Warm, creamy oatmeal is such a comforting breakfast favorite, especially on cold winter days! And when it’s prepared using the traditional method of soaking, it’s a hearty meal that packs a solid nutritional punch as well.
Yet, as much as my family adores soaked oatmeal, sometimes it can be … well … boring! So in an effort to keep things fresh and exciting, I’ve developed a few new variations on our favorite cold morning breakfast, which I’ll be sharing each week this month. This first one is my new dream breakfast – it’s so incredibly yummy that you may find yourself daydreaming about it!
What’s not to love? It’s wholesome soaked gluten-free oatmeal with a generous handful of candied pecans, a drizzle of pure dark maple syrup and a big ole splash of creamy milk. It sounds pretty basic, but the flavor combination is so delightfully complex with subtle hints of cinnamon and rich pecan and maple undertones. Yum!
This is just one delicious way we like to spice up our morning oatmeal. For more ideas, check out my special recipe section devoted to Wholesome Breakfast Porridges. Enjoy!
- 1 cup GF Rolled Oats
- 1 tbsp ground buckwheat groats (*see note below)
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (or fresh-squeezed lemon juice)
- Warm filtered water
- 1 tbsp butter (or coconut oil)
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1/3 cup crispy pecan pieces
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- Pure dark maple syrup for drizzling on top
- Raw milk, nut milk or coconut milk, also for drizzling
- Place the “Soak Your Oats” ingredients into a ceramic (or glass) mixing bowl or jar.
- Add enough warm filtered water to completely cover the mixture by an inch or two. Mix well to combine.
- Cover and place it in a warm area of your kitchen for 12-24 hours.
- Once soaking time is completed, drain oat mixture in a fine-mesh strainer and thoroughly rinse. Set drained oats aside, while you prepare the pecan topping.
- In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add rapadura, stirring well to combine. (If you prefer, you can use pure maple syrup in place of the rapadura.) Add pecans and cinnamon; toss to well coat the nuts and continue to cook for about a minute, just until the mixture begins to dry a bit. Turn off heat, place candied nuts in a small serving dish.
- In the same saucepan you used for the nuts, add 1 1/4 cups of filtered water and return pan to medium heat. Then, add the drained and rinsed soaked oats and bring them to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3-5 minutes until desired consistency is reached.
- Divide oatmeal evenly among 2-3 bowls. Top with candied pecans, a big ole splash of milk and drizzle of pure maple syrup. This oatmeal is unbelievably yummy – so, enjoy!
*If you’re gluten-free and can tolerate oats, I recommend using certified GF Rolled Oats and combining them with ground buckwheat groats. 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).
If you are not gluten-free, you can substitute the ground buckwheat groats with rolled rye flakes, rye flour or spelt flour for your oat soak.
One more thing…does it really matter which option one uses to soak along with their oats? Rolled rye flakes, rye flour, spelt flour, or whole wheat flour? I’m assuming not as the way it’s stated; however, does one have an advantage over the others and so forth?
And I forgot another question until I already clicked the “post” button…sorry! It was stated to cook the oats in milk or if you use water to cook them in to then serve the oatmeal with yogurt…to balance out the dairy acid-medium, if that’s what one uses to soak their oats in, which we do…we use whey. So my question is, does this really need to be done? We cook our oats in water and don’t want to use milk. It was stated that milk is nice for the creaminess…is this the only advantage? We like the texture of our oatmeal cooked in water already. Or like I said, is it for a balancing sort of reason? If you could explain this further that would be great!
Hi, Brandi. You can use any high phytase grain for the soak, so any of the ones you mentioned are fine. There is a slight difference in flavor/texture depending on which you use. Buckwheat groats will give a slight buckwheat flavor and chewiness, whereas any flour used will give your cooked oats more of a pasty texture. Rolled rye is probably the least noticeable because it’s rolled and cut like the oats themselves.
As far as milk goes. We usually cook the oats in water and use a splash of unsweetened almond milk when eating them. We like the flavor almond milk provides and the fact it helps thin out the thick cooked oatmeal. But you certainly don’t have to use milk of any kind.
I’m not sure where I discussed anything about using yogurt to balance out the acid-medium? Was that something you read somewhere else? Maybe the confusion is with regard to why I use vinegar rather than a dairy acid medium? The reason I prefer to use apple cider vinegar for my soak rather than a dairy acid medium is because I find the dairy acid mediums to cast a soured flavor that my hubby and kiddos don’t care for. By using ACV instead and rinsing the oats prior to cooking, it greatly reduces the soured flavor from the soak. But if you enjoy using whey for your soak, there is no need to change.
