therefore no rinsing or discarding, but also no benefits of soaking). Thanks!!

          • Kelly says

            Hi, Nill! I personally would not eat unsoaked oats. They are extremely high in phytic acid. The thing that’s important to understand is that phytic acid actually binds to important nutrients not allowing your body to absorb them properly. Therefore, it is important to soak (or sprout) all grains properly as described in these articles:
            • My overview of soaking and reasons based on phytic acid research by WAPF and others: http://thenourishinghome.com/2012/03/how-to-soak-grains-for-optimal-nutrition/
            • Copy & Paste the follow link into your browser, as for some reason it won’t go right to the article otherwise. It’s Sally Fallon’s (author of Nourishing Traditions) article on WAPF website: http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/be-kind-to-your-grains
            • WAPF’s white paper on phytic acid: http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/living-with-phytic-acid

            So the question is not whether or not to soak, but instead becomes whether to discard the soaking water or not. This is up to you. Many real foodies, including many WAPF researchers and writers discard the soaking water as I’ve mentioned previously, because the nutrient loss is minimally compared to the taste/texture improvement. But there are equally as many who do not mind the soured flavor of soaked oats who cook their oats right in the soaking water.

            Another thing to keep in mind is that rolled oats have already been “cooked” – the process by which they are rolled/cut uses high heat steam, so when I refer to cooking causing a loss of nutrients I should have clarified this is what I meant.

            I highly encourage you to read the articles above, as well as read other research on this issue (phytic acid) so you can make your own decisions on how to proceed based on your own unique health issues and goals.

            I personally have found that the Lord has used this real food/traditional food preparation lifestyle to bring healing into my own personal life. I am no longer anemic and no longer on medications for several chronic health conditions. I do believe it is due to this centuries old practice of healthy eating. Hope this helps!
            Lots of blessings, Kelly :)

  6. Britt says

    Hi Kelly!
    I love your site. Thank you for posting such detailed instructions with your recipes. I have a quick question. Do you think it would be ok to store soaked and washed oats in the fridge to eat off of for a couple of days? It is such a hearty breakfast for the kids on cold days like we’ve been having and it would be very tough for me to try to remember to soak oats every other day. I work full time and have two young children so I am extremely forgetful(on a good day). Thank you!

    • Kelly says

      Hi, Britt! Yes, many people do just what you describe. You can certainly soak a week’s worth of oats, drain, rinse and refrigerate. Then just take out what you need each morning. I would use your soaked oats within 5 days of soaking though, as I find they start to get a bit mushy as time progresses beyond that. However, 5 days worth of soaked oats would at least get you through the busy weekdays. Additionally, some people soak oats and freeze them. Then defrost them as needed in frig overnight, so that another option that would allow you to have a larger supply of soaked oats on hand. Hope this helps. Blessings, Kelly :)

  7. Jade says

    Hi! I soaked some oats which I haven’t had the chance to cook. They soaked for about 20 hrs and were drained and are now in the fridge, have been for about a day. Would it be ok to cook in the morning of should I throw them out and start a new batch?

    • Kelly says

      Hi, Jade. This is a very common question. In fact, many people intentionally soak a large amount of oats, drain, rinse and store in frig to make it easier to cook them as desired throughout the week. Soaked oats that have been drained (and rinsed if you prefer) can be stored in the frig about 5 days or so. I personally find that as you move past day 5, they get too pasty for my liking. Enjoy! Blessings, Kelly :)

  8. Jennifer A says

    We are quite enjoying the soaked and rinsed oats. Used coconut milk to cook them this morning. I’m wondering if you’ve considered developing a baked oatmeal recipe using the soaked oats. I have a couple recipes I have tried and they are ok. They use milk as the soaking medium and do not rinse. I struggle to leave milk and oats on the counter for 12-24 hours and then eat them. It seems to me the milk would spoil, but maybe that’s the point? I would be more comfortable soaking in water, rinsing and then baking. Any suggestions? We just want an excuse to eat cake for breakfast! :)

    • Kelly says

      LOL, Jennifer! I have tried a few baked oatmeal recipes too and just don’t like them. I think it’s because they tend to be rubbery or just odd tasting like you said. But you can certainly have a cake-like experience in the morning with my Cinnamon Streusel muffins – they taste like coffee cake to me and are a nice sweet treat. Another option is to try out one of my soaked breakfast breads like banana nut, pumpkin or cranberry. These are really good too. And last but not least is another cinnamon favorite – it’s my Soaked Cinnamon Crumb Cake, which definitely could be a breakfast cake option – especially since it contains Rolled Oats. It’s in the dessert section and is shown as cupcakes in the photo. Thanks so much for your kind words! Blessings, Kelly

  9. Rachel says

    Kelly, I just soaked a large quantity of oats using the soaked oatmeal recipe and was wondering if these can be used to make granola?

