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How To Make Soaked Baked Oatmeal :: A framework for a nutritious baked oatmeal that you can flavor any way you choose!

August 30, 2018

Learn how to make traditionally soaked baked oatmeal using a framework of nutritious ingredients that you can flavor any way you choose!

So, are we easing in yet?

Back to school rhythms? While my household definitely longs for the routine of school by September, we do tend to still cling to summer and the warm air for a bit longer. Before we know it, hats and scarves will be out, so for now…we enjoy our beach-y sunsets and the warm sand in our toes.

Breakfast staples for the school year

As always in using this space to write, I’m hoping to keep my recipes this fall super relatable, sustainable, and *practical.* I love finding super fun, “over the top” recipes to play with, but quite frankly in this season of life I very much get you, dear momma. With a 9, 7, and 5 year old at home, working from home, and everything that goes along with those items, I just need my life to have a flow. A rhythm. And a few ounces of practicality. And that includes having some breakfast staples that I don’t have to think too hard about.

Bake once, eat twice…

Or three times! This mindset is a game changer for so many busy families. Baked oatmeal is one of those breakfast staples that just about any kid will eat *and* just so happens to make enough for at least 2 breakfasts for most small to medium sized families. I’m also willing to bet larger families can double this into two 9×13 pans and have enough for 2 meals – if you have the oven on, you might as well do double time!

A baked oatmeal framework

There are so many different ways to dress up baked oatmeal. Keeping your baked oatmeal breakfast menu rotation full of variety is what will keep everyone from getting bored of having “the same thing” every week. This also ensures keeping the humble oat as budget friendly as we brag about it being. So the base of your baked oatmeal is always the same, but we can change up the flavor! You won’t find our winter baked oatmeal loaded up with fresh blueberries or peaches, because summer fruit is triple the price here in the winter, and that just isn’t sustainable. Instead, in the wintertime, you’ll find our baked oat slices filled with fresh apples or bananas, or  sprinkled with dried fruit like raisins or cranberries that you can get year ’round.

More than just oatmeal

This is loaded oatmeal! And by that I mean filled to the brim with *balance.* Satiating and filling fats and protein from the nuts, seeds, eggs, and coconut milk (or milk), along with the slow burning fiber filled oats will make this breakfast last way past the first school hour of the day. And for so many kids, that is HUGE. Make every bite of their breakfast count – it is all packed into these little oatmeal squares.

Why soaked?

In short, it is what your ancestors would have done with any grains. Soaking any grain in an acid medium, such as yogurt, buttermilk, kefir, whey, lemon juice, or vinegar reduces anti-nutrients like phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors (which all grains contain). Grains have gotten a bit of a bad rap in the last decade or so, and while I think many Americans “over grain” their plates, eating it way more frequently than our ancestors would have, they do serve purpose in our diets if there isn’t a true food allergy present. Whole grains, like oats, contain an impressive nutrient profile, so long as you don’t cover up those nutrients by eating them without soaking first.  Just a couple minutes to add the oats and acid to your mixing bowl the night before is really all you need. It actually helps with prep time the next day since that part of the recipe is already in the bowl!

Onto the flavor choices!

They are truly endless. You can keep it as basic as can be with just a bit of honey and cinnamon, or dress  it up with pumpkin and apples for the fall, cranberries for winter, strawberries in the spring, and peaches for the summer! Just follow the basic frame work, and here are some ideas to change flavors up:

  • apples
  • pears
  • bananas (cinnamon and bananas is seriously amazing!)
  • raisins
  • cranberries (Fresh or dried – and try almond extract versus the vanilla. So good!)
  • pumpkin or butternut squashes (cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice blends work well here!)
  • strawberries
  • cherries
  • blueberries (Fresh or dried)
  • peaches
  • raspberries
  • Or, skip the fruit, and go with more of a maple flavor using syrup instead of honey, or use honey and cinnamon for flavoring your baked oatmeal. Sometimes less is more, and the girls love just cinnamon baked oatmeal too!

