Soaked Oats



My husband, Mr. PC, came home from work and announced that he would be participating in a lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks competition at work. I’ll admit that my first thought was “ughhhhhhhh!” We do really need to up our fitness game (from non-existent to actually doing some sort of physical activity), but honestly, like most people, we often find it challenging to find the time with our busy schedules.

Plus, we love good food, cocktails and wine, and often treat meals like great events, eating to our hearts content. The eating out or quick meals during the fast pace of the week often catch up to us with a snugging of our pants.

I love trying out new (or new to me) ideas that I feel will make my life a little healthier and a little easier. Enter this concept of soaked oats. I’ve been reading a lot about sprouting and soaking grains to make them more digestible, which also allows for the nutrients to be better absorbed by the body. I’ve heard a lot about overnight soaking of oats (hello muesli) and have always wondered if soaked oats taste better than the regular cooked version. Answer: yes!

However, I am not into eating them cold. I just can’t get around the texture and temp combo. So, I do reheat my oats. I love that it makes a hearty, re-heatable breakfast that can be easily transported, and doesn’t have any preservatives. When I eat a breakfast like this, I don’t find myself snacking as much during the day.

I make a batch at the beginning of the week, stored in mason jars in the fridge, they are easy to pull for breakfast on the go (for me), or for Mr. PC to take to work.

I soak the oats overnight with water and organic (no-sugar added) apple juice. Reheated in the morning with a couple splashes of milk, then portioned out into jars, and stored in fridge. I reheat my oats each mornings with a bit more milk (use homemade almond milk, which is amazing), add in a touch of brown sugar or some homemade jam, nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, a bit of quinoa leftover from dinner, coconut milk…options are endless.

Perhaps this will help until I can get back on that running regime.

Oats after soaking for 6 hours.
Oats after soaking for 6 hours.

Soaked Oats

Rachel Ellrich Miller


2 cups Apple Juice, Organic & No-Sugar Added
2 cups Water, Filtered
2 cups Rolled Oats, Organic (and if needed Gluten Free)
A pinch of Salt
1/4 - 1/2 cup Whole Milk, Organic (or Homemade Almond Milk)

If desired, you can add a multitude of items, here are some that we often add-in.
3 TBSP Wheat Bran (omit if Gluten Free)
1 tsp. Cinnamon, Ground
Handful of Cashews or Walnuts, Chopped
Handful of Dried Cherries or Dried Cranberries
Nut Butters
Hemp Seeds
Homemade Jam
Brown Sugar
Leftover Quinoa (I know this sounds odd, but with some raisins and a splash of milk, it's delicious!)


In a large pot, bring water, apple juice and pinch of salt to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in oats. Cover and allow to sit overnight. (I don't refrigerate mine, but if it freaks you out to leave it at room temp, you can refrigerate.)

The next morning, heat up the oaks with 1/4 - 1/2 cup milk (or almond milk) (You can also, just portion into jars, and not reheat - this is how they are traditionally eaten, but I am not a fan of the texture/temp combination). Portion into containers (we use glass canning jars with the plastic BPA free lids) and stir in extras. Store in the fridge. Eat cold or reheat.


I store our oats in glass mason jars, ready to grab and go.
I store our oats in glass mason jars, ready to grab and go.


Rachel Ellrich Miller is a pastry chef and food writer in Phoenix, where she bakes, eats, hangs out with her amazing husband, Mr. PC, and drinks copious amounts of Arizona wine. You can get more information about her pastry at, or her Sugar Rush column on Phoenix New Times Chow Bella blog.

Caramelized Onions and Quiche

I went through a phase a few years ago where I was obsessed with caramelized onions. I made them everyday to eat on thick toasted slices of bread I was testing, tossed with pasta and goat cheese, or with my morning eggs. They were sweet, charred, and with a dash of salt, perfect on just about anything. Due to some comments from friends and my sister, I am pretty sure that my house, as well as my person, were pretty pungent, but I didn’t care. I love the smell. It was comforting to come home and have the scent of onion perfuming the air.

Finished, caramelized onions.

Working as a pastry chef can be challenging at times, to keep your creativity fresh. I read everything I can get my hands on, taste the work of other chefs, travel to new towns to see what is happening in their food scene, scour the internet for new techniques and back myself against a wall, to force myself to come up with new ideas and methods.

Some days, I go back to my favorites. Hunting for new scone flavor variations the other day, I wandered around the kitchen. I scoured the walk-in, the freezer, dry storage. That is when I saw the onions. As freshly baked bacon wafted through the air, I started to piece together a new scone flavor. It is simple, but caramelized onions, bacon and cheese scones are one of my biggest sellers, so apparently others feel the familiar tug of comforting flavors too.

Chopped onions.

I hadn’t made caramelized onions in a long time and once I started at work, I couldn’t seem to stop. Zipping to the market after work, I filled my basket with onions and headed home to continue my caramelized project.

Pale onions, on their way to being caramelized.
Pale onions, on their way to being caramelized.

One of my favorite ways to eat caramelized onions is in quiche. Silky custard of eggs and milk, flaky pie crust and all the little bits and pieces you have left over in the fridge, tossed into the mix. I keep a pie crust rolled out in a pie plate in the freezer at all times. It is my quickie dinner when I just don’t feel like assembling a full meal. I mix up the egg and milk (or cream if you are feeling dangerous), toss in the bits and bobbles I can find. Pop it in the oven for about 45 min-1 hour. While it bakes, I toss together a small salad, and pour glasses of wine. It’s simple, like the caramelized onions, but it’s comfortable.


As Mr. Paul Child walked in the door, mid-caramelized onion sautéing on the stove, the first words out of his mouth were “Ohhhh! What smells so good in here?” I knew I was marrying the right man.



Caramelized Onions and Quiche

Rachel Ellrich Miller


For the Caramelized Onions:
2 large onions (any variety that you like)
A couple tbsp good olive oil
A pinch of salt

For the Quiche:
Pie crust in a 9.5" or 10" pie plate; chill very well (or keep in the freezer like I do)
7-8 eggs
1/2 cup milk (you can also use all cream or half milk, half cream)
Various odds and ends (I used zucchini, red pepper, teleme cheese, caramelized onions and bacon)
Salt and Pepper


For the caramelized onions:
Heat a sautee pan over medium heat. Pour in a couple tablespoons of good olive oil. You want to keep the onions from sticking to the pan, you do not want your onions drowning in oil. Toss in your onions. This process will take a bit, so be patient. Allow the onions to sweat, stir occasionally. The onions will start to color. When they do, try not to move them around too much. You do want to move the onions, to allow the color to cover all the onions, but you also want them to color, and moving them around a lot will not allow them to get nice and caramelized. If you like a paler caramelization, take them off at your preference.

Whisk egg and milk together. Toss all your odds and ends in the frozen pie crust. Pour your egg mixture over.Pop in the oven at 350 degrees for 45minutes to an hour. Basically, it should not be jiggly in the middle and golden brown on top. I always end up covering the top with aluminum foil near the end, to keep the top from over browning.

Serve with side salad and a glass of Arizona Sand Reckoner white for a perfect summer evening.

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