Healthy Soaked Oatmeal Cookies

oatmeal cookies

This post is a part of the No GMO Challenge weekly carnival happening every Monday, and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday on the Blessed By Grace blog. Please join us and avoid GMOs for 30 days! Read more posts from No GMO participants here and visit Tempt My Tummy Tuesday for yummy recipes.

Oatmeal cookies are my father-in-law’s favorite thing in the whole wide world. He can’t live without them. But oatmeal is very high in phytic acid, which prevents mineral absorption. Minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc.

Since my father-in-law has osteopinea, eating unsoaked oatmeal on a regular basis is really not good for him. He needs all the minerals he can get to help his bone density. Obviously building strong bones and teeth is vital for children. It’s important for adults, too — to prevent osteoporosis and for good dental health.

Since I started soaking my grains and reducing my phytic acid intake a couple of years ago, I have not had a single cavity. After frequent cavities and two root canals — this is such a blessing! (To learn more about how phytic acid causes tooth decay, please read this post: Do Bread & Cereal Cause Cavities? Reversing Dental Decay with Food)

For these reasons, I developed this recipe for healthy oatmeal cookies in which the oatmeal is soaked in warm water and whey to help break down the phytic acid — so the precious minerals can be absorbed. Soaking also helps to make grains more digestible. This recipe produces truly healthy oatmeal cookies. It does take more time to prepare than your standard oatmeal cookie recipe — but I feel it is worth it for the health benefits.

I soaked the oatmeal with warm water, whey and 10% whole wheat flour. According to the Rebuild From Depression website, you need to add 10% whole wheat flour to oatmeal when soaking, because oatmeal doesn’t contain phytase. Therefore you need to add a little wheat flour to provide the phytase enzyme, which helps break down the phytic acid. (I don’t have any other sources for this so I can’t verify it — but I figure we are better safe than sorry. What’s the point of going to all this trouble soaking and drying oats if it doesn’t work?)

I also dried the oatmeal after soaking. If you don’t do this, your oatmeal cookie mixture will come out too wet and the cookies will not form properly. I used my beloved Excalibur dehydrator. I highly recommend getting a dehydrator. I use mine for all kinds of things including drying herbs, fruits and vegetables from my garden or from the farmer’s market, as well as making beef or bison jerky. I also use it to help my bread rise or to make sour cream faster.

I also use sprouted flour for this recipe. I keep it in the freezer to keep it fresh. You can also make your own sprouted flour by sprouting the wheat and then grinding it; make sure you store it in the freezer to retain freshness.

Lastly, when I made these cookies, I used natural sweeteners — palm sugar and sucanat, because they are much more nutritious than refined sugar. And I only used half of the sugar called for in the original recipe (which came from the back of the Quaker Oats container). You can find sucanat at most health food stores. Our Whole Foods carries them. They also carry palm sugar. You can also find palm sugar at Indian or Asian grocery stores.

If you like your cookies sweeter, you can add more sugar. I didn’t find it necessary. Nor did my family — who gobbled these cookies up within a matter of days. My two-year-old even started saying the word “cookie” after she tried these. She still goes into the kitchen, points at the cookie jar and says “Cookie!” Guess I need to soak some more oatmeal…

Healthy Soaked Oatmeal Cookies

Makes about 36 cookies


Large glass or [easyazon-link asin=”B000AS28R0″ locale=”us”]enamelware bowl[/easyazon-link] or pitcher (do not use metal)
[easyazon-link asin=”B000FFVJ3C” locale=”us”]Dehydrator[/easyazon-link](optional — you can use your oven)
[easyazon-link asin=”B0038KPRG6″ locale=”us”]Food processor[/easyazon-link]
[easyazon-link asin=”B0001HLTSE” locale=”us”]Stand mixer[/easyazon-link] or hand blender (optional)
[easyazon-link asin=”B003OICYYU” locale=”us”]Nutmeg grinder[/easyazon-link] (optional — if using freshly ground nutmeg)

ingredients for soaked oatmeal cookies


Oatmeal (3 cups) — not instant
Filtered water (3 cups) — not tap water
Whey (7 TBS) — (click here for the whey recipe); you can also use fresh lemon juice
Grass-fed butter, softened (1 cup (8 ounces)) — where to buy butter
Sucanat (1/2 cup) — where to buy sweeteners
Palm sugar, also called coconut sugar (1/4 cup) — where to buy sweeteners
Large free-range or pastured eggs (4)
Real vanilla extract (1 tsp) — not the fake stuff; organic if possible
Sprouted whole wheat flour (1 cup) — where to buy sprouted flour
Whole wheat flour (1/2 cup) — where to buy flour
Baking soda (1 tsp)
Cinnamon (1 tsp) — where to buy cinnamon
Nutmeg, freshly ground if possible (1/4 tsp) — where to buy nutmeg
Sea salt (1/2 tsp)
Raisins, organic if possible (1 cup) — where to buy raisins
Optional: Unsweetened shredded coconut (1 cup) — where to buy coconut


