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Healthy Baked Oatmeal Recipe – Apple Pie Oatmeal

Healthy Baked Oatmeal Recipe

Healthy Baked Oatmeal Recipe

This healthy baked oatmeal recipe is a nutritious and simple breakfast that everyone loves. My friend, Sue, has perfected it, we call it “apple pie oatmeal“, and make it regularly. I like to keep an extra in the freezer for when I know we’ll have a busy morning. I just set it in the oven the night before and use the auto-on feature so we wake up to the smell of cinnamon and oatmeal in the morning, yum!

Healthy Baked Oatmeal Recipe



Soak oats, flour and buttermilk covered on kitchen counter overnight. (I rarely do this, but 24 hours is better in order to break down more of the phytic acid — an anti-nutrient found it grains, it binds with minerals making it unavailable in our bodies.) In the morning, beat oil, sugar, and eggs until glossy. Add baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla; beat. Stir in oats, raisins, and chopped apples (or pears). Sue said that she’ll sometimes add a little more milk at this point if the oats seem a little too dry. Pour into 9×13 buttered baking dish and bake at 350 for 20-40 minutes, depending on your desired consistency.

Make-ahead note — this is how I always do it: You can also mix all the ingredients together ahead of time (wet ingredients first, add dry ingredients, then add the last 3 ingredients), then set it in your oven with the auto-bake feature on so you wake up to the delicious aroma of apples and cinnamon! Don’t forget to make extra for your freezer.

Serve with butter and a little more real maple syrup if desired, but it’s really good all on its own!

One more thing: In case you’re wondering why the oats don’t need to be drained after soaking overnight, Jenny from Nourished Kitchen has this to say: “You don’t have to because the phytic acid is degraded. It doesn’t leach into the water like oxalates do.”

Did you know…curetoothdecay

I wanted to give you a heads-up that some say oatmeal is not a nutritious food the way we buy it in the U.S., even if properly prepared. Read more about why at this post, especially if you struggle with cavities, Q & A with Rami Nagel on his book, Curing Tooth Decay.

Get the book here: Curing Tooth Decay.


  1. I just need to clarify that I didn’t try it with honey or maple syrup yet. I thought you could use it in place of the sugar. The original recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar and I cut it in half. If anyone uses honey or maple syrup, let me know how it turns out (unless I try it before you in the next week or so!) Also, the last time I made this I used 1/2 steel cut, and half rolled oats.
    Sue E.

    • @Sue,

      I use maple syrup all the time and don’t know if I ever told you that it turns out great!

  2. This sounds really healthy. Do you think the baking powder is
    an absolute essential ingredient to this recipe?

    (Thank in advance)

  3. Kelly, my kids and husband all LOVE baked oatmeal- even the ones who gag at normal oatmeal. With a little maple syrup on top, they’ll eat it for dessert. We do use honey in our recipe and never add any fruits or raisins, because that would really gross some of them out. I mix it up on Saturday night and stick it in the fridge and then we cook it before church on Sunday morning. So easy.

  4. I make something close to this. I leave out the baking soda, and add apple pie spice. Very yummy! Great with bacon!

  5. Hi Kelly,
    I’m Kate’s grandma and I made the baked oatmeal. It was a huge success! Kate and her daddy LOVED it! I made the mistake of soaking the oatmeal in water first. When I added the milk I realized what I did wrong – a little too wet. No worries I just baked it longer. Great recipe! I feel like a know you from reading your blog everyday. Thanks for all the great stuff!


  6. For those who don’t know, the Kate that Nancy is talking about is Ann Marie (Cheeseslave’s) daughter, Kate, and Nancy is the BEST mother-in-law EVER! She dropped everything to fly out to LA and stay with Kate so Ann Marie could go to a conference for Real Food Media this past weekend, AND while Ann Marie was gone, she made Kate REAL FOOD – does it get any better than that?

    Nancy, I just had to tell everyone! :)

  7. Hi Kelly,
    Just wanted to thank you for being my fan! You are such a sweetie! I made the baked oatmeal twice on this last trip as it was requested by Seth and Ed. Ann Marie also wanted to try it. I’m sure that AM told you about Ed’s comment, “I like this for my last meal”
    Try this for your family!

  8. Hi Nancy,

    I’m putting it in the palmer right now! I still haven’t gotten around to trying it, but I’m making it this week for sure! I told my friend, Sue, that Ed loved it and it made her feel great to get that feedback. :)

    Sounds like you guys had a great trip together in CA, I’m so glad Ann Marie took time to relax at least a little!

    Hoping I get to meet you one of these days!


  9. We did have a great visit! Kate is getting bigger and funnier by the day. It was good that they relaxed, although Ann Marie was on the computer a lot (necessary at this point!) Ann Marie gave me some kefir grains and I made the baked oatmeal today with only kefir (instead of buttermilk) and it was just as delicious! Ed loved it! I cut it into pieces and wrapped each in saran wrap and placed them in a ziplock in the freezer. He can take them out when I’m working and heat them up with some milk. YUM!

