Gluten free, dairy free, and sweetened with a bit of honey, these soaked peaches and cream oatmeal bars are delicious and nutritious. Make them the night before for a quick, healthy breakfast on the go.
Oatmeal bars have been a staple in our house for years. They are simple, tasty, filling, and if I cut them just right I can make them last for two breakfasts, although I’m not sure how much longer I will get away with that.
I recently gave up dairy in an attempt to see how it affects my thyroid antibodies, and so I’ve had to tweak a lot of my recipes. Believe me, you will not miss the butter or cream in this recipe. They are full of flavor!
To Soak or Not to Soak
One of the biggest sources of frustration in my real food journey, for years, was wading through all the information on the soaking of grains. Many people will tell you to soak all grains. I personally came to the conclusion that some grains do not need to be soaked. You can read my research on soaking wheat here and soaking rice here. Today I’m writing about oats. Ironically, since this is a soaked oats recipe, I do not believe oats have to be soaked.
Let me rephrase that – I have mixed feelings about soaking oats. Me and oats and soaking have a love/hate relationship. It isn’t pretty.
Why the mixed feelings? Well, if the purpose of soaking a grain is to reduce the phytic acid, then it’s not worth it to soak your rolled oats, unless of course you sprout them for five days and then soak them 17 more hours at 120 degrees. But call me crazy, I just don’t think that God meant for oats to be so complicated. According to the Weston A. Price Foundation:
Oats contain very little phytase, especially after commercial heat treatment, and require a very long preparation period to completely reduce phytic acid levels. Soaking oats at 77 degrees F for 16 hours resulted in no reduction of phytic acid, nor did germination for up to three days at this temperature.63 However, malting (sprouting) oats for five days at 52 degrees F and then soaking for 17 hours at 120 degrees F removes 98 percent of phytates. Adding malted rye further enhances oat phytate reduction.64 Without initial germination, even a five-day soaking at a warm temperature in acidic liquid may result in an insignificant reduction in phytate due to the low phytase content of oats. On the plus side, the process of rolling oats removes a at least part of the bran, where a large portion of the phytic acid resides. (source)
I won’t even get started on the fact that our bodies actually need some phytic acid, I’ll save that for another blog post because we all know you are really just here for the recipe. But after all of that I will say that I often soak my oats in this recipe, not to reduce the phytic acid, but because it improves the texture of these bars immensely! The soaked oats create a more “cake-like” texture whereas unsoaked oats create a more “grainy” texture. Both are still delicious.
Dairy-free and Gluten-free Soaked Peaches and Cream Oatmeal Bars
This recipe is an adaptation of Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s baked oatmeal recipe that I have been making for years. I mainly tweaked things here and there to make it cheaper (less coconut oil/maple syrup), and dairy free. Also, if you are new to the gluten-free lifestyle, you will want to be sure to buy gluten-free oats. Oats, themselves, don’t contain gluten, but they get cross-contaminated during harvesting time.
Soaked Peaches & Cream Oatmeal Bars
- 2 1/2 cups of oats
- 1 1/2 cups or one can of coconut milk (I try to get the kind without added gums, Trader Joes has a good one or this brand on Amazon)
- 2 TB lemon juice
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 4 eggs
- 1 TB vanilla
- 1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt ( I use this brand)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 2 or 3 peaches diced
- coconut cream (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix oats with coconut milk and lemon juice, cover, and let set 4+ hours or overnight. (optional step if you want to improve texture)
- Combine coconut oil, honey, and vanilla.
- Quickly stir in the eggs. If you mix the coconut oil with the honey and vanilla first, it won’t solidify as much when you mix in the eggs. If you are awesome, you will remember to set your eggs out for awhile to let them become room temperature before mixing them in. If you are me, you just mix it up anyway because you NEVER remember to set the eggs out, and it still all turns out fine in the end. 🙂
- Stir the salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg into the liquid and combine with the oat mixture.
- Add peaches.
- Pour into a greased 9×13 dish.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- Top with some whipped coconut cream. You can even sweeten it a little with a dash of maple syrup. (optional)