    • Kelly says

      You can soak oats and dehydrate them, using the directions from this recipe on how to dry them: http://just-making-noise.blogspot.com/2009/10/my-101st-post-soaked-ready-oats-rockin.html. Then you could use them with any traditional unsoaked granola recipe or in a oatmeal cookie recipe. But if you’re planning to make my soaked granola recipe, you’ll need to soak the oats with the ingredients outlined in the recipe for best results. Hope this helps to clarify. Lots of blessings, Kelly :)

        • says

          Hi, Cynthie. Unfortunately no. The soaking process needs to take place at room temp in order to be effective. But what you can do is soak your oats when you leave for work in the morning, then turn on your slow cooker that evening and enjoy crockpot oatmeal the following morning. Thanks for your great question. Blessings, Kelly

  10. Nick says

    Maybe I’ve missed it, but what’s the purpose of the apple cider vinegar (or other acid)? Does it help breakdown the phytic acid (if so, then why is the buckwheat necessary)? I’m curious about this because I ate a bowl of raw oats with milk and a scoop of protein powder a day for years and years, but gave it up. I really want to add oats back.

    • says

      Hi, Nick. Check out this article for a lengthier overview on why an acid medium is required along with a high-phytase booster (like buckwheat or rye/spelt) for soaking oats. In a nutshell, the acid is the catalyst that activates (so to speak) and enhances the phytase’s ability to break-down (neutralize) the phytic acid. Normally, there is enough phytase in the grain itself, so all that’s needed is the acid medium. However, in the case of oats, there isn’t sufficient phytase in the grain itself, so you need a phytase booster in order to effectively neutralize the phytates. I also recommend reading WAPF’s phytic acid paper by Rami Nagel. Blessings, Kelly :)
      http://thenourishinghome.com/2012/03/how-to-soak-grains-for-optimal-nutrition/

  11. says

    Hi there, I have a question about the buckwheat. I currently have some activated buckwheat groats at home – can I use these as the phytase booster in my oat soak? Or since the groats have already been soaked and dehydrated, have they lost their phytase? Thanks :o)

    • says

      That’s a great question, Melissa! And to be honest, I’ve not come across that before. I did some quick research and couldn’t find anything about whether phytase remains after a soak/dehydration process. So, since it’s unknown at least at this point, I would opt to go with unsoaked buckwheat to ensure you do have adequate levels of phytase for the soak. I’ll definitely email a couple of people though and see if any research has been conducted on this. I would imagine much of the research is geared toward how much phytic acid is left after soaking, not how much phytase, since phytase is not the issue. :)

  12. Mike says

    I only eat half a cup of oats in the morning. Should I use a teaspoon and a half of the rye and half a teaspoon of the apple cider vinegar? Also do you recommend stirring the vinegar and rye in with the oats or do you just sprinkle it on top of the water? Lastly I keep my mixture in covered tupper ware for 24 hours — assume that’s ok? Thanks!

    • says

      Hi, Mike! Great questions. Yes, you can simply half the recipe or you can make 2-3 days of soaked oats and refrigerate them for easier and quicker prep at breakfast time. Here’s what I mean. If you soak a cup of oats, you can drain/rinse them, divide in half. Place half of the drained/rinsed soaked oats in a sealed container and place in the frig. Use the other half to make your morning oatmeal. The next day, you can simply take your drained/rinsed soaked oats from the frig and toss them in your saucepan all ready to go (saves you the step of draining/rinsing). Soaked oats can be kept in the frig up to 4-5 days (I find that beyond about day 4, they start to get to pasty for my liking).

      Regarding your question about the best soaking receptacle, I recommend glass or ceramic, since plastics can leech chemicals due to the acidity of the soak. Plastics are also porous and can absorb orders. I have quite a collection of “recycled” jars that I’ve removed the label, washed and saved for soaking and storing food.