    It would be great to meet! I feel like I know you already from your blog and Ann Marie!


  10. I made it with maple syrup, also used pears AND apples and really reeeeeally loved this recipe! If we have any left (doubtful), I’ll try making it into granola like Ann Marie mentioned in a Tweet.

  11. I made it again with kefir instead of milk. Ann Marie gave me some grains while we were in LA. I used pears and maple syrup and it was great! I have been cutting it into squares, wrapping each square in saran wrap and putting them in a ziploc in the freezer. With just two of us it’s a lot! We warm it with milk in a sauce pan. YUM! I made it for my nephews, 14 and 15 and they are now hooked too!

  12. I must say I have just turned 50 and have NEVER eaten any breakfast cereal (as a breakfast cereal) although I have used oats and other cereals as toppings for crumbles and in breads and muffins etc.

    I am tempted to try this. I like the idea of adding the fruit.

    There is just my husband and me at home now and this quantity looks like it would last a lifetime. Can someone please give me an indication as to how many serves I will get from this quantity?

  13. It’s just the two of us…so this is what I do. I cool the baked oatmeal. Then I cut it into 12 squares, you may want them bigger or smaller. Next I wrap each piece in plastic wrap and place all of the pieces in a ziploc and freeze them. We take them out, one or two at a time. Put some milk in a sauce pan and put baked oatmeal in. Warm it up and then break up the oatmeal as it heats up. It just takes a few minutes.

  14. I made this oatmeal this morning and it is heavenly! I had stopped eating grains, but this may make me fall off the wagon (had to try it to see how it tasted). My kids eat oatmeal several times a week, (because they tire of eggs and kefir smoothies) and this is perfectly healthy for them.

    I used kefir to soak overnight and found it to be the perfect consistency! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe, my kids are thanking you as well.


  15. Believe it or not, today I am making a double batch of the baked oatmeal! So many friends have wanted to try it, since our cholesterol is down 60 points! I figure I’ll freeze it in portions and have enough left over for us! Kefir grains are being dispensed as well! By the way, for those who use a microwave…if you heat the frozen portion for 1 minute, break it up with a spoon and add milk, heat for another minute, you will have healthy instant oatmeal! And maybe your doctor will do a happy dance because your cholesterol dropped too!

  16. Nancy, I love how you’re spreading the word about real food!!! Your comment reminded me to go add a link in this email to Ann Marie’s post about how your cholesterol dropped after eating this oatmeal. :)

    A hint though: just use a little pan to heat it up so you don’t have risk losing all the beneficial nutrients in the microwave.

    I get to visit Ann Marie tomorrow!

  17. I started soaking my oats yesterday afternoon (my first time soaking!) and made this baked oatmeal this morning. I have one word to say about it — YUM!!

  18. Hi, Kel,

    I think you should add something to your post about WHY it’s important that Nancy and Ed’s cholesterol dropped after eating this baked oatmeal 4-5 times a week for a month. I agree with you that cholesterol numbers are not important (the whole cholesterol thing is a sham) BUT I did a little digging (see my post) and found out what caused their numbers to drop and why it’s a good thing.

    Thyroid expert Mary Shomon said that your thyroid gland regulates your cholesterol.

    Shomon says that as we get older, our cholesterol goes up because our thyroid function goes down. I think what is so significant about Nancy and Ed’s experience is NOT that their cholesterol went down, but that their thyroid function improved.

    The thyroid gland regulates the body’s temperature, metabolism, immunity and hormonal balance; the texture and quality of your skin, hair, and overall well-being; as well as sex drive, mood elevation and emotional balance. So many people have low thyroid function due to all the industrial waste we’ve been consuming (soy, fluoride, perchlorate, etc.)

    A known benefit of coconut oil is that it supports the thyroid. This is how I deduced that it is the coconut oil that made their cholesterol numbers drop 60 points within a month. There’s 1/2 a cup of coconut oil in this recipe, so if you eat a serving per day (1/12th of the baked oatmeal) you’re getting just over half a tablespoon of coconut oil per day. A sneaky way to get that coconut oil in!

    Incidentally, Seth BEGS for baked oatmeal all the time. I need to get in the habit of making it every week. He says he would eat it every single day!

    I’m going to play with this recipe a bit and add more nuts. I want to see if I can get the protein numbers up. I’ve been reading the Julia Ross books and she says we should be eating 20-25 mg of protein per meal.


  19. Kelly – this recipe is fabulous and I’ve been making it for quite a few weeks with different variations. I like using applesauce instead of apples, because my apples were not getting soft enough in the baking. I also wanted to let people know that they can eliminate the sweetener all together and it is still quite tasty. I made it this morning with the cinnamon and vanilla and applesauce, but no honey or maple syrup and it was still quite good. (although not quite the lick-the-bowl-clean tasty that it is with the maple syrup)

  20. Hi Melinda, what a great idea to make it with applesauce! I like the thought of no added sweetener, too, but knowing that oatmeal is already not my kid’s favorite, I’ll probably have to keep making it with the syrup.
    Thanks! :)

  21. I love the idea of using the applesauce. I’ve been making the baked oatmeal pretty regularly and while my family love the recipe as is, I find it to be too sweet. I’m going to try cutting the sweeteners in half — and if I can get away with that, I’ll try the applesauce next.