Add in options

I kept the nuts and seeds section of the recipe pretty general, so that you can change that part up too. Different nuts and seeds have different nutrient components, so it is nice to have some variety there. And since nuts and seeds have anti-nutrients like phytic acid just like grains, I do prefer to use soaked/dehydrated or sprouted nuts and seeds. You can soak/dehydrate yourself, or buy them sprouted (here you can find already sprouted seeds or sprouted nuts). I usually buy the organic nuts or seeds at Costco and just soak/dehydrate myself to save on my budget. If you have a nut free household, all seeds works just fine, or you can swap the nuts/seeds for shredded coconut or more oats. Directions for doing this is right in the recipe. Here are some nut/seed ideas to try:

A note on sweeteners and amount…

While 1/2 cup of sweetener may feel like “a lot,” keep in mind this is spread out across an entire 9×13 pan of baked oatmeal – it’s a lot of baked oatmeal. The half cup of honey leaves this baked oatmeal with a nice, mild sweetness. If you have older children used to sweeter foods, you may want to add a bit more. Or bake it off this way, and you can drizzle a little honey on the top of theirs if they mention that it doesn’t taste sweet to them. You can use whatever sweetener you feel comfortable using – honey, pure maple syrup, etc. I do like to use coconut sugar lately because we love the warm taste, and it has a lower glycemic index. Keep in mind coconut sugar does make the baked oatmeal darker in color because of the coconut sugar’s darker color. It just looks more rich to me. Pictured in this post is a combination of honey and maple syrup.

How to freeze and re-heat leftover baked oatmeal

Because that is really why we are here right?! To learn how to make a breakfast that serves itself twice!

  1. Completely cool the baked oatmeal.
  2. Cut the baked oatmeal into the sized servings you want.
  3. Individually wrap each slice of baked oatmeal with plastic wrap (you can use beeswax wrap if you wish), and then place them into a freezer bag. This will ensure they don’t get freezer burn. Alternatively, you can just put the squares into a freezer bag without individually wrapping them. If you plan to use the baked oatmeal within 2 weeks, you are not likely to get the freezer burn. If you plan to have them frozen for over 2 weeks, my suggestion is preventing the freezer burn, and using the wrap.
  4. The night before you want to serve the frozen leftover baked oatmeal, take the servings out of the freezer, and set them on the counter to thaw out. They will be thawed by morning and ready to warm up!
  5. To warm up the thawed out baked oatmeal, I like to place the servings on a baking sheet and set the baking sheet in a cold oven. Turn the oven on to pre-heat to 350 degrees. By the time the oven pre-heats, the baked oatmeal is gently warmed up! You can turn the oven off, and serve.

5.0 from 18 reviews
How To Make Soaked Baked Oatmeal :: A framework for a nutritious baked oatmeal that you can flavor any way you choose!
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 5 cups oats (Not quick cooking oats. If you are gluten free, be sure your oats say they are gluten free like THESE)
  • 2 ½ cups full fat coconut milk or raw milk
  • ½ cup unsweetened full fat coconut yogurt, or dairy yogurt. (Our grocer carries the large 32oz tubs of So Delicious plain coconut yogurt which is what I use.)
  • 2 cups of nuts or seeds of choice, chopped (I buzz them up in my food processor quick. I like to use soaked/dehydrated nuts for best digestion. *OR* you can skip the nuts/seeds and add in 1 more cup of oats to the soaking process. *OR* you can skip the nuts/seeds and add in 1-2 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut. A mix of nuts/seeds and shredded coconut works too.)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed meal
  • 8 eggs
  • ½ cup sweetener of choice (Raw honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, etc)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1-4 tsp cinnamon (depending on the fruit you are using – I like more with apples, bananas, pears, or raisins. And less if using berries and peaches)
  • 3 tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 ½ - 2 cups of fresh fruit, OR 1 cup dried fruit (see above notes for ideas!)
Instructions
  1. Soak the oats 8-24 hours before baking. The day before you want to make this for breakfast, put the oats, coconut milk, and yogurt in a medium mixing bowl, stir to combine, and cover with a towel to soak overnight. You can also butter your 9x13 baking dish the night before so it’s ready.
  2. In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Add everything EXCEPT the fruit to the soaked oats, and mix in thoroughly.
  4. Fold the fruit into the batter, and pour the batter into the buttered the buttered baking dish.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes, until the top is lightly browned. You can use the toothpick method to make sure the middle is set – it should come out clean if the baked oatmeal is done cooking.

