Skip to Content

Does Overnight Oats Need To Be Cooked?

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

Sharing is caring!

Overnight oats are a perfect meal prep for any healthy diet regime. Whether you want a lean body with reduced hunger pangs or you wish to lower your cholesterol level, healthy overnight oats can be a great option for you. 

There can’t be any comparison of the overall nutrition profile of oats with any other grains. Oats contain fat, fiber, protein, and essential nutrients such as magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and more, that’s why they are considered to be an ideal addition to any hearty and wholesome breakfast course. 

But, do you need to cook overnight oats before eating? No, you do not need to cook overnight oats before eating. The oats soak up the liquid and become soft, palatable and easier to digest, therefore no cooking is necessary. However, some people find hot oats more appealing and they quickly heat the soaked oats before consuming.

In this guide, let’s find out how you should eat soaked oats and whether you should opt for cooked overnight oats or you can directly eat raw. Continue reading to reveal detailed info about the safety and concerns about eating overnight oats with and without cooking.

Are raw oats safe to eat?

Raw oats are safe to eat, but it’s not the preferable option as the texture of dry oats is not palatable and our bodies cannot properly digest the grain without experiencing digestion issues. 

Eating dry raw oats can absorb fluid from inside the body causing dehydration the leads to the build-up of indigestible parts in your stomach and intestines. As a result, you may suffer from indigestion and constipation problems without having fluids to smoothly pass the stool through your body. 

To overcome this problem, it’s recommended that you cook or soak oats overnight in liquid before serving. 

For soaking overnight oats, these are the best overnight oats containers currently available. They are spacious enough for a hearty serving, and feature an airtight lid to keep the oats tasting fresh and delicious.

Do you eat overnight oats hot or cold?

Overnight oats can be consumed in both ways. However, the primary preference is to serve overnight oats while still cold or chilled. 

Nevertheless, if you do not prefer this cold preparation, then you can always warm it up. It’s recommended to heat up the overnight soaked oats simply by using your microwave or gently warming in a pot on the stovetop.

Transfer the overnight oats into a microwave safe dish, and place it in the microwave to warm up. You will need to stir in between each duration while you are trying to warm it up. 

Since overnight oats become thick, it’s not recommended to use the conventional stovetop option without adding more liquid, otherwise it will be a complete mess. We recommend boiling a small amount of water in the pot, and then adding the oats to the water, the hot water will help transition the oats from cold to warm even faster.

So, for warming up the overnight oats, it’s recommended to use the microwave and warm it up for up to thirty seconds, stir once and then nuke another 30 seconds or until the desired temperature is reached. That’s it!

Is soaking oats necessary?

Soaking oats may not be completely necessary, but it offers some excellent benefits that you can’t ignore. Raw oats can lead to digestion problems when not properly hydrated beforehand. 

As have already been divulged, you can overcome this issue very easily if you soak them overnight in liquid. Rest assured that soaked oats have increased digestibility due to fermentation and the reduction of anti nutrients like phytic acid.

If you soak up the oats for some time, the natural starch will breakdown and expose its phytic acid content. When the phytic acid in overnight oats is reduced, your body will be able to utilize the oat’s minerals and nutrients more effectively. 

To summarize, soaked oats will lead to improved digestion, increased feelings of fullness, and it will foster a multitude of health benefits available from consuming whole grain oats.

Phytic Acid in Oats

Many plants store phosphorus minerals in their tissues, bran, and seed in the form of phytic acid. Note, phytic acid binds to magnesium, iron, calcium, and many other essential minerals, making them inaccessible to be absorbed by our body. 

Oats also contain phytic acid. For example, 100 grams of whole oats have 0.4 to 2.2 grams of phytic acid. 

Unfortunately, the human body can not digest phytic acids easily, that’s because — human body does not contain enough enzymes to breakdown phytates or phytic acids.

But, you can easily avoid this problem by soaking them up for a few hours or overnight. For example, if you can soak raw oats for twelve hours or overnight in water, it will activate a natural enzyme in the oats. 

This enzyme is phytase, which can naturally breakdown phytic acid so that your body will be able to digest it more effectively.

Tips for Heating Overnight Oats

Although overnight oats do not need to be cooked, some people prefer to warm to room temperature or serve hot. This process is simple, however should be done gently to avoid burning the soaked oatmeal.

  • Use a microwave-proof jar, we love these Wide Mouth Mason Jars because they are the perfect size and are 100% safe to use inside a microwave.
  • You can quickly heat the overnight soaked oats for thirty seconds to a minute by zapping in the microwave.
  • Do not attempt to overheat it, overcooked oats will turn mushy and not have any desirable chewiness left behind.
  • After heating for thirty seconds, take out the jar from the microwave and give it a stir.
  • Continue heat it for another thirty seconds and give a nice stir to complete the process.

How long do you heat up overnight oats?

You can heat up overnight oats in the microwave for around thirty seconds. Take a microwave safe bowl or jar and fill it up with overnight soaked oats and place it in the microwave. 

Microwave the soaked oats for around thirty seconds on high power. After that, take out the jar from the microwave, give it a good stir, and place it in the microwave again. 

This time, you can let it process for another 20-30 seconds. Remove the jar again from the microwave, stir again and check the temperature; repeat if necessary.

Can you heat overnight oats with yogurt?

Yes, you can heat overnight oats with yogurt using either the microwave or stovetop cooking method. Gently heat the overnight oats using either method and the overnight oats and yogurt will be enjoyable. 

For example, you can start with 30 seconds of microwaving and then stir the oats for some time. If it’s still not warm enough, then you process them up for another increment of thirty seconds in the microwave so that it reaches the desired temperature.

When using a stovetop method, its best to boil a small amount, then add the oats and yogurt to the hot water. The hot pot and boiling water will ease the transition from cold to hot making it much easier to achieve.

Do you need to cook overnight oats?

How do you heat overnight oats?

If you want to heat overnight oats, it’s not recommended to use the standard stovetop option. If you use a regular skillet and try to heat overnight oats, it may get messy, thickened up quickly and potentially stick to the bottom of the pot.

That’s why you are recommended to use a microwave. It will be a better, safer, easier, and more effective way to heat overnight oats. All you will need to take a microwave-safe container/jar where you can transfer the overnight oats and heat them up in two increments of thirty seconds each. 

After the first increment, take out the jar and stir it once and place it in the microwave again for heating up for another thirty seconds. That’s it, your overnight will be hot and delicious!

Sharing is caring!

Do Overnight Oats Need To Be Refrigerated?
← Previous
Best Type Of Oats For Overnight Oats
Next →