  22. I like the idea of using applesauce, too!
    Cheeseslave: can you believe the original recipe called for 1 cup sugar!!! I always cut sweetener in half!! Let us know how it is with 1/4 cup instead of the 1/2 cup!
    Sue E.

  23. Sue –

    Haha! I can’t imagine! It was already really sweet.

    I will let you know how it tastes with 1/4 cup. My family (extended family included) is ADDICTED to this recipe. My husband says, “You can give me this every morning for breakfast.” My father-in-law says, “This could be my last meal.” Ha!

    And of course my in-laws are over the moon because their cholesterol has dropped 60 points (both of them) in the past few months after eating this baked oatmeal 4x per week. My mother-in-law is making baked oatmeal for everyone in their condo complex. It used to just be her famous chicken soup that was the miracle healing food — now it’s the soaked baked oatmeal with coconut oil.

    Anyway, thanks so much for your recipe. You (and Kelly) have made many people very happy (and healthy)!


  24. I love baked oatmeal and haven’t thought of it in ages….”Menus for a Small Planet” had a recipe for it in the 70’s….hahaha…I go back a ways. And, I always loved it. Could cut a slab and walk out the door to work. Although now, I must admit, to like eating NOT on the run.
    The new addition here is the coconut oil. Yum. how fabulous.

    Thanks so much!! I love the Cheese Slave site!! And you introduced it to me, Kelly.

  25. ps. I’ll be using an evelope of Stevia in my recipe. The fruit will make it sweet enough, if cut up enough. Each bite w/ have a piece of fruit. How tasty is that?!!!

  26. Hi Karen!

    You’ll have to let us know how that is, I’ve never had good luck with Stevia in anything, and this is so good with maple syrup, but you could also just cut that back some. :) So good to hear from you!!


  27. Do you have to drain the oatmeal from the buttermilk before you mix in the other stuff? I usually drain and rinse my soaked oats before I cook them as plain oatmeal. Thanks!

  28. Just had to say that this recipe has become the staple “go to” breakfast in our house. I make it ahead and freeze it in individual portions. This morning my husband told me he feels so much more satisified eating this than a bagel (his old breakfast of choice). I made my most recent batch with apples and fresh blueberries — YUM! These soaked oats are about the only grains I’m eating lately and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.

  29. Kelly, I have to say, I’m so intrigued by the comments on this post.

    I am a recipe follower to a T. What is your preferred sweetener and how much? I have turbinado sugar (sp?) and maple syrup and honey. Which do you recommend?

    I probably won’t add fruit; I’m generally not a fan in granola or oatmeal, so take that into consideration when recommending how much sweetener to use.

    Also, as far as soaking in buttermilk, do you make your own from raw milk or purchase it? I have some raw milk that is almost at its expiration date, but I’m not sure if I have enough to make buttermilk. Guess I should just search your site to find out how to do that, huh? 😉

  30. Hi Jo-Lynne,

    I loooove using maple syrup for this, but I’ve also used palm sugar and that was good, too. I use the same amount that’s called for in the recipe.

    For my buttermilk, yes, I make it with raw milk. Now I’ve made it so long, I just keep using a half cup from my previous batch to make a new quart of it. To get a new buttermilk starter, you can get one here:” target=”_blank.


  31. Hey there Jo-Lynne — I wanted to add a quick note to Kelly’s response. I always make this with 1/2 cup maple syrup and it’s perfect, but I typically use the raisins and apples. One time I made it for my hubby with apples and pecans and it really “needed” more sweetener. Even though my husband isn’t a big fan of raisins, we both underestimated how much sweetness they add to this recipe! Just my two cents. :-)

  32. Thank you for the great recipe! I made mine dairy-free by swapping the buttermilk for an equal amount of Sally Fallon’s coconut tonic + 1 T. apple cider vinegar. Delicious!

  33. Okay, so I made it. We don’t like it. Sigh… I can appreciate it. But the kids, notsomuch. I think what they’re objecting to is that slightly sour taste that comes from soaking it in buttermilk. I’m assuming that Kefir would do the same thing? Is there another option?

  34. Hmm, that’s odd because we didn’t notice the sour taste at all…see the comment just above yours for another option…??? Might still be sour, though…bummer.

  35. Is it possible to make this with steel cut oats? That is what we eat the most of, so I’d like to use them. I may just experiment myself, but I wondered if you’d need to use more buttermilk to soak them. Thank you!

  36. Yes I have made it successfully w/ steel cut oats. I have never used more whey or buttermilk for steel cut. I’ve also added some sprouted flour which gives it a consistency of bread pudding.

