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How to Make Whole Grain Oatmeal

How to Make Whole Grain Oatmeal

Whole grain oatmeal tastes soo much better than its mushy minute oat counterpart.  However, I was deterred by its longer cooking time and seldom bothered to make it.  That is until I read a cookbook called Nourishing Traditions and learned that oatmeal was traditionally soaked overnight before preparing.  Soaking neutralizes the phytates present in all grains, it makes the nutrients more available to your body and easier to digest.  Plus it greatly reduces cooking time which means you can whip up a pot of real, delicious oatmeal in 5 minutes or less.  Use rolled, cracked or steel cut oats for the most nutrition and get ready for a quick, hearty breakfast in minutes.


  • 1 part oats (steel cut, rolled or cracked)
  • 2 parts water
  • Butter
  • Sweetener of choice (I prefer maple syrup)
  • Optional extras: fruit, nuts, spices, etc.


  • Fill a mason jar with one part oats to 2 parts water – it doesn’t have to be exact, just make sure the water is at least a couple inches above the oats.  Estimate about 1/3 cup dry oats per serving.  Put the lid on and leave it on your countertop overnight, preferably for at least 7 hours.
  • In the morning heat a small pot over medium heat.
  • Melt a generous pat of butter in the bottom and then add oatmeal and whatever extras you like (fruit, raisins, spices, etc.) and sweeten to taste.
  • Stir occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.  Once it’s heated through it’s ready to eat, usually 3-4 minutes.


  • Storage – After the initial soak, any remaining uncooked oats should be kept in the fridge.  I usually soak 3 days worth of oats.  Then I cook one days worth at a time and store the rest in the fridge where they’ll keep for several days.
  • Be adventurous with your flavor combinations, this oatmeal lends well to many different flavors.  My favor combo is steel cut oats with peanut butter, maple syrup and cinnamon.  Most days I also add a dollop of whole milk yogurt for extra creaminess.
  • For extra phytate neutralization add 1-2 tablespoons of whey or plain yogurt to your soaking water.  The easiest place to find way is in your yogurt container.  If you buy yogurt by the quart you may have noticed that liquid tends to pool at the top of your container.  This is the whey – it’s normal and healthy and actually has many uses in the kitchen.  Click here for simple whey making instructions:
  • Click here for additional information on the benefits of soaking:

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2 Responses to “How to Make Whole Grain Oatmeal”

  1. Laura says:

    When adding the oats, do you include the soaking water? Or any other liquid?


    • Jen Hubbard says:

      Good question. It really depends on how thick you want your oatmeal. If the oats soaked up most of the water then I just pour it all in the cooking pot. If however there’s still a lot of liquid, I pour most of it off before cooking. Basically if you like runny oatmeal keep at least half an inch of the water, if you like it thick you should pour most of it off. Either way it’s not necessary to add additional liquid, although a bit of cream or yogurt added at the end is a tasty touch:)

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