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34 Comments

  • Reply Karen August 30, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    Looks great! Does this taste sour? I’m finding that my older son isn’t eating much oatmeal when I soak it overnight which is a bummer because I know how much better it is for him. I’ve taken to buying the pre-soaked oatmeal but it’s much more expensive.

    • Reply Renee Kohley August 30, 2018 at 7:26 pm

      Hi Karen! You’ll smell the yogurt after the soaking, but once it bakes off it is not sour at all. I do know what you are talking about, because it took me years to get used to soured oatmeal 🙂 This does not taste sour – kids who don’t take to soaked oats well will like this.

  • Reply Heather September 1, 2018 at 8:10 am

    Will this work with sprouted oats? I think sprouted oats were soaked already as part of the sprouting process. I usually use sprouted gluten free oats. Thoughts and thanks?!

    • Reply Renee Kohley September 3, 2018 at 12:52 pm

      Hi Heather! Yes, it will work with sprouted oats – you just don’t need to soak them 🙂 You can use the same amount of liquid.

  • Reply Bree Speicher September 1, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Can you substitute the eggs? If so, what ratios would you recommend?

    • Reply Renee Kohley September 3, 2018 at 12:51 pm

      Hi Val! There is a lot of eggs here, so I wouldn’t recommend one egg subbing method. I would possibly try half the eggs as chia eggs and half the eggs as a fruit puree egg sub like applesauce or pumpkin. Maybe try to make a half recipe so you are only needing to sub 4 eggs, and see if it works? I’m sure there are many people that would benefit from hearing how your experiment goes, so please report back what you try!

  • Reply Sarah September 1, 2018 at 4:56 pm

    Hi Renee, when you soak your oats do you leave them out on the counter or refrigerate them? Thanks!

    • Reply Renee Kohley September 3, 2018 at 12:51 pm

      Hi Sarah! You can leave them right out on the counter.

  • Reply Jody Reis September 2, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    How so you recommend storing leftovers? I know you mentioned freezing but will this keep for a couple days at room temp or fridge?

    • Reply Renee Kohley September 3, 2018 at 12:50 pm

      Hi Jody! This will definitely keep for about 5 days in the refrigerator!

  • Reply Val September 2, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    What can I substitute for the eggs since my son has an egg allergy?

    • Reply Renee Kohley September 3, 2018 at 12:50 pm

      Hi Val! There is a lot of eggs here, so I wouldn’t recommend one egg subbing method. I would possibly try half the eggs as chia eggs and half the eggs as a fruit puree egg sub like applesauce or pumpkin. Maybe try to make a half recipe so you are only needing to sub 4 eggs, and see if it works? I’m sure there are many people that would benefit from hearing how your experiment goes, so please report back what you try!

  • Reply Katie Walsh Beck September 3, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    Baked oatmeal is one of my favorite things! Right out of the oven on a winter day there is literally nothing better for breakfast. And t I make it a lot on a Sunday and we eat it all week long. This recipe sounds wonderful – coconut milk makes it so luxurious I am sure!