  37. Thank you! I just made another batch last night, in fact. My 3-year-old likes it, so slowly she and I ate the first batch (I froze in squares as someone else suggested) and I decided to make another. I rather enjoy it, and the taste doesn’t bother me. But next time I’ll give the whey a try.

    Now, is this something I can buy, or do I have to make it?

    I’m slowly reading through Nourishing Traditions. What a great resource!

  38. Jo-Lynne (Musings of a Housewife), you can’t buy it…not yet anyway, hopefully someday things like this will become more mainstream. I’d still rather make my own, though – it’s so easy. :)


  39. Sometimes I find whey at the farmer’s market. Some farmers sell it. But usually you have to make it. You can make it from raw milk or kefir or yogurt. The recipe for making whey is in NT — and I have a recipe on my blog, too.

  40. Wanted to report in on the applesauce substitute. I tried this dish for the first time this AM & made the following subs:

    1) replaced the 1/2 cup sweetener with 1/2 cup of no-sugar added applesauce
    2) replaced the buttermilk with yogurt thinned with water & reduced to 1 1/2 cups because of the applesauce liquid
    3) omitted fruit
    4) reduced raisins to 1 1/2 cups.

    I just pulled it out of the oven & had the first taste. It tastes great!

    I think the applesauce & the raisins make it sweet enough!

  41. Sue & Kelly,

    Here’s a recipe I just tried last night: original with my substitutes in parenthesis.
    2eggs, 1C brown sugar (succanet), 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 6 TBS butter melted, 1 C milk, 3 C oats.

    Grease dish (9×13), beat eggs in dish, add sugar, bkng pwdr, cinn. slt, van. and stir until no lumps. whisk in milk and butter (I also added a 1/2 C of applesauce here), stir in oats. Cover and refridg. overnight. Bake at 350* for 35-45 minutes.

    It was great! I’ve had baked oatmeal before but didn’t like the dry texture – too cake-like for me. the addition of the applesauce was a perfect moisturizer and gave it a moist but still firm texture.

    BUT… I’d like to try it with the buttermilk and coconut oil but have a few questions.
    1) I only have access to store bought buttermilk, usually NON-organic. Is it still worth it to do this or stick with my org. reg. milk?
    2) Is it b/c it’s buttermilk (fermented?) the reason it can safely sit out overnight?

    Thanks for all the resources, I’m still new to the whole process of ‘healthing up’ our eating and am learning so much from your site.

    HIGHLY recommend the book: “What the Bible says About Healthy Living” by Rex Russell, MD. I do not think you need to be a believer to appreciate Dr. Russells research and findings.

  42. So, Jennifer, you don’t soak the oats in buttermilk first? Looks like a good recipe, though! I, too, love my baked oatmeal less “cakey”, and more creamy. I have been omitting baking soda for awhile now, and it turns out just fine.
    I also have been meaning to tell people that I tried peaches in place of apples and blueberries in place of raisins this summer…..yum! Getting ready to prepare my oats to make this tomorrow morning……can’t wait!
    Sue E.
    PS, my buttermilk is non-organic, but be sure yours is CULTURED….
    You can buy a powder culture that you can pour into your own organic milk, though! I just haven’t had the chance to order any yet to put into my nonhomogonized milk. I think it can be bought through some cheese making website. Anyone know?

  43. Hi Beth,
    I’d stick with the real stuff. My first tip-off was this line: “SACO ‘s Buttermilk Blend stores up to several years when kept refrigerated after opening.” Anything that stores that long is super processed. Also, anytime milk is in powdered form it is a super denatured food.
    Just my thoughts! :)

  44. I like eating oatmeal so I made the baked oatmeal recipe this morning (soaked the oatmeal in buttermilk over night ~ 12 hours). I followed the recipe exactly and it came out “wet” – is it suppose to be like this? I put it back in the oven for a couple more minutes and it was still the same way. I just wasnt sure if its suppose to come out this way or not.

    Also would it hurt to decrease the amount of raisins in the recipe? Not a huge fan of them.


  45. Alexis,

    When you say “wet” do you mean soupy?? I actually like my oatmeal to come out more liquidy, so I add more liquid to this original recipe, and I omit the baking powder (and most of my family prefers the middle part to the drier edges, so it’s first come, first served!!—-or we just add milk to the bowl!) So, the way the recipe is written, I am surprised yours came out “wet”, especially when some people have said that they can cut theirs into squares for reheating later. Maybe you forgot the eggs?? Anyway, try less buttermilk, maybe?

    Concerning the raisins, I think this recipe is very forgiving for fruit. I have tried it with Craisins (although they have lots of added sugar), blueberries, peaches, pears, etc. I don’t even measure my fruit in it anymore!

    Hope this helps!
    Sue E.

  46. I wanted to add that the “soupy” comment does sound like maybe you forgot something. Baked oatmeal is normally dry, too cake-like for me so I add 1/2-1 cup of applesauce and after it’s cooled I can still cut it into squares to put away for easy re-heating later.