      Hope this helps and that you enjoy the yummy soaked oatmeal recipes here. Blessings, Kelly

      • Mike says

        Kelly,
        Thanks so much for your response. One other question (well actually 2). Is it ok to cook my oatmeal in the microwave? It’s just so much easier than firing up a stove every morning. Lastly do I need to soak my chia seeds or can I just eat them as is? Thanks so much!
        Mike

        • says

          Hi, Mike! No worries. I am not a fan of the microwave. It’s a pretty controversial topic, but it boils down to it not really being a “natural” way to cook (such as over a flame or direct heat source). Like everything else, I recommend looking into the issue yourself and coming to your own decision about whether you believe it’s worth the time savings to use a microwave.

          Regarding your second question … Chia seeds are a funny little seed and if you’ve ever “soaked” them, then you know what you’ll end up with is chia gel. I actually like to use chia gel in some beverage such as Kombucha. They do contain phytic acid, so most would agree that they should be consumed in moderation. It’s also important to note that there can be a lot of digestive issues that occur with chia seeds because they are so high in fiber and contrary to what we’ve been hearing in the mainstream diet world, a high fiber diet can actually be a very unhealthy one, especially for those with digestive and gut health issues since certain kinds of fiber and high amounts of fiber can lead to irritation of the GI tract.

          The key thing to keep in mind is that there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all diet. So while some do well on properly soaked grains, seeds and nuts, others do not. I think the key is to focus on eating real food and removing the processed refined “food” from our diets. Once we begin eating “clean” and wholesome real foods, it gives our bodies a chance to detox and heal. And it makes it so much easier to determine if there are any real foods that cause you issues, so you can avoid them and replace them with other options that enhance your health. Hopefully, I’m making sense here. :)

  13. Christy says

    I’m an oatmeal newbie…the only recipe I’ve found that I like is oats that have been sitting in milk overnight in the fridge – I don’t cook them. Would these soaked & rinsed oats work the same if I put them in milk overnight? Or just soak and add milk after they’re rinsed? Thanks so much!

    • says

      Hi, Christy. Soaking the oats as prescribed in this recipe is what leads to phytic acid reduction. You can read more about that here: http://thenourishinghome.com/2012/03/how-to-soak-grains-for-optimal-nutrition/
      So I would definitely recommend soaking the oats in warm water with an acid medium and phytase booster (like rye or buckwheat) as outlined in this recipe.

      Once you’ve done this step and rinsed the oats, they will be very soft. So, you might want to just add milk and see if the texture is agreeable to you. If so, you’re good to go. If not, you could certainly place the oats and milk in the fridge overnight to see if they are more of the consistency you prefer. :)

  14. Georgeann says

    Good morning,

    A friend recently told me about soaked oats, and I found your recipe (GF option for me). I am actually eating it for the first time right now and I think it is delicious! I am going to do more research on this and try to get my children turned on to the idea. It has to be much healthier for them than the prepackaged oatmeal that they like. Keep up the good work!

    • says

      Thanks, Georgeann. Appreciate you taking the time to leave a kind note. And YES, homemade soaked oatmeal is far more nutritious that the prepackaged processed oatmeals. Perhaps you could make them some homemade oatmeal so they can experience how much better it is :) My baked apple oatmeal is a favorite that I serve when we have overnight guests. Blessings, Kelly

  15. GIgi says

    Hi Kelly,
    This is my first time on your site, although I have been using the Nourishing Traditions cookbook for two years. I am both dismayed and happy to find out about the need to include either rolled rye flakes or ground buckwheat groats with your oats in order for there to be phytase to neutralize the phytates. I don’t believe Sally Fallon mentions this in her porridge recipe, or if she does, I completely missed it! I’ve been serving my family what I thought was “healthy” oatmeal for two years!!! So, believe it or not, just today I purhased whole (unground) buckwheat groats for a different soaked granola recipe (although now that I’ve found your website, I’m going to use yours!), and I was wondering if I can just grind the appropriate amount up in a little grinder, instead of going out and purchasing another product. If yes, then how “ground” do they need to be? I am wondering why this info isn’t included in NT. I’m so gratefull you included it here. Thanks so much for your help. Gigi

    • says

      Hi, Gigi! So glad you’re here and welcome!