  • Reply linda spiker September 3, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    I love that you explain about why you use a 1/2 cup of sweetener. I think it’s super important to allow some space for experimentation when it comes to the amount of sweetener used in a given recipe. The first time I used Stevia in lemonade, I hated it . Then I started using a combination of half stevia/ half sugar, eventually cutting back the sugar until I was using only stevia and now I love it! When our taste buds are used to something, it can be an adjustment and by allowing some space you encourage people not to give up after the first try!

  • Reply Jean September 3, 2018 at 5:29 pm

    I love that you soaked the oats for better digestion! I usually get bloated with oats but I bet I can enjoy these with no problem.

  • Reply Emily @ Recipes to Nourish September 3, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    Oh this is so perfect!!! I love baked oatmeal and there’s nothing more nutritious than properly soaked oats. The thickness of this baked oatmeal is everything too – I LOVE that nice hearty, thick bite.

  • Reply Jessica DeMay September 3, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    This looks like a great breakfast to start the day! I love how customizable it is and yes to soaked oatmeal! That’s the only way my husband can tolerate it. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply jennifer September 4, 2018 at 7:33 am

    I am a HUGE baked oatmeal fan! Love it and often batch cook a couple and freeze the single portions. Also, I love how you said “make every bit of their breakfast count” . . .amen, sister!

  • Reply Tessa Simpson September 4, 2018 at 8:44 am

    What an awesome breakfast idea! Would the soaking help the nuts digestion too? Or no because they are not rinsed first? Just curious! I think I would add some collagen to the mix too…b/c I love it!!

    • Reply Renee Kohley September 4, 2018 at 3:00 pm

      Hi Tessa! Yes, if your nuts/seeds are not soaked/sprouted, you can soak them right along with the oats, though nuts and seeds need salt for traditional soaking, so they would need that added. I tend to buy big bags of the organic nuts at Costco and soak/dehydrate them, so they are all ready to go when I need them!

  • Reply Katja September 4, 2018 at 1:40 pm

    Mmmmmm! Perfect for cool fall mornings. Can I live at your house?

  • Reply Christina Shoemaker September 4, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    I love baked oatmeal! Such a fun way to feed guests for brunch! This looks delicious and super easy to customize!

  • Reply Megan Stevens September 4, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    Wow, Renee, this is such a special and complete recipe. I love everything about it, from the soaking to all those eggs. I’d love mine with pears and sprouted walnuts — yum!!!! Pinning lots!! 🙂

  • Reply Lindsey Dietz September 5, 2018 at 7:09 am

    This is exactly the type of recipe I need! I love all the flavor options — perfect for enjoying this breakfast year-round and changing it up with what’s in season. Definitely making!

  • Reply ChihYu Smith September 7, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    My husband loves oats so I’ll be making this for him. What a lovely and cozy recipe for the fall !

  • Reply Carol Little R.H. @studiobotanica September 8, 2018 at 11:14 am

    Cannot wait to try this! Love overnight oats and you have given me so many ideas for variations!
    Thanks. Perfect for cooler mornings… coming up!!

  • Reply Irena Macri September 9, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Wow – this is stunning and I love that you soaked the oats. This is perfect for my 80/20 paleo approach because sometimes, a good oatmeal bake just hits the spot. Perfect for meal prep!! Can’t wait to try xx

  • Reply Anna September 9, 2018 at 8:47 pm

    LOVE all the flavor variation ideas! My kids just absolutely adore this breakfast. And your photos are gorgeous!

  • Reply Taesha Butler (The Natural Nurturer) September 9, 2018 at 11:01 pm

    Yes! Soaking your oats is so important but something so many people overlook or skip!

  • Reply Donna September 10, 2018 at 3:33 am

    I Love this recipe Renee!! I’m heading to South Africa in a few weeks and we will be needing easy to pack breakfasts for early mornings in the game reserve, this is ideal!!

  • Reply Kari - Get Inspired Everyday! September 10, 2018 at 9:20 am

    Wow, this looks so good and easy too which is always a bonus in my book! We still have tons of peaches and berries, so that would be the first flavor combo to try for me!

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