    Also, I don’t do any fruit or nuts in mine, we all like it plain.

  47. Hi Sue & Jennifer,

    Thanks for the suggestions!

    Its not necessary “soupy” but it doesnt have the consistency of being able to cut out into squares to reheat later. That was my original intent of making the recipe to cut squares to freeze and be able to reheat (since its just me and my husband). It sounds like it was suppose to come out the way it did (the edges were more dry than the middle part of the oatmeal). I made sure I followed the recipe exactly so not sure what happened. I will try putting less buttermilk and see what happens the next time I make it. And I love blueberries so I’ll use those instead.

    Thanks again!

  48. I made this today with leftover oatmeal (made from soaked oat groats) and it was good. Two of the kids asked for seconds and the other two rated it a 3 on a scale of 1 to 5. They rate the plain oatmeal a 1 or less! It will be even better the next time I make it. The original oatmeal was burnt a little in the pan and that taste is coming through. I used honey, didn’t measure the apples or raisins and it turned out soupy so we ate it out of bowls. I’d love to try it will blueberries or blackberries this summer.

  49. we tried this and it’s DELICIOUS!! It’s perfect for a weekend or holiday breakfast.
    It tasted more like coffee-cake, and the kids keep asking me when I will be making it again. thanks!

  50. This recipe is AWESOME!! I have made it several times now, but with raw milk plus lemon juice because I haven’t ordered my buttermilk culture yet (doing that today!). It is definitely a keeper, and I especially love that it makes enough for leftovers, even with my large family.

    Yesterday I made it with more milk (not sure how much more – just poured in some extra), and I loved that the middle was nice and custardy, so I am going to try that again.

  51. This was very tasty! My buttermilk culture kicked the bucket (so sad!) so I substituted milk with a little yogurt and apple cider vinegar. I baked it a little longer and the texture was really nice. It is really filling too-I made half the recipe for my husband and I, and we only ate 1/2 the pan and were completely satisfied. That’s only a 1/4 c oatmeal and half an egg for each of us-talk about a budget booster!

  52. Hi!

    I made this the first few times with oatmeal and it was great and then I tried amaranth and it came out GREAT—family loved it! You all should try it.

  53. Oh wow! This was great. I stumbled across your site after just searching for soaked baked oatmeal. Excellent! This was only my second soaked recipe and definetely a success. I added a couple of tablespoons of WW flour during the soaking process and used applesauce. I like my oatmeal creamy so just poured about 1/2 cup of whole milk on top of it and loved it. I’ll be poking around here for more recipes now! Thank you

  54. Sounds nice- I hope to try it without the sugar and add stevia at the end. I am diabetic and even a half cup of steel cut oatmeal destroys my BG numbers for about two days. But every few months I give it a shot.

  55. I finally got around to making this (I had intended to freeze some before our baby was born six months ago but didn’t get it done with his early arrival!) I’m not a big oatmeal fan, but I liked this. It’s as good as oatmeal gets for me. I used steel cut oats and soaked it in plain yogurt, since I didn’t have any buttermilk on hand. Added some allspice too. Yum! Nice to have some other healthy breakfast options.

  56. Hi I accidentally soaked the oats in warm water like a basic soak instead of with buttermilk. Any ideas for me when I attempt to make this tomorrow morning as far as using buttermilk and continuing with the baked oatmeal recipe? appreciated! thanks!

  57. Hi, Sabrina,
    I just saw your comment, and it’s too late for you to take this advice for
    this morning, but I find when I make my oatmeal, I add more liquid the
    next morning anyway. So, you could (in the future) just add more milk
    or buttermilk (it doesn’t need to be cultured in the morning after the soaking process) to what you are mixing. What did you end up doing this morning?
    Sue E.

    • Thanks Sue. I went ahead with the recipe and hoped for the best. 😉 In the morning I drained the oats and rinsed. I saw they were pretty wet so I didn’t add the 1 3/4 c of buttermilk, instead I put in 1 cup. I did an 1/8 cup of honey (could have added more like 1/4cup or more), i didn’t have raisin apples or pears. I set the oven for 350. it took more like 40 minutes to bake. made the house smelly lovely! and my husband woke up to yummy scents in the house!
      To serve, we added cream, butter, a little maple syrup or stevia and chopped soaked and dried almonds on top!
      Cut in chunks after and froze as suggested on other comments! Wonderful! This will be a regular in our household! Thank you!

  58. I finally made this! I have been meaning to for months. I had the same “soupy” problem as Alexis though. I didn’t leave anything out, although I soaked my oats the way I usually do with warm water and lemon juice as I am waiting for my buttermilk culture to arrive in the mail. The batter was really wet as I put it in the dish and after 20 minutes it was still far too liquidy (I was expecting cake-like) so I baked it for probably 50-60 minutes total. I used honey to sweeten, left out the raisins as 1/2 of us are not fans of raisins and I am still using my regular baking powder up before buying aluminum-free. We just had some, it was delicious but still not cake-like. More the consistency of, well, cooked oatmeal! As it is standing, it is becoming a bit easier to serve squares of it. Does this sound right or is it normally drier?