      To answer your questions, first, yes you can most certainly use the whole buckwheat groats and crack them in your blender, food processor or grain mill. I would recommend a fair grind, meaning small pieces but not enough to create buckwheat flour.

      As far as your second question about soaking oats. I believe Nourishing Traditions is due for a revised and updated version, as much more research has been conducted on phytic acid since the book was published as well as other topics. However, you can stay more up-to-date on the Weston A Price Foundation recommendations/research at their website. There is much information there, including discussions on the research regarding oats lack of phytase and the need therefore for a phytase booster when soaking oats. I’ve briefly summarized much of the new research in my “How to Soak Grains for Optimal Nutrition” post which you can find here: http://thenourishinghome.com/2012/03/how-to-soak-grains-for-optimal-nutrition/

      Just remember, it’s next to impossible (without a highly restrictive diet) to avoid all phytic acid. So for most people in relatively good health, the key is to reduce it as much as possible. And I always want to point people to taking a balanced approach to their diet. Seeking first the Lord and asking Him for guidance. Because He promises to care for us as we keep our focus first and foremost on Him. (Matthew 6:31-33)

      Welcome again and many blessings to you, Kelly :)

      • GIgi says

        Kelly,

        Thanks for getting back to me, and now I have one more question. You include walnuts in your recipe for soaked oatmeal, and I totally understand why you need to soak them, but I was wondering if it would make a difference if I ground up the walnuts prior to soaking. Would one still get the beneficial outcome from soaking ground nuts? The reason I’m asking is due to my picky eater, who doesn’t mind something she can’t see very well, but does mind it if she can! I would add ground crispy walnuts AFTER cooking the soaked oatmeal, except I don’t have a dehydrator, so I can’t make any crispy nuts (the lowest my oven temp goes to is 170 degrees). Grinding the walnuts prior to soaking, if beneficial, would be so awesome, because I would get around the pesky problem of not having a dehydrator, and my daughter would eat the ground up soaked walnuts as part of her oatmeal (with no complaining)! If this works, then I could do it for the soaked oat granola, too. Thanks for your help.
        Gigi

  16. Marilyn says

    Hi Kelly, I just found your site and I think I finally understand how to soak and store oatmeal! My question is, how do I use the soaked oatmeal to make baked goods like oatmeal cookies?

    • says

      Hi, Marilyn. Welcome to The Nourishing Home. So glad you’re here and finding this site helpful. If you’re wanting to use oats for recipes that traditionally call for dry rolled oats (such as oatmeal cookies), you’re going to need to dehydrate them first. Here is a post that explains the process. Just remember that without a phytase boost (this recipe does not contain one) it’s really not an effective soak, so be sure to add about a tablespoon of rye flakes or buckwheat groats to the recipe per cup of oats you’re soaking. Here’s the recipe: http://just-making-noise.blogspot.com/2009/10/my-101st-post-soaked-ready-oats-rockin.html

      Personally, I prefer to just purchase sprouted rolled oats for use in baking crunchy treats like oatmeal cookies or making traditional granola bars etc. I just don’t have time to do it all, so this saves me a step with fussing with drying soaked oats. But again, you can certainly soak oats and then easily dry them, if you have a food dehydrator it’s a much simpler process.

      Keep in mind, if you’re going to use oats in quick breads or muffins or things like that in which you can soak them right along with the flour, then there is no need to use presoaked and dehydrated oats. Just toss them in with the flour to soak, as an example check out my cinnamon crumb cake: http://thenourishinghome.com/2012/04/soaked-cinnamon-crumb-cake-cupcakes/

      Hope this helps! Lots of blessings, Kelly :)

  17. raven says

    Hello I just wanted to ask when soaking Fd oats what kind of oats can I and also how much.buckwheat groats do I add.per cup of oats and lastly does it matter if the groats were previously soaked and dehydrated or not or should I use groats I haven’t soaked yet?

    • says

      Hi, Raven. I am not sure I completely understand your question? Have you read my overview of the WAPF research on soaking oats? It’s in this post: http://thenourishinghome.com/2012/03/how-to-soak-grains-for-optimal-nutrition/

      As far as using buckwheat as a replacement for rye, you’d just sub out on a one-to-one ratio as indicated in the recipe, in other words just replace the rye flakes for slightly ground buckwheat groats (whole groats won’t release as much phytase).