1. Warm 3 cups filtered water in a saucepan to just above body temperature (113-131 degrees). Do not use the microwave to do this. You don’t need a thermometer — just heat it until it’s hot to the touch but not boiling. If you let it come to a boil, let it cool before using.

2. In a large glass or enamelware (not metal) bowl or pitcher, add 3 cups oatmeal, 3 cups heated filtered water, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 7 tablespoons of whey (click here for the whey recipe — or use fresh lemon juice instead). Mix thoroughly.

3. Cover the bowl with a dishtowel and let sit overnight on the counter or in a cupboard. Let sit for 8-24 hours. (Twelve hours is fine — but I try to soak mine for 24 hours to reduce the phytic acid as much as possible.)

4. Spread oatmeal on parchment paper and place on tray in dehydrator set at highest setting until completely dried (anywhere from 6-12 hours depending on the heat setting). You can also do this in the oven at the lowest setting (mine goes to 170 degrees).

5. When the oatmeal is dry, you will be able to break it off in large pieces. Put the pieces of dried oatmeal into your food processor and pulse until it is coarsely ground (like oatmeal flakes). Do not grind it fine, like a powder.

6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

7. Beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.

8. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix well.

9. Stir in oatmeal, coconut, and raisins. Mix well.

10. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

11. Bake 10 to 12 minutes.

12. Cool one minute on cookie sheet. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Photo credit: Flickr

Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

85 thoughts on “Healthy Soaked Oatmeal Cookies

  1. Thank you so much for this recipe! I haven’t been able to make cookies since I went to soaking everything. I am going to soak some oats tonight. My husband will be happy to have some cookies in the house again. Thank you!

  2. Thanks for the recipe – looks great!

    I am curious about not soaking in metal – I have seen you say that before and am curious why.

    Thanks much!

  3. Man, these look good! I have an oatmeal cookie recipe and I was wondering how to do it soaked… so thanks for pointing out that I can dehydrate the soaked oats. I should have realized that!

    Right now my family is doing a 30-day no sugar (of any kind) challenge, so I’ll have to try these later!


    Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS’s last blog post..Summertime Cooking Strategies

  4. These look delish. However, I still cannot bring myself to going to such efforts for sprouting the flour (I’ll buy it thru your link) AND dehydrating (don’t have one – yet.) I am a big grain soaker – so perhaps I’ll just stick to the morning porridge and use the sprouted flour for my cookies? Sigh.

  5. Cook 4 Seasons –

    Yes, I understand — it is a lot of work. However, I want to do everything I can to prevent cavities and osteoporosis in my family — so for me it’s worth the extra effort.

    And I’m used to soaking and drying nuts and seeds in my dehydrator (it’s just as easy in the oven) so for me it’s not that much extra effort.

    The sad thing about modern convenience foods is that the shortcuts do impact us negatively in terms of nutrition — which negatively impacts our health.

    If you do your cookies in big batches, you can freeze them.

  6. Do you have any similar kind of recipe for granola bars? Or would I just follow the same steps for the flour and oatmeal in terms of soaking? That’s one grab and go food we rely on fairly often but it’s obviously not soaked.

  7. Thanks for the continuing encouragement. I never made the connection with osteoporosis (duh) – is that because the phytic acids keep us from assimilating the calcium?

  8. Thank you! Thank you! Your father-in-law is cheering, can you hear him in LA? Can’t wait to try this!

  9. Jessie –

    There was an article a while back (last summer or fall I believe) in the Wise Traditions (WAPF) quarterly journal about heavy metal toxicity. They said that we shouldn’t be using stainless steel for any acidic foods — because stainless steel does leech some heavy metals. Best to stick to glass or enamelware for any soaking/sprouting/fermenting.

  10. Kara –

    Yes, use the same steps for soaking/drying the flour and oatmeal for granola bars. If you have a good recipe you want to share, please post!

  11. Cook 4 Seaons –

    Yes, the phytic acid prevents assimilation of calcium.

