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The Best Soaked and Baked Oatmeal Recipe (Gluten Free)

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There are cheers all around when this soaked baked oatmeal makes an appearance on our breakfast table! It’s a sweet change of pace from our typical savory egg breakfast. But since it’s still packed with protein-rich eggs and good fats, I feel good about serving this nutrient-dense breakfast to my family to start their day.

When visiting some of our closest friends several years ago, they served us baked oatmeal for brunch one Saturday morning. Everyone loved it!

I’ve never been crazy about serving our crew carb-heavy standard oatmeal, but this seemed to offer a much more balanced option. So, I set out to recreate and perfect my own soaked baked oatmeal recipe.

baked oatmeal with fresh ground cherries
baked oatmeal with fresh ground cherries

The Importance of a Nutrient-Dense Breakfast

For breakfast specifically, it is a priority for us to ensure that proteins and high-quality fats are included for satiety and to avoid the mid-morning blood sugar crash. 

No one likes hangry kids (or parents) before lunch and we have found that packing breakfast full of protein and fat prevents this. Furthermore, a hearty breakfast makes mid-morning snacking completely unnecessary.

Have you ever wondered, “Why are tasty, nutrient-dense breakfasts that kids love so hard to come by?” We get this question all the time! That’s why this soaked baked oatmeal recipe has been in our regular rotation for years.

serving soaked baked oatmeal

My strategy with breakfast is that I prepare a big batch of something at the beginning of the week that will last for at least a couple of days. Then I alternate that with something basic like hard-boiled or scrambled eggs. 

Having breakfast prepared beforehand helps significantly on those busy mornings. I have found that our kids appreciate switching things up and not having the same thing multiple days in a row for breakfast, and I appreciate that it makes breakfast go much more smoothly. This recipe quickly became one of our favorite breakfasts!

Why soaked?

Like other grains, oats are seeds and are not meant to be digested. They contain a compound called phytic acid as a defense mechanism to protect itself. In our bodies, the phytic acid blocks digestive enzymes and binds to minerals like iron, zinc, and calcium making them difficult for the body to absorb. The soaking process helps your oats to break down the phytic acid making them more digestible and nutrient rich.

How to soak oats?

Oats should soak in an acidic medium for at least eight hours, or overnight, and can be soaked for up to twenty-four hours. The soaking mixture for your oats could be buttermilk, whole milk yogurt, kefir, or whey. If you avoid dairy, water with a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice will work. The oats should be completely soaked but not drowning in liquid.

What about sourcing?

Sourcing is important when it comes to oats. Almost 100% of oats on the market have tested positive for glyphosate. Organic is important when it comes to oats. If you cannot find a good source locally, we buy One Degree Organic Foods sprouted, organic, and gluten free oats from Costco.

pouring milk over soaked baked oatmeal

Grains or No Grains?

This is a personal decision based on your own body, needs, and health status. When we were going through seasons of intense healing, I avoided grains altogether. You can read about that story in my post, Recovering from Hypothalamic Amenorrhea. There is nothing nutritionally in grains (vitamins, minerals, fiber) that you cannot get more easily and in greater amounts from other sources like animal products, vegetables, and fruits. My take is, that if your body is able to tolerate grains and they are sourced well and prepared properly, they are fine to eat in moderation alongside other nutrient-dense foods.

What to Mix into your Baked Oatmeal?

The options are endless here! We love picking all the fresh fruit we can (berries, cherries, rhubarb) from our garden or other local farms when they are in season and freezing them. This is a perfect use of those frozen berries. Some of our favorite favorite toppings are:

  • Fresh blueberries and rhubarb
  • Cinnamon, apples or pears, chopped nuts
  • Ground cherries
  • Bananas with unsweetened coconut flakes
  • Cherries with dark chocolate
about to add fruit into soaked oats

What kind of sweetener and how much?

We try to avoid adding too much extra sweeteners to our food so a little bit of sweetness goes a long way. That being said, we have found that ¼ cup of honey or maple syrup—our favorite natural sweetener options—makes this baked oatmeal plenty sweet for our tastes. 

If you are used to things a bit sweeter, you may want to add a bit more. As an alternative, a little drizzle of maple syrup or honey on top can give this dish just the right amount of added sweetness to make it a special treat. 