      Regarding your other question, I don’t believe it would be an issue to use soaked ground buckwheat groats in your oat soak. It’s the phytic acid that is neutralized in the soak, I have not seen any studies indicate the phytase is also neutralized. But you could set aside some unsoaked buckwheat to use for oat soaking if this is a concern.

      Hope this helps to clarify. Blessings, Kelly :)

  18. Lindsay says

    I have a few questions if you don’t mind!! I am just learning of soaking grains! I just set up my steel cut oats in a bowl with apple cider vinegar for the morning… I guess it will work for tomorrow! But I am now seeing that buckwheat or rye is needed too!

    Can I use pre ground wheat flour instead? Or is buckwheat best? Also, I generally add fresh ground flax to my oatmeal along with yogurt and fresh fruit. Should/can I soak the ground flax too? Or just keep adding it fresh ground?

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

    • says

      Hi, Lindsey. Yes you can use wheat instead of rye. It does contain a good amount of phytase. The reason I prefer rye flakes or buckwheat cereal is two reasons – first taste – because they are not flour, they don’t make the oatmeal pasty. I find using flour for the soak makes the oatmeal too pasty for my personal taste preferences. Second, rye and buckwheat are among the highest in phytase – the enzyme that neutralizes phytates. But again, you can certainly use wheat flour for your soak, as you must have a phytase booster when soaking oats or the soak will be ineffective.

      With regard to flax, I have mixed feelings about flax and I use it only on occasion in some recipes. I opt not to consume it on a daily basis. This article is helpful in providing a brief overview as to why many side on being conservative about using flax: http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2009/03/flax-seed-and-oil-phytoestrogens-phytic-acid-and-pregnancy-risks.html

      But yes, to help reduce the phytic acid you could soak ground flax with your oatmeal, or you could purchase (or make yourself) sprouted flax seeds and grind them if you’re eating flax in your yogurt each day. So again, I wouldn’t necessarily say you should stop eating flax altogether, but perhaps consider other forms of health omega 3s (such as high quality cod liver oil, walnuts, salmon and grassfed beef) rather than relying solely on flax.

      Lots of blessings, Kelly :)

      • Lindsay says

        Thank you!! I got some spelt to use until I can get buckwheat at whole foods! I am guessing I can grind walnuts and add them to the soak in place of flax? Sounds yummy!

        A water question… is an at home water filter pitcher sufficient? Will plain tap water harm the soak? Or just add the unwanted chemicals?

        • says

          Hi, Lindsey. My pleasure to help. You can most certainly soak the walnuts with your oats, you can grind or leave as pieces – depending on the texture you desire. As far as water goes, you are correct that avoiding tap water is more geared to avoiding the chemicals that are added to tap water. An at-home water filter pitcher is fine for removing most of the big offenders. I know some sites promote expensive systems for optional purity, but I cannot afford those and use a simple carbon-based water filter. :)

  19. julia says

    Hello Kelly, thankyou for such a helpful website. I am currently soaking my oats and buckwheat groats (ground) in apple cider vinegar and water. My question is this. Once I have rinsed and drained then boiled my oatmeal is it possible to store any I dont eat in the refrigerator for the following day’s breakfast and re-heat as needed or should it be eaten straight away? I have soaked 2 cups of oats which will yield alot of oatmeal. Also, can you soak oat groats in the same way (the whole un-rolled oat). Many thanks in advance.

    • says

      Hi, Julia. Yes, this is actually a common question, so I should probably add this to the post. You can soak and store drained and rinsed soaked oats uncooked, or you can go ahead and cook them and store them – either option and they will keep about 3-5 days in the frig. Just note they get a little pastier with each day that passes. I prefer option one (soaking and rinsing and storing the drained oats, then cooking them fresh each day). I’m kinda picky about mushy oats (don’t care for them) and so I find precooking them and reheating makes for a pastier texture. :) Lots of blessings, Kelly

      • julia says

        Thankyou for your quick reply. It makes sense to prepare a larger quantity to me so I only have to soak once and enjoy quick breakfasts for the next few days. Have you ever soaked the whole un-rolled oat before? I have some and have done this before but was wondering if the groat would have even more phytic acid to deal with than a rolled oat. Groats made into porridge are even yummier than rolled oats I find.
        Kind regards.