    It is odd, isn’t it, considering how much milk and cheese we consume in this country, how many people suffer from osteoporosis?! Not to mention cavities. Makes sense…

  12. I’ve read other sources that state that it isn’t that oats have no phytase, but rather, they have very low amounts. Somewhere I read to use sourdough starter (used in rye or wheat) to soak your oats with. It seems like the method you suggest would work equally well.

    Chris K’s last blog post..10/2/06 food log notes

  13. Chris – That is a good point. You could just use sourdough starter. I will try it with the next batch.

    I guess you would not need the whey if you are using sourdough. Sourdough breaks everything down.

  14. Thanks for the answer – you know that is the one WAPF journal that never came & I’ve never gotten around to writing for it.

    I’m thinking that possibly the soaked oat/wheat mixture could become part of a healthy breakfast cereal – or mixed with melted butter – could become a healthy “graham cracker crumb” crust. Or could be the “crunchies” of a yogurt parfait. All yumm!

    I admire all you do for your family. Best wishes!

  15. Oh fantastic, I look forward to baking these this weekend, we are out of biscuits and my girls love these. 🙂

  16. Just a quick question: is there any special reason to use both palm sugar and rapadura? I usually only have rapadura on hand — would I screw anything up by nixing the palm sugar and using only rapadura?

  17. Jeanette –

    I used a combination of palm sugar and rapadura because to me, palm sugar is closer to refined sugar and rapadura is a little closer to brown sugar.

    Just using rapadura wouldn’t be sweet enough, I think.

    But you should try it and see if it works. I haven’t tested it.

    Also, you could sub some maple syrup for the palm sugar. That would work, too.

  18. Thanks, Ann Marie, I’ve had a hankering for oatmeal cookies (my dad’s personal favorite too). These sound worth the prep time!

  19. Brenda, I know soaking grains looks like extra work, but really, the grains are working themselves. It takes me about 2 minutes to set the grains to soak, about 3 minutes to put them in the dehydrator and about 2 minutes to pulse it in the food processor (including putting the food processor together!) All it takes from me is planning.

    I’m trying these soaked, dried grains in my hubby’s favorite recipe: a no-bake cookie with oats and chocolate!

    Local Nourishment’s last blog post..Chiropractic care and mobility issues

  20. This recipe looks fantastic! I’m excited to have another use for my Excalibur Dehydrator! Thanks for your awesome website!

  21. Yum, thanks so much for posting this. My next cookie project!

    I am just confused about saoking the oats. I’m sure you’re aware that the recipe for soaking oats for porridge in NT doesn’t require anything but whey or yogurt.

    Our absolute favorite properly prepared cookie is NT’s almond cookie. We just leave the almond off and cut the rapadura in half. Super yummy! (just ground crispy almonds and arrowroot) Both my little ones love them. I’d love to see what you think.

  22. Thanks for this! My oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies are my family’s absolute favorite, and I think so long as I use our usual Guittard milk chocolate chips, they won’t notice the difference with the soaked oatmeal, sprouted grain flour and rapadura… I know it’s worth it but I’m a little skeptical about the texture of the soaked/dried/processed oatmeal – I hope it comes out somewhat like rolled oats, or maybe throw in some plain rolled oats for effect? I have been wanting to get a grain mill for fresh flour, but not sure I want to take on sprouting as well … I think I will try purchasing the flour like you do.

    I would also be VERY interested in a granola bar recipe!

  23. Also, I’m thinking “It’s It” with these cookies and some homemade vanilla ice cream!!!

  24. On, they’ve done a lot of work to tweak existing recipes into “no-knead” versions. By adjusting the liquid ratio, many no-knead recipes are appearing for traditionally kneaded versions.

    I think this recipe could be adjusted to eliminate the need for drying. Reason: the only thing you’re removing is water, which is flavorless. I wonder if there is a way to add a bit of something to absorb that (flour?), avoiding the time/cost of removing that otherwise neutral ingredient.

    Any ideas?

  25. These cookies look delicious!
    I have a question about soaking oats: I’ve been soaking my steel-cut oats each night in warm water with a little whey added. In the morning I rinse them and then cook them in new water. Am I somehow washing away nutrients by rinsing them first? Does the acidulated water leach the nutrients out of the oats?


  26. Hi, Mark,

    Perhaps you could try the recipe and try adding more flour and see if it works for you. It did not work for me to add more flour. Not sure how much you would have to add and how much it would change the flavor and consistency. We added a fair amount and the cookies were still too wet.