How to serve

This baked oatmeal is delicious plain. But most members of our family prefer it served with a splash of milk and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup on top—this can make it an extra special treat! 

Baked oatmeal is also delicious served with a splash of whole milk. For non-dairy options, you could also try coconut milk, soy milk, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, or any other alternative milk on your baked oatmeal.

Baked oatmeal also reheats very well and makes great leftovers. We love making a big batch at the beginning of the week and having it a few times.

Soaked and Baked Oatmeal Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2.5-3 cups oats
  • 1.5 cups milk, yogurt, buttermilk, or kefir (for soaking). Alternatively, you could use water plus 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups mix in’s (berries, rhubarb, chopped nuts, bananas, apples, coconut flakes, etc)
soaked baked oatmeal ready to serve with milk

Directions:

1. 12-24 hours before making, place oats in a bowl on the counter and mix with either the milk or fermented dairy or water plus acid. The oats should be fully soaked but not drowning in liquid. 

2. After soaking, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well until everything is incorporated.

3. Pour into a greased 9×13 baking dish.

spreading baked oatmeal in 9x13 pan

4. Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes.

Serve and enjoy! The baked oatmeal is delicious on its own, but we think a splash of milk and a drizzle of honey or maple sugar makes it extra tasty!

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Check out more of our favorite breakfast recipes!

Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Scones with Banana (Gluten Free)
Healthy Sausage Patties (Easy Freezer Meal Bulk Recipe!)
Easy Buckwheat Muffins (Gluten Free and Dairy Free)
Simple Gluten Free Butternut Squash Muffins

delicious soaked baked oatmeal

The Best Soaked and Baked Gluten Free Oatmeal

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

There are cheers all around when this soaked and baked oatmeal makes an appearance on our breakfast table! It’s a sweet change of pace from our typical savory egg breakfast but it’s packed with protein rich eggs and healthy fats for a more nutrient dense breakfast than your standard oatmeal. I feel good about serving it to my family to start off their day.

Ingredients

  • 2.5-3 cups oats
  • 1.5 cups milk, yogurt, buttermilk, or kefir (for soaking). Alternatively, you could use water plus 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup honey or maple syrup
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups mix in’s (berries, rhubarb, chopped nuts, bananas, apples, coconut flakes, etc)

Instructions

    1. 12-24 hours before making, place oats in a bowl on the counter and mix with either the milk or fermented dairy or water plus acid. The oats should be fully soaked but not drowning in liquid.
    2. After soaking, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well until everything is incorporated.
    3. Pour into a greased 9x13 baking dish.
    4. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.

Notes

This baked oatmeal is delicious plain. But most members of our family prefer it served with a splash of milk and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup on top, which can make it an extra special treat. Baked oatmeal also reheats very well and makes great leftovers. We love making a big batch at the beginning of the week and having it a few times.

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16 Comments

  1. Hey there, Joelle! Do you leave the oats to soak on the counter for the 12+ hours or do you soak them in the fridge?

          1. I’m just curious on why it shouldn’t be done with pasteurized milk? I did it last night with low-temp pasteurized before I saw this comment. Wondering if it’s safe to feed my family now once baked. Thanks!

          2. Hi! My thinking with that was that when milk is pasteurized it destroys a lot of the natural bacteria and enzymes that cause milk to naturally ferment when left out. With pasteurized milk, I’m afraid that it might go bad left on the counter overnight. You could also soak with yogurt, kefir, or buttermilk – some sort of cultured milk. Hope this helps!

    1. Hi there! You don’t need to drain the oats. When you soak them you want all the oats to be wet, but there shouldn’t be puddled liquid that needs to be drained. Instead of a dairy-free milk, I’d use water with a tbsp or 2 of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to soak.

  2. We love these oats! If we’re not eating eggs we’re eating these! Thanks for sharing!

    What do you think about prepping these? I’m wanting to make them for my in laws so they have a healthy breakfast everyday. I’m planning to soak them and then mix and freezer them so they can just heat them up/cook them each morning.

    1. So glad you like this recipe! I haven’t tried freezing these but I don’t see why you couldn’t. I’d probably do the whole process of baking them and then freeze so they only need to reheat. I hope they really like them too. That’s such a nice thing you are doing!

  3. I am looking forward to trying this recipe. Is there a substitute I can use for the coconut oil?

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