        • says

          Yes, the whole groat does have more phytic acid and it’s more difficult to remove – requiring a longer soak. One option is to slightly crush the groat by giving it a quick 1-2 second whirl in a food processor or blender. Then soak as per the instructions here or in my How to Soak Grains for Optimal Nutrition post (located in the Real Food section of this site). Many prefer steel cut oats because they are thicker and more hearty.
          Lots of blessings, Kelly :)

    • says

      absolutely – any dairy or non-dairy acid medium is fine :) the reason I use ACV is because I find it less sour-tasting. blessings, Kelly

  20. Gail says

    Hi, great info! thanks! I make oat milk for my daughter so will be soaking oats differently now. I don’t see anything mentioned here about soaking oats for granola. My daughter prefers granola. I make a batch twice a month that is dehydrated for about 5 hours in a dehydrator. so, you know what my question is. Would soaking oats be advisable? I would imagine they’d be too mushy to dehydrate. I do soak buckwheat groats and dehydrate them for use in the granola, but oats?

  21. Jonny says

    Hi Kelly,
    Here in South Africa, i get raw organic oats, so flake them, and then i soak them overnight in lemon juice. Now I learn I must add a phytase booster like buckwheat or rye flakes. Understood.
    So my question is – is it OK to eat RAW – uncooked – just soaked overnight?? Normally i will just add banana and apple, Thanks Jonny

    • says

      Hi, Jonny! How nice to have a friend in South Africa! Yes, absolutely. Once soaked, you can enjoy the oats raw. There are some delicious raw oatmeal recipes out on the internet as well as the delicious combo you enjoy. Blessings, Kelly :)

  22. Alana McDowell says

    Hi Kelly
    Thanks so much for taking the time to share all of your knowledge, this article has cleared up so much of the confusion I had about how to soak oats properly. I can’t thank you enough!
    A few questions:
    -If oats are soaked at room temp, (not necessarily “warm,”) will this be less effective?
    -For the phytase boost, is there a difference between whole buckwheat groats, semi-ground, and buckwheat flour? Will they produce the same effects either way?
    -Will adding milled chia, hemp seeds, and flax affect the soaking process? Would more phytase be required?
    -Does the soaking need to be airtight?

    Thank you so much,
    Alana

    • says

      Hi, Alana. I use warm water to start the soak. But all soaking is done at room temperature. With regard to your question about the form of buckwheat. I recommend either ground buckwheat (often called buckwheat cereal) or buckwheat flour. Whole groats have the germ layer intact and when unbroken doesn’t allow much access to the phytase. So if you have whole groats, give them a whirl in your food processor to crack them. Some opt to use flour but the texture becomes pasty, so again, I prefer cracked buckwheat cereal for my GF oat soak. And yes, you can add chia, etc. to the soak. Just follow the general rule given – one cup of grains to one tablespoon phytase booster and of course the acid medium. And no, the cover is simply to keep insects and dust out of your soak. You can use any cover you desire – a simple dishcloth is fine. I hope this helps further clarify. Blessings, Kelly :)

  23. Jill says

    My question is: Why doesn’t the yogurt spoil being out of the fridge for so long? Is it because the good bacteria takes care of any possible bad bacterias?? We are always told not to leave dairy out of the refrigerator, so naturally I’m a little concerned. Let me know, thank you!

    • says

      Hi, Jill. Using a small amount of yogurt or other cultured dairy such as kefir is fine as the acid medium in a soak because the combination of the live nature of the dairy with the other ingredients at such a short period of time reduces the likelihood of any harmful bacterial growth. When you make yogurt or kefir or buttermilk, the process is to actually leave it out on the counter (or at a slightly elevated temp, as in the case of yogurt) for a relatively short period of time (usually less than 24 hours) as well. Non-living dairy such as pasteurized milk will go rancid fairly quickly when left out, but not the case with cultured foods like raw milk, buttermilk, yogurt, etc. And if you are not comfortable using dairy in your soak, there really is NO need to at all. I use apple cider vinegar (as noted in this recipe), because I find it to create a less soured tasting oatmeal. I hope this helps. I also recommend reading more about food culturing via the Weston A Price Foundation site or in the book Nourishing Traditions. Blessings, Kelly :)

  24. Amber says

    Thank you for your website and all of the information and recipes it contains. I have spent much time combing through various aspects of it over the last week or so, and I’ve already used a couple recipes.