  27. Ellen –

    I am not sure about the science and how it all works (I need to take a class!) but I can tell you that it is not necessary to rinse your oats after you soak them.

  28. Thanks, Ann Marie. I’ll try cooking the oats in their soaking water. I’ve always rinsed soaked beans, so I figured I should rinse the oats!

  29. About the lack of phytase in oats. It is very rare to see raw (a.k.a unstabilized) oat groats at the store. They are easily damaged, therefore, they are heated in order to “stabilize” them. I would be willing to bet that this is why there isn’t the enzyme needed to break down phytic acid.

  30. Do you know how the phytic acid in the oats changes from when the oats are first pressed/rolled to when they are used from the bag? Should we be using oat groats and soaking them, and then drying them and then rolling them? Just curious if you know about this….I’ve been wondering it for some time.

  31. Pingback: 17 Ways to Avoid GMO Food - A Little Bit of Green
  32. HI! I noticed that you use regular baking soda. I only buy the kind with no aluminum. Your thoughts on that?


  33. I just soaked my oats and am putting them in the dehydrator this morning.
    I’m assuming you need to drain the liquid off of them. It is pretty runny for putting on dehydrator trays.

  34. I am trying to track down some granulated palm sugar. I found the liquid/honey- like form. Would this liquid form work just as well the granulated form in your cookies? I have heard honey does not do well in cookies…assuming the same thing here. The only place so far I have found granulated palm sugar is at Azure Standard… coconut sugar crystals. They say they kettle boil it and then dry it. Does this process kill some of the nutrients? Or is this standard procedure?

    I had never heard of palm sugar until you mentioned it. Thanks!

  35. Anne Marie,
    We are having a community farmer’s market on Saturday where some folds will also bring baked goods. I am going to bring these cookies. I don’t have sprouted whole wheat flour, so I will just sub with fresh ground wheat berries. I looked for the link of where you buy the sprouted flour, but I didn’t see it. Can you send me the link? Thanks and keep on educating us all!
    Heather Drake
    Durango, CO

  36. Hello! I am new here ..wondering if the Wise Traditions Quarterly journal said anything about drinking all your water out of stainless steel? We drink alot of our water out of stainless steel canteens now. I figured it had to be better than the “plastic tea” from plastic water bottles. Anyways, did it say anything about that? Or could it just be for soaking and fermenting, the leaching metals that is. Oh and by the way this is an awesome site!!! So much awesome info here!!!

  37. Ann Marie,
    How do you determine how much whey to use? I’ve often seen 1 Tbs per cup of liquid, but your recipe calls for much more. This won’t make much difference with the cookies, but for oatmeal porridge it would increase the sour taste considerably. Your thoughts?
    .-= Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship´s last blog ..Advent Daily Dose: Clean Out Your Heart for the Light of Christ =-.

  38. My dad is 89, and has everything he needs. So, for Xmas I will make him several dozen of these as he LOVES oatmeal cookies. For mom, I’m making up some dinners ahead of time (that can be frozen). Any suggestions? They aren’t great fans of spice or dairy. I know meatloaf would be good (I’ll make extra soaked oatmeal to go into this).

    One other question – does the lemon flavor come through very strongly? Or could we use white (or apple cider) vinegar? Which would be less noticeable?

  39. In my experience, lemon is not noticable. I did feel the vinegar was a bit more (slightly) sour.

    For prep-ahead meals, I like chili (recipe on my recipes page). You can serve w/ no cheese or sour cream. Also the brisket I just sent out in my menu mailer this week had no dairy and is a great freezer meal

  40. I made these today after soaking about 20 hours and they are very good! They have a texture my kids really liked too. They really are not much more work at all. The soaking and drying time are ‘hands off’ and from there it is like making any cookie. Thanks Ann Marie !

  41. Great recipe. I really want a dehydrator! I saw your comments on the baking soda, but I just wanted to mention that although it doesn’t mention aluminum in the ingredients, it could be processed with aluminum in the factory. I feel better to use Arm & Hammer for deodorizing the fridge and splurge a bit on Bob’s Red Mill “aluminum free baking soda” Just a musing to consider 🙂 Great blog. I’m a Weston A. Price advocate myself.
    .-= Leah´s last blog ..Created To Be His Help Meet- Chapter 1 =-.

  42. I am brand new to this whole thing, so this may be a stupid question…Is there a reason why I can’t just add the other ingredients to the soaked oatmeal (and minus the dehydration step)?

