Avoiding the Drive Through: Soaked Oatmeal

Today I want to share with you one of my most used techniques for how to ensure that you have lots of nutritious breakfasts for yourself throughout your work week, without spending a whole lot of time in the kitchen.  I make up a big batch of soaked oatmeal most weekends, and it gets me through weekday morning breakfasts without having to make a pit stop in the hospital cafeteria.

The reason I soak my oats overnight is twofold: 1) soaked grains are more digestible and the nutrients in them more readily available to your body, and 2) they cook so much faster!  It really doesn’t take much more effort to do it this way rather than buying packets of instant oatmeal, and you can control exactly what goes into your oatmeal.  That makes it a win in my book.  This is more of a guide than a recipe, as I never make it the same way twice.  Other than the oatmeal, I actually don’t even measure anything else, so the amounts are approximate.

Soaked Oatmeal

1 1/2 cups steel cut oats (this gets me through 4 breakfasts, which is what I need for work)


1-2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Coconut milk (or whatever milk you tolerate best)

Spices of your choosing:  I like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.  You could also add some cocoa powder

Mix ins: nuts, seeds, fruits, coconut flakes, chia seeds, chocolate chips, etc.

Sweetener of your choice: maple syrup, coconut nectar, brown sugar, honey, etc.

The night before you want to make your oatmeal, measure out your oats into a bowl.  Fill the bowl with enough water to cover the oats and then some (they’ll absorb water as they soak, so give them a bit extra), then add in your apple cider vinegar.  Cover with a towel and leave overnight.

When you’re ready to cook, strain the oats and add to a stockpot, along with enough water/milk to cover them, similar to the amount you added to soak.  Add in your spices, mix ins, and sweetener.  Turn the burner on medium low heat, and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally.  Keep your eye on it while you cook dinner, wash dishes, etc., about 20 minutes or so.  When it looks to be about the consistency that you like, taste and see if its cooked through.  Steel cut oats will still have a bit of a crunch to them.  Some people like them more or less mushy, so its up to you.

This is how mine look when they’re done, still a little wet.

Remove from heat and allow to cool, then divide into containers and store in the fridge.  If you wanted to add some more protein, you could beat a couple eggs to add to the oatmeal, but I usually just take a long a hardboiled egg to eat with the oatmeal.

This is a great, nutritious breakfast that will keep you full till lunchtime.  The nutrients in soaked oats are more bioavailable, the milk adds some healthy fats, the fruit gives you some antioxidants and vitamins, and the nuts and the hardboiled egg give you protein.  Balanced breakfasts for the whole week, in 30 minutes or less.  Can’t beat it.

Happy Monday!

This post is part of Monday Mania at the Healthy Home Economist.


2 thoughts on “Avoiding the Drive Through: Soaked Oatmeal

    • Glad you liked it! I like it because it works with my routine, and that means I’ll actually do it on a regular basis. It’s all about finding what works for you.

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