There is something about a warm breakfast of oats with cold milk that really excites me.

As a child, I have fond memories of oatmeal packets on early school mornings. Two minutes and a microwave meant   I could enjoy oatmeal, instantly. Hence instant oats.

Once our family began our journey of real food and started thinking about food products, I had to face a hard truth. There wasn’t much “real” about my favorite oatmeal.  Oatmeal on store shelves contains synthetic vitamins, “natural” and artificial colorings and flavorings, and other “goodies”.  I was disappointed that my favorite bowl of morning goodness just didn’t make the real food cut.

Of course, I turned to my kitchen.


I started making homemade oatmeal with basic rolled oats from the grocery store.  Soon, I found a grain co-op and began buying fifty pound bags of organic oats.  Oatmeal became a frequent morning breakfast sweetened with raw honey or pure maple syrup and fresh fruit.

A couple years ago, I picked up a copy of the book Nourishing Traditions. It was at this time our family decided to take a step further into real food, turning from vegetarianism toward real, traditional foods. Part of this shift also meant properly preparing grains, nuts, seeds, and beans by soaking.


Why Soak Grains?

Oats and other grains and legumes contain phytic acid which is an anti-nutrient making it hard to absorb the nutrients when digested.  Soaking is traditional and has been practiced as a way to make grains, nuts, seeds, and beans more digestible and help unlock the nutrients.  According to Nourishing Traditions,

Traditional societies usually soak or ferment their grains before eating them, processes that neutralize phytates and enzyme inhibitors and in effect, predigest grains so that all their nutrients are more available. Sprouting, overnight soaking, and old-fashioned sour leavening can accomplish this important predigestive process in our own kitchens. Many people who are allergic to grains will tolerate them well when they are prepared according to these procedures.

Our family soaks many, not all, the grains we consume. Soaking not only improves digestion and absorption of vitamins and minerals, but also allows for oats to cook quickly. The original instant oatmeal.


5 from 5 votes

Soaked Oatmeal: The Original Instant Oatmeal

Our family soaks many, not all, the grains we consume. Soaking not only improves digestion and absorption of vitamins and minerals, but also allows for oats to cook quickly. The original instant oatmeal.
Kristin Marr
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people
Calories 895 kcal


  • 2 cups rolled oats not instant
  • 2 cups water warm
  • 2 TB pure maple syrup
  • 2 TB plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup whole milk


  • Mix together: oats, 2 cups water, pure maple syrup, and acidic medium in a large bowl. Cover and let sit on the counter overnight.
  • In the morning, bring 1 cup milk, 1 cup water, salt, and oat mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and allow to simmer around 5 minutes. Watch carefully as these oats cook quickly.
  • Spoon into bowls and top with a healthy fat such as grass-fed butter or coconut oil. We also top ours with chopped walnuts, ground cinnamon, berries, raw milk, and raw honey or pure maple syrup.


Calories: 895kcalCarbohydrates: 150gProtein: 30gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 1336mgPotassium: 1060mgFiber: 16gSugar: 39gVitamin A: 395IUCalcium: 467mgIron: 6.9mg
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. I’ve been drinking organic grass-fed milk but after learning about what ultra-pasteurization does I will finish my last carton and begin to buy HTST pasteurized grass-based milk (no raw or low temp available where I live). Anyway, if I make the entire batch (4 servings), how long do you think leftovers will keep in the fridge? And I’m guessing I would refrigerate AFTER soaking and BEFORE cooking the next day, correct? THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR EFFORTS!

    1. Hey Debbie, I would soak according to the recipe: the oats in water with the yogurt.Then in the morning, cook in the milk and refrigerate. Then reheat in a saucepan or microwave with a splash of milk or water.

  2. 5 stars
    Yummy! Best way to eat oatmeal. Soaked last night using Stonyfield plain whole milk yogurt. Cooked this morning while packing lunches. SO simple and delicious!!!!

  3. This was delicious! I used organic whole milk vanilla yogurt instead of plain, that is what I had on hand. Sprinkled with fresh raspberries

  4. Do you need to use filtered water in the oats? I’ve read somewhere that the chlorine in tap water can kill the good bacteria from the yogurt.