    • Since it all really depends on how long you cook it, I just changed the times in the post, and probably should’ve done that a while ago!


  59. Could I use something like almond milk instead of the buttermilk to make it dairy free? I am afraid to try to dairy because it usually upsets my stomach but the nourishing traditions way really advocates dairy. Is it going to be possible to try and change without using dairy?

  60. I used lemon juice for mine, since I am waiting for my buttermilk culture. You need something acidic so I don’t think almond milk would work. I think I used 2 1/2 TB of lemon juice for 2 1/2 cups of oats.

  61. Does this come out like bars? Or can it be made in a way that would lend itself to be more like a breakfast bar? I’m pregnant and due in a couple of weeks. I’ve been looking for something nuroushing and portable to have after the birth.

    Also, has anyone tried adding molasses? If so, how much?

    • I thought of another question (I’m new to soaking!). I’m in a small town right now and can not get raw dairy. What other options do I have when it comes to soaking the oats? The best I can do is probably get organic whole milk, yogurt or kefir… but, all store bought. And, I probably don’t have time to buy anything to culture it myself. Is there something else I can use???

      • You can still soak in store-bought yogurt and kefir. Or you could also use lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, but you don’t need as much of those (mixed with water) to get the acid medium you need. :)

    • Once it’s cooled and you cut it, it easily holds its “bar” shape, but it’s soft and has sort of a cake-like consistency. Hope that helps, and no, I haven’t tried molasses but I bet a little bit in there might be tasty.

      You might also make up some soaked pancake dough and get some partially cooked pancakes and waffles in the freezer so you can pop those into the toaster in the mornings.

      Enjoy your new baby when he/she comes!

  62. Wow this was great! A big hit with my 4 girls. One of ’em thought it was as good as apple-dumplings (yay! as the only time I made my gramma’s recipe for apple dumplings I found it was too sweet to enjoy anymore & wanted a healthier version).
    I just finished up making a batch of yogurt last night – which turned out too runny (my starter was getting old) so I used that to soak the oats (perfect!). I used honey instead of sugar & couldn’t see using more than 1/4 c. and that was sweet enough for us. I didn’t measure the apples – just diced up 2 apples (seemed plenty) and couldn’t see using 2 CUPS of raisins, so just threw in about a handful or a little more raisins (1/2 cup?) and that was plenty as well. Love that it has eggs in it for protein and forgot the nuts! Will have to add that next time.
    This will definitely become a staple in our home. Thnx for sharing & so glad I found this! (Forget what brought me here.) :)

  63. I am making my way around these websites with more whole food and recipes, we are trying to slowly eat better without pitching what I have already, and loving it. Any ways I was at a site that linked to another site that linked to this recipe.
    I will admit I didn’t read any of the 87 comments…I LOVE THIS STUFF! I made it with the pears (which IMO if you want your fruit soft rather than al dente it is a good choice)…I used canned pears (don’t arrest me!) in 100% juice…Did everything, including soaking the oatmeal with some flour in buttermilk (so glad I found a use for my homemade buttermilk that has been sitting there) the night before. I used the sugar (don’t like honey and wasn’t in the mood to use my pricey maple syrup-maybe next time) and added almonds but not the raisins (don’t care for them this way). This was like eating the crisp off of apple crisp but not crispy! It was so good, it was like eating dessert for breakfast. I think next time I will back off a little bit of the sugar and see if that will be ok. I have had baked oatmeal before and didn’t like it, but this definitely is a keeper. When I was eating it I thought this would be good with ice cream!
    I had so much left over (my kids won’t eat oatmeal) I just portioned it out into reusable containers and hubby said he will take it to work for breakfast. He loves Kellogg’s Mini Wheats and I just bought 30 boxes but this is better for him so he will eat it here and there as a nice change.
    Thanks for much for this recipe it is awesome!

  64. I read through all the comments and I am also new to soaking. If I use organic whole milk can I add lemon juice in place of buttermilk. If so what is the amount. Thanks so much I love this site! I can’t wait to try more recipes.

    • Hi Gina,

      In place of buttermilk (or yogurt or kefir) for soaking, you can use 1 tablespoon of whey, lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup of liquid (usually water for those who can’t have dairy, but milk would be fine, too). Hope that helps!


    • Even if you put it in there melted, it tends to get all globby as the cold eggs go in, etc., but I just mix it up and it always comes out great! :)

  65. This recipe looks great, but I’m concerned about leaving dairy products out on the counter all night (especially since I don’t have access to raw–only organic). Can I soak the oats in the refrigerator?

