Soak Rolled Oats for Better Oatmeal

Heather says:

Did you know the package directions for oatmeal (rolled oats) used to include directions for soaking? Eventually these directions were removed as it’s not critical if your goal is to have hot, edible cereal and many consumers are only interested in convenience. Soaked oats give an entirely different character to your morning breakfast and it can be just as fast as instant if you assemble a bowl the night before.

When using rolled oats, I prefer thick cut, always cook with a 2 :1 liquid to oat ratio. So if you want 1 cup of oatmeal for breakfast start the night before: place 1/2 cup of rolled oats + dried fruit (raisins, apples, etc) in the bowl, add 1 cup cold water + any cinnamon or vanilla. In the morning microwave until hot.

When I make oatmeal -almost every day- before I even put the coffee on, I place the oats and fruit in a pot and cover with the appropriate amount of water. About 10 minutes before I want to serve breakfast, I simply turn the burner to medium and stir occasionally until the oatmeal is hot. I often add non-fat dry milk as a way to squeeze in some extra calcium for the kids.

Use your imagination to create different flavors:

  • apple & cinnamon
  • maple & brown sugar
  • cinnamon raisin
  • banana nut
  • peach
  • blueberry
  • pumpkin pie (add nutmeg & cinnamon)

If you use canned fruit, reduce the amount of water slightly, if it’s still too watery add a few more oats and they’ll quickly soak up the extra liquid.

Consider substituting apple cider for half or all of the water.

If you want a truly decadent experience, add a splash of half and half or cream to the oats just before serving.

Enjoy!



14 Comments

  1. adam on December 28, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    I’m going to soak mine from now on, I don’t trust that storage pesticides aren’t sprayed all over them… “The dose only affects the foraging pests, it poses no harm to humans in the allowable amounts” etc.

  2. lisa on October 16, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    we like steel cut oats. i toast them at 325 for about 20 mins. then boil. i make enough for the week and just warm in microwave as needed

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  4. CJ McD on December 17, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    * TOTAL TIME: 15 MIN Plus Overnight Soaking
 * SERVINGS: 6
    1 1/2 cups steel-cut oats
6 cups water
1/4 cup chopped salted roasted almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Brown sugar or pure maple syrup, for serving
    Directions
    1. In a large saucepan, boil the oats in the water for 1 minute. Cover and let stand overnight at room temperature.
 2. The next day, uncover the oats and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the oatmeal is cooked and creamy but still a little bit chewy, about 10 minutes. Spoon the oatmeal into bowls. Top with the chopped almonds and dried cranberries and sweeten to taste with brown sugar or pure maple syrup.
    Make Ahead
    The prepared oatmeal can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. Rewarm in a microwave oven and thin with water if necessary before serving.
    ———
    Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats
    1 c. steel cut oats 1 c. dried cranberries
    1 c. chopped dates 4 c. water
    Spray slow cooker with no stick spray. Add ingredients and mix. Low 7-8 hours.
    Add 1/2 c. half & half
    2 T. honey
    Stir and eat.

    Stacy- Hope this helps. (Merry Christmas!)

  5. CJ McD on December 18, 2009 at 1:02 am

    * TOTAL TIME: 15 MIN Plus Overnight Soaking
    * SERVINGS: 6
    1 1/2 cups steel-cut oats
6 cups water
1/4 cup chopped salted roasted almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Brown sugar or pure maple syrup, for serving
    Directions
       1. In a large saucepan, boil the oats in the water for 1 minute. Cover and let stand overnight at room temperature.
   2. The next day, uncover the oats and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the oatmeal is cooked and creamy but still a little bit chewy, about 10 minutes. Spoon the oatmeal into bowls. Top with the chopped almonds and dried cranberries and sweeten to taste with brown sugar or pure maple syrup.
    Make Ahead
    The prepared oatmeal can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. Rewarm in a microwave oven and thin with water if necessary before serving.
    ———
    Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats
    1 c. steel cut oats 1 c. dried cranberries
    1 c. chopped dates 4 c. water
    Spray slow cooker with no stick spray. Add ingredients and mix. Low 7-8 hours.
    Add 1/2 c. half & half
    2 T. honey
    Stir and eat.

    Stacy- Hope this helps. (Merry Christmas!)

  6. tiffany and co on December 17, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    I haven't tried it though. I"m okay with my ground spices mixed in, but I like the idea of using milk instead of water.
    Report

  7. Mom4nell on December 16, 2009 at 11:33 am

    To ramp up the taste and get a little extra protein, I stir a large spoonful of peanut butter into the oatmeal. I find the PB helps tide me over to lunch better than just oatmeal.

  8. Phillip Guyton Jr. on December 15, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    I've only ever used the instant kind; i'll have to try the real thing sometime!

  9. Niki on December 15, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    Thanks for the tip, Heather! I never heard about soaking oatmeal, but will try it tonight. I typically make mine in the morning with maybe half a spoon of sugar, raisins, apricots and a splash of milk. Definitely a great way to start the morning.

    • Elisabeth on December 15, 2009 at 2:46 pm

      Toasted nuts really are treat too!

  10. Stacy on December 15, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    We recently used pumpkin pie spice and it was good. Also, I have read about the idea of substituting all of the water for milk and spicing the milk beforehand with whole spices in a tea strainer. I haven't tried it though. I"m okay with my ground spices mixed in, but I like the idea of using milk instead of water.

  11. CJ McD on December 15, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Soaking overnight greatly cut the cooking time for steel cut oats too. Or sometimes I make them in the slow cooker and breakfast is ready when I wake up. Don't think that would work for rolled oasts though.

    Thanks for the great tip Heather. Love your blog.

    • Stacy on December 15, 2009 at 6:21 pm

      I'm interested to know how to do this in the slow cooker. Can you explain what you do exactly? Also, does your slow cooker have a turn-on timer, or do you let it go all night? I've never used steel-cut oats, I don't think.

  12. ThatBobbieGirl on December 15, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    I've only soaked the oatmeal a couple times, but I soak all of my wheat, then dehydrate it, before grinding into flour for bread. Makes it more digestible — I should do it to the oats, too, but I don't "plan" breakfast.

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