    Can you please confirm that spelt flour is ok to use for soaking oats? Above you mention whole spelt, but is spelt flour ok? I could not find rolled rye flakes at the grocery store (although I know they are available online) and I had seen on your article about soaking grains that spelt flour would work. I have read through some of the WAPF article on phytic acid that you reference, and it mentions rye as well. Did I buy the wrong thing?

    Also, I’ve been meaning to start soaking my oats, but I read on your soaking grains article that they should be soaked 24 hours. I keep forgetting to start them a full 24 hours ahead of time. On the recipe above it says 12-24 hours; does the length of the soak make a big difference?

    Thank you!

    • says

      Hi, Amber. Thanks for your kind words. I’m happy to hear your finding this site helpful. With regard to your question, use you can use whole spelt flour for oat soaking. I use the term “whole” because there is white spelt flour, just as there is white wheat flour. And yes, you can most certainly use rye flour for the soak as referenced in the research literature. I prefer rye flakes because they do not have a heavy rye flavor to them and also they do not result in the oats being pasty.

      And last but not least, in general soaking oats for 24 hours is the recommended method (some advocate soaking 2-3 days, however, anything past 24 hours becomes soured, which most people do not enjoy). In general, you can soak from 12-24 hours and reap the benefits of reduced phytic acid and increased digestibility. It’s important to note that oats do breakdown further the longer the soak (get pasty), in addition to becoming more soured. So for most people, 12 hours is the preferred soak time because the oats will not taste as pasty and soured. But it comes down to your personal taste preference. So I encourage you to experiment with the soaking time to see what you like best. Blessings, Kelly :)

  25. Brittany says

    Hi Kelly!
    Thank you so much for all of the wonderful info and recipes on your site! My family LOOOOVES this oatmeal! However, I am wanting to make the soaked oats into this recipe

    Baked Oatmeal To Go
    Ingredients
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 cups applesauce, unsweetened
    1 banana, mashed
    6 packets of Sweetleaf Stevia or 1½ teaspoons stevia powder or use ½ cup honey
    5 cups, Old Fashioned rolled oats {Bob’s Red Mill}
    ¼ cup flaxseed meal
    1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
    3 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon salt
    2¾ cups milk
    Optional toppings: raisins, walnuts, chocolate chips

    Instructions
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Mix eggs, vanilla, applesauce, banana and Stevia together in a bowl.
    Add in oats, flax, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and mix well with wet ingredients.
    Finally pour in milk and combine.
    Spray a 12 and 6 capacity muffin tin with cooking spray or use cupcake liners. Pour mixture evenly into muffin tin cups.
    If using toppings add them onto the tops of muffins now. If using fresh or frozen fruit, drop it right into the batter.
    Bake 30 minutes until a toothpick in center comes out clean.
    Cool and enjoy or freeze them in gallon freezer bags.
    **Gluten Free & Diabetic Friendly** Recipe Source: SugarFreeMom.com

    I am wondering if I need to adjust the amount of liquid in the recipe, since the oats are already wet? This is a big recipe and would be a lot of wasted food if they turn out too wet. Thank you so much for any help you can provide!

    • says

      Hi, Brittany. Happy to make a recommendation. I would simply soak the oats overnight (12 hours) by placing the 5 cups of rolled oats into a glass or ceramic bowl with enough warm water to cover them by about two inches. Then stir in 5 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and 5 tablespoons of rolled rye flakes. After the soak, rinse and drain the oats/rye. Then follow the recipe you have above, but reduce the milk in the recipe by about 1/2 cup – this is a guess-timate – (to account for the moisture already absorbed by the oats/rye) and I believe your oatmeal bake should turn out nicely. It sounds like a wonderful recipe. Blessings, Kelly

      • Brittany says

        Thank you so much! I am going to try them now :) I am new to soaking, so some of this is a bit confusing lol. Thank you again!

  26. Jennifer Haden says

    Hi, just wondering does the buckwheat have to be ground? I have regular buckwheat groats on hand, but it’s not ground. Can I still use it for the oatmeal soak?

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