  66. Kristin,
    The recipe doesn’t specify between raw or pasteurized buttermilk. I use regular buttermilk from the store. I leave it out on the counter to soak with the oats and it is just fine. In fact, to make your own buttermilk, you put the starter and the milk in a jar on the counter and leave it there for 24 hours. It is fine because of the cultures and bacteria, I think. Kelly, can you comment?
    Sue E.

    • You need to leave it out because part of the process of breaking down the phytic acid in the oats requires warmth. Cold would slow that process way down (or stop it). I know this seems against everything our mothers ever told us, though, doesn’t it?! But people have cultured dairy outside of the frig for centuries. That’s one way food preservation was done before we had refrigeration. :)

      • Thanks, Kelly! That’s good to know; I was tempted to let them soak in the fridge. I went ahead and took the leap and left them out on the counter and the turned out really well. I am storing the finished product in the fridge, though. I think they’d probably be fine on the counter for a day or two, but they are so moist I figured the refrigerator was best since there are only two of us eating them so they’ll last us about a week.

  67. Ok, I made it today (set it out to soak last night) and no food poisoning, lol. Thanks for the info, Sue! I’m not new to eating cultured and fermented foods, but I’m very new to the idea of making them myself.

    I followed the recipe as written using standard organic (but not raw) cultured buttermilk from Whole Foods and honey instead of sugar. It tastes wonderful. But, I’m not sure how to store it. Should the bars be refrigerated or can they sit out (wrapped up, of course) on the counter?

    • I keep mine refrigerated, but am not sure if it’s necessary or not. May as well since it’s just as easy. :)


  68. Since there are only us two. I cut it in servings wrap each portion and put them in a zip lock bag and store in the freezer. Then I heat them in milk before serving. I like to eat a variety of things for breakfast and this way we don’t have to have it for a week. We can have it whenever we want.

  69. Bravo, Kelly! This recipe received eight thumbs up this morning from the littles with no requests for added sweetener. We have a winner!

  70. I have my oatmeal soaking right now! I don’t have a nifty timer on my oven like you do so I’ll just wake up put it in the oven and sneak back to bed :) My husband will only eat oatmeal if I get up to prepare it or if it comes in a bag full of preservatives and he adds hot water (yuck!) So cross your fingers for me that this will become a breakfast staple in our house. It sounds tasty, healthy, and easy!

  71. I didn’t get around to baking my oatmeal this morning. Is it safe to still use the oatmeal since it has been soaking all night and most of the day???

  72. I currently have this dish in the oven, as I was putting away all of the ingredients I realized I didn’t use the whole wheat flour. I reread and reread the directions. At what point was I supposed to add it? During the soaking process? Oops too late now.

    • I’ve made these several times now, but I couldn’t figure out what you were talking about. I’ve never added the wheat flour–I didn’t even realize it was in the ingredients since it isn’t mentioned in the recipe. No matter–I wouldn’t have added it anyway since I avoid wheat. Don’t worry. Mine have always turned out fine without it.

      • I’ve since fixed this and put the note about adding the T. of ww flour up by the recipe instead of as an update below, sorry!!

  73. This recipe is great, ive gotten many people hooked! I have a question though. In the recipe it mentions freezing the mixture, and then letting it thaw and soak on the counter for up to 24 hrs. Is that safe with the eggs in it?


    • I’ve never had a problem with it, and often eggs aren’t refrigerated anyway, but don’t listen to me! If you’re not comfortable with it, please do some more research first.


      • I lived for a year in the UK where eggs aren’t refrigerated at all. They sit in a box (like a bread box) on the counter and you even buy them on a SHELF in the store. Apparently the US is one of the few countries that refrigerate eggs. I tell people this all the time and they are absolutely surprised and perplexed at that because here in the US we’ve been so programed that you must refrigerate eggs.

  74. This recipe came up in a google search and I’m so glad it did because it was really delicious, I soaked the oats&flour for 1.5 days in homemade kefir, used 1/4c honey (could have used less, not a big sweet tooth around our house), left out the baking powder & nuts and wow, it was so good! I was afraid it would be sour as some people have commented but we didn’t taste any sourness at all, it was perfect! I’ll try to grate the apples, use less honey and fewer raisins in the next batch, can’t wait!!

  75. I’m not sure what phytic acid is or why I’d want it to break down?? My son is gluten free and I was looking for recipes without wheat will this work without it? or with an alternative gluten free flour??

  76. Made this for breakfast this morning and it was SO good. My almost 14 month old is gobbling it up. I didn’t have any buttermilk so I soaked the oats in water and lemon juice. Also, I had just ran out of coconut oil so I had to use butter. And I also forgot to put in the baking powder but it was perfect! Thanks for such a good recipe :)

  77. Do I have to freeze it first or can I just mix it all together and leave it out to bake the next morning? Any time savers would be helpful. With a 20-40 minute baking time and 15 minutes for my old oven to preheat, plus time to cool enough to eat, I will have to get up pretty early in order to serve this before my my husband and kiddos head out the door at 7am.