Hope this helps to better clarify. Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions. Blessings, Kelly 🙂
Hello again! I must have to misunderstood something, which is why I asked for clarification. So, just to be clear, using milk or yogurt is all for taste and texture and has nothing to do with nutrition, correct?
Hi, Brandi. The result of the soaking process is reducing the phytic acid (anti-nutrient) that blocks proper absorption of certain vitamin/minerals and also causes digestive distress. So the goal of soaking is to reduce the phytic acid as much as is possible, it’s not going to be 100%, meaning there will still be some phytic acid remaining, particularly in high phytic acid grains like oats.
The acid medium (which can be dairy such as whey, milk kefir, yogurt, etc; or non-dairy such as ACV) is used as a catalyst to initiate or activate the phytase to reduce the phytic acid. Since oats do not have a good source of naturally occurring phytase, you need to add some to the oats, as we previously discussed (either a phytase-rich flour or by using rye flakes or buckwheat groats). The warm water with the acid medium and the added phytase will help to reduce the phytic acid in the oats, but again, not completely.
So … You don’t have to use dairy to soak, or use dairy after the oats are soaked and cooked. Adding dairy (or nondairy) milk for cooking purposes or for eating your oatmeal is a matter of preference and does nothing to further break down phytic acid.
However, with regard to your question about milk increasing nutritional value. Yes, as far as nutrition goes, adding milk or yogurt would of course improve the nutritional value of the meal itself from the standpoint of adding the extra nutrients that come from these foods. In addition, WAPF noted in their phytic acid paper that the absorbable calcium from bone broths and raw milk dairy products, as well as vitamin D from certain animal fats also reduce the adverse effects of phytic acid. I mention this is my soaking discussion “How to Soak Grains for Optimal Nutrition.” So adding some milk to oatmeal or some butter, can help to mitigate the effects of the remaining phytic acid in the oats. This same principle is used in rice cooking – many will cook rice in bone broth so when it’s eaten the calcium from the bone broth can help to mitigate the effects of the remaining phytic acid in the rice.
I know all of this can get really overwhelming, so just remember to take it slow, make new changes step by step and don’t allow healthy eating to become an idol. It’s a fine line between striving to eat healthier and becoming a slave to eating healthier. Hopefully, I’m making sense. And again, I really recommend reading Nourishing Traditions. All of these questions are covered in detail, much more so that I can cover here. 🙂 Blessings, Kelly
Hi there, I just came across this a few days back. I have a doubt – are rolled oats the same as 3-min cooking oats? If not, where are rolled oats available? We live in the Middle East so I have no clue in which supermarket aisle to search for them. I have a parenting page on Facebook and I recently shared your breakfast tips, much to the delight of my fans – Thank you for your suggestions and tips! 🙂
Hi, Lisha. I would assume that the 3-minute oats are in fact rolled oats, but they are slightly thinner than regular rolled oats, so that they cook more quickly. You can still use the quicker cook oats in my recipes, but do note that cook time will be far less since the oats are thinner. Hope this helps and what a blessing to meet you! I love how the internet can bring us all closer together no matter how far apart we may live. Blessings to you, Kelly 🙂
Thank you so much for writing back, Kelly – and yes, great to connect despite being so far apart! 🙂
I use steelcut oats so I soak 24 hrs (just start soaking new oats as soon as the pan’s washed from breakfast that day!). Personally, I use 2T yogurt to acidulate the 2c water that I soak and then cook my oats in, but my kids can’t stand to eat the cooked oatmeal with yogurt (we pour milk on it in the bowls). Kinda weird, huh? Anyway, I used to add 1T wheat berries, fresh ground, to the soaking oats also. It made the oatmeal pasty as you say (this was when I was using rolled oats still) and I had to finally quit as the kids had so much trouble eating it. I figured soaking in at least acidulated water was better than eating cheerios, right? (non-soaked, extruded grains and all)
I’m going to try the rolled rye now tho. They eat oats 4-5 days a week. Every week. I thot Amanda had said it had to be flour, but rolled grain does seem reasonable to me to still be able to break down and give up the phytase to the soak water. Thank goodness, we only need to add 1T rye per cup! I think the kids would balk at that taste. They eat dulse by the spoonful if I let them, right off the spoon, and in their oats every morning, but don’t add chocolate to it or apples or anything other than what they’re used to LOL They’ve eaten it savory for so many years now, they don’t want it to be like a pudding, sweetened, etc.
Is it necessary to grind the buckwheat groats? Thanks so much for sharing such a yummy recipe!
Hi, Monia. I do recommend that if you’re using whole groats to give them a quick whirl in the food processor to crack them. This will help release the phytase during the soaking process. 🙂