  43. Looking forward to trying this recipe. But I was very interested in the mention of soaking oats with whole wheat flour. Interesting since I had never heard of this before. Since we eat oats several times a week (mostly for budget reasons), I would be interested in more on this topic if you find anything. I took a look at the blog linked in your mention of tooth decay, which I was SUPER interested in since I’ve been plagued with cavities myself. Anyways, the author of that blog goes into detail about the lack of phytase in oats. There are several sources listed and follow up articles listed by others in the comment section.
    Thought I would mention it if anyone is interested in reading up on it.

  44. Emily –

    Personally, if I had cavities, I’d cut out the oats.

    However, if you can’t cut it out, perhaps you might want to try adding some whole wheat flour to the oats as they soak. That will help break down the phytic acid more.

    And… if you can get your hands on some raw milk and cod liver oil, I’d add those to your diet. And liver, if you can learn to like it!

  45. I love this recipe. However, I’ve been told that using palm sugar is not sustainable to the palm trees. Most palm sugar uses the flower of the coconut — therefore no coconuts can develop. Lots of flowers are needed to make palm sugar.So you can see what can happen if we all use palm sugar from coconut flowers. There is a type of palm sugar that is okay — it is not made from the flower, but from the sap of the tree. The label of the flour tells which was used. – the flower or the sap.

  46. Do you soak your breakfast oatmeal with flour too? I have just been soaking my oatmeal in warm water, salt, and whey, but now I’m thinking I need to add flour. I’m wondering how that would taste? And if it would just turn into a big goopey mess? Thanks for this cookie recipe, I’m so excited to try it, I think the kids will love it!

  47. Ann Marie,

    Thanks for the info on soaking the oatmeal. I was able to do that, even though I didn’t have all of the “healthy” ingredients to make these. No sprouted flour, rapadura or palm sugar…yet. Added a cup of chopped dried cherries and a cup of walnuts (soaked and dried, of course). I do have a question on the amount of eggs. Recipe shows four (though I only see two in the picture). Original Quaker recipe only uses two and all other measurements mirror the Quaker recipe. I only used two and mine came out DELICIOUS. Should the recipe only be two?

    1. If it works, go with 2.

      It could be a mistake…

      Most likely I would have revised this recipe from Classic Home Desserts by Richard Sax, my go-to cookbook for desserts. But all my cookbooks are packed and in storage (we just moved) so I can’t look it up.

  48. Hi, You recently had a oatmeal dish you put out on facebook i printed it but I lost it so wasnt able to make it. from what i can remember it had : Oats you soaked them over night or 24 hrs in buttermilk then you added raisans and other ingreds then baked . I cant remember the rest of it I hope you can find it and please send it to me. It sounded so good, some how I havent been able to find it again. You put it out just before Christmas.
    Thank you

  49. I know this is an old topic, but I’m hoping you can help me with this. The only palm sugar I’ve found locally is in the form of hard patties. I understand that they are usually dissolved in warm liquid in order to use, but I usually need a drier form of sugar. What could you suggest as to how to get these “patties” ground into a powder?

    Also, I recently found (at a salvage store) some whole grain raw and sproutable oat groats. They are from Legacy Valley. Do you have any thoughts about how to go about sprouting these? Can I assume I can do it just like wheat berries? Then I could just dehydrate and flake them!

  50. Yo, simply turned into mindful of your site via Yahoo, and discovered it’s truly informative. I’m gonna be aware of brussels. I’ll appreciate if you continue this in the future. Lots of other people may very well be benefited away from your writing. Thankx

  51. I made these cookies today, exactly like the directions said, use all organic and pastured raised ingredients and the cookies looked great but were tasteless.

    1. I use less sugar than most recipes call for. Our family is used to eating sweets that are not as sweet. We don’t eat that much sugar, so when we do, things taste sweeter to us.

      Try adding more sugar and see if you like them better.

  52. I am wondering about a good substitute for wheat. I don’t do well with wheat it seems, so am trying to avoid it. What is a good alternative to wheat for baking?

  53. I do agree with all the ideas you have presented on your post.

    They’re really convincing and can certainly work. Still, the posts are too quick for starters. May you please prolong them a bit from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

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  55. According to research calcium reduces the effectiveness of soaking. I soak my grains including rice and oatmeal in water mixed with wheat feed sourdough. Works great.

  56. Thanks for the recipe, this seems really nourishing, but completely a disaster for the environment. How can we create healthy recipes without using loads of fossil fuel to prepare all the food we eat. What good will healthy bodies be if the environment is destroyed along the way. Dehydrating after soaking? Why not just cheese cloth strain it out, or let it sit in the sun?

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