    • That’s what I do now, just mix it up and let it set overnight (or longer) in my automatic oven. You said you have an old oven, but if you have auto-bake, it’s really nice! :)


      • Nope, no auto-bake here… did they have that in the 70’s? I REALLY need a new oven. Being able to mix everything at once will help, though. I can just set my alarm to get up and turn on the oven and go back to bed.

        Thanks so much! I have a batch sitting in my cold oven right now :)

  78. This is AMAZING!!!!! I soaked the oats in kefir and used maple syrup. I prepared everything the night before, stuck it in the fridge and then in the oven first thing in the morning.

  79. So could I get it all mixed together and then soak in cool oven overnight (to take advantage of the timer feature)? You wrote that in the recipe but I just wanted to clarify…will the soaking process be the same if everything is already mixed?

  80. I made this today with sorghum syrup, peaches, cranberries, almonds, and pecans. SO GOOD! My family is making requests for the next flavor combinations.

  81. I’d like to make these as “muffins” to freeze for my toddler to eat on her own. Any suggestions for tweaking the recipe or would it be okay as is, just divided into the muffin cups?

    • Ooooh, what a great idea McKenzie!

      I wonder what would be a good way to ‘fluff’ these up some so they would be a lighter muffin and not as dense as these bars are…?

      If anyone has ideas, let us know!


      • I’m pretty sure you could make as muffins. But I slice mine cold and eat it as a snack. I’ve been daydreaming about making it for my son that way when he is toddler age (he’s 5 months now). Not that I’m in any hurry :)

  82. I found that when you soak it for the full 24 hrs it’s way more cake like. I plan on doing it muffin style this weekend for the first time. If I remember, I’ll post with an update. I can say that I’ve changed up the recipe a tad… But, I don’t see why using this recipe as is wouldn’t work the same.

  83. For the dairy free version using water and lemon juice, do you use only 1 cup of water and 1 tablspoon of lemon juice for the recipe? Because there is 1 and 3/4 cups of buttermilk in the dairy version. So wouldn’t the liquid be 1 3/4 cups of water with about 2 tablespoons of lemon juice? Also, according to Nourishing Traditions, 1 cup of oats should soak in 1 cup of water plus 2 tablsopoons of acid and 1 tablespoon of whole wheat flour. This recipe seems to be off those ratios. Would the phytic acid not be much reduced since the ratios are off? I am just wondering because I cannot wait to try this recipe and am a bit apprehensive to do so because of this. Thanks!

    • I’m sorry I’m not much help with this because I’ve never made the dairy-free version and this recipe isn’t mine, it came from a friend.

      Hopefully someone else will jump in who has made it dairy-free.

      If you experiment with this, please let us know and I’ll adjust the recipe here in the post to help others.


    • Hi, Carmen! I know that your post is super old, but for anyone else wondering, we are dairy and gluten free, so I made a half batch of these with 1 cup of water and 1 T of lemon juice (no flour – I know that I will be missing out on the benefits of the flour, but I think that soaking is still worth it). I also omitted the sweetener, subbed applesauce for the fruit, and used 1/2 cup of dates in place of the raisins (since I didn’t have raisins). They are in the oven now, and I have high hopes for them!

  84. I just discovered this recipe and love it more than any other soaked/baked oatmeal I’ve tried. Funny enough, my 5 year old loves regular, slimy oatmeal and won’t eat this. Oh well. More for me! Because I’m trying to increase my breastmilk supply, I’ve been eating an insane amount of oats. Not only is this great at breakfast, but it’s pretty fab cold, cut in little slices. Like little cookies! Thanks so much.

  85. I always use water to soak mine. I tried it with milk also but like the water better. I also use dried cranberries and it is so good. Will have to try with the apples. I also cut it into squares and fry them up in the morning with a little butter. Yummmo.

  86. Can you use apple or pear sauce instead of apple pieces?! I can my own apples and pears into sauce and would love to use it in this recipe…if it has been tried and it worked!

    • I haven’t tried it, but I’ll bet it would be great! Just decrease the other liquid by a little bit. This recipe is very forgiving, so playing with it is actually pretty safe.


  87. I store bought buttermilk overly processed? Is it better to make from scratch? We have never used it before so I am unfamiliar with it. Seems like regular whole milk would not work for this recipe and I am not a fan of yogurt. Trying to move the family away from refined sugar and processed food. Recipe hunting!

  88. I want to add pureed pumpkin and make it a pumpkin spice baked oatmeal. I’m concerned it will be too moist. What do you think would be the best way to go about doing this? I noticed that others mentioned using applesauce. I’m wondering how much they added and if they removed any other wet ingredients? Thanks!

    • Hi PJ,
      No, I don’t worry about macronutrient amounts because my main concern is whether or not I’m using *real food* in a recipe – WHAT we’re eating makes a much bigger difference in our health vs. how many grams of carbs, protein, or fat are in the food. I think of traditional cultures, they never counted grams of this or that, they just ate the foods they grew, hunted, or foraged for, all *whole* foods. :)

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