Buttermilk-Soaked Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins

August 11, 2013

I have a thing for oats. I consider them the best of grains: wholesome, sweetly nutty, easy to cook with, and non-irritating for most digestive tracts. Not surprising, then, that oats feature heavily in my daily life, from my morning bowl of porridge with berries, to my nighttime snack of toasted oats drizzled with honey and cinnamon.

But baking with oats is my favourite. Nothing to me is more tasty than scones nubbly from oats, or cookies toasty with oats.

This recipe for buttermilk-soaked oatmeal muffins is one I have been making for years and years. The muffins are moist, nubbly-textured, not too sweet, and happily adaptable to any fruit or nut additions the cook is in the mood for. I’ve added toasted walnuts in the winter, plumped dried apricots in the spring, and blueberries (BLUEBERRIES!) in the summer.

I was inspired to post this recipe (finally) by finding a similar one on this great food blog. Just the name Buttermilk-Soaked-Oatmeal Muffins sounds delicious, doesn’t it? Somehow both comforting and drool-worthy, which is not always easy to manage, let me tell you.

By the time you read this post, I will be camping with my children and their cousins on Cortes Island, but we will be digging into a bag of these very muffins, made with Ruby Red blueberries, possibly as you read this and decide to try this recipe for yourself.

Makes 2 dozen.

The overnight soaking of the oats in buttermilk improves the flavour, texture, and digestibility of these tender nubbly morning muffins. A huge hit with my kids!
These muffins freeze beautifully if you can’t eat 24 muffins in 3 or 4 days.

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups (10 oz/280 gm) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (2.5 oz/70 gm) whole wheat flour (especially good with sprouted wheat flour)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
1/2 cup liquid honey
1 cup light brown sugar (golden sugar)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
optional additions
finely grated zest of two large lemons (use other citrus or spices, or omit, as desired)
3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (use other berries, chopped fruits, dried fruits or toasted nuts or seeds, or a combination, as desired)

Mix together the oats and buttermilk in a medium-sized bowl. Cover and set aside for 8 hours or overnight (can be at room temp).

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease two 12-cup muffin tins and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, whole wheat flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the honey, light brown sugar, vanilla and grated lemon zest (if using). Carefully whisk in the melted butter until blended. Stir in the soaked oatmeal mixture. Add the dry ingredients and the blueberries (or other fruit), folding with a wooden spoon until just blended – some streaks of dry flour may remain.

Divide batter evenly into the greases muffin cups. Place in oven and bake for 25 to 35 minutes, rotating pans once during baking, until edges are dark golden brown, tops are light golden brown, and tops spring back when lightly touched. Remove muffins from tin and transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

Enjoy warm or at room temperature, or toasted and slathered with butter the next day.

Comments (18)

  1. Theses sound amazing… I’m going to soak my oats tonight!! Quick question Heidi… Where in Victoria can one find sprouted wheat flour? Thanks, have a great time camping :)

    1. Hi Mariann, I’ve bought sprouted wheat flour at various health food stores and at Market on Yates. The brand is Anita’s Organic. I’ve added a link to the recipe.

  2. These look great Heidi, and I like the overnight soaking (been learning about this as a way to reduce phytic acid=as you say more digestible, and more nutrient-available). Question: do you have a source for organic buttermilk?

    1. Hi Rhona, I have never found organic buttermilk, but you can make it by combining a small amount of buttermilk with whole organic milk (1 to 4 ratio, i.e., 1/4 cup buttermilk with 1 cup milk) and letting that mixture sit for 24 to 48 hours at room temp, or a few hours in a yogurt-maker. Actually, I tend to use even a 1:3 ratio because organic milk is usually ultra-pasteurized, which seems to take longer to culture.
      You can also use yogurt thinned with milk (like 50/50 or 60/40) or kefir.

  3. Thank you Heidi for the most fantastic blueberry muffin recipe ever. Have made this many times now and told everyone I know about them. The only issue I have is being mad at myself when I want to make them and have not thought of it the night before so I could soak the oats. Yesterday though in despiration I decided I must have them and only soaked the oats for a couple hours. They were still fantastic!! Keep it up. juliab

  4. Thanks for this recepie! I’d never heard of “Buttermilk-Soaked Oatmeal” overnight. So, thought I’d try it :-)
    Had to modify it a bit to be”gluten free”
    Used “Goji Omega Boost Oatmeal (with dried goji berries, dried blueberries and flax seeds) instead of old-fashion rolled oats. Use Nutri Gluten Free Flour, and 1/4 c Rice Flour+1/4 c Almond Meal/Four in place of the 1/2 c Whole Wheat flour…turned out “okay” (very sweet, would use less brown sugar next time).
    Thanks again!

  5. As I did not have blueberries, I added 4 tablespoons cocoa powder, 2 small mashed bananas, and a small amount of extra butter and sugar (to make cocoa powder equivalent to adding melted chocolate). I also used non gluten flour. The muffins were delicious and moist, I think, due to the oatmeal soaked in buttermilk. Great recipe.

  6. This is my absolute favorite muffin recipe of all time. I make them often and everyone that has tasted loves as well. Could you substitute rhubarb for the blueberries?

    1. Hi Rita,
      absolutely, you can sub in rhubarb. Chop the rhubarb into small pieces first. I bet that will taste amazing. I’m so glad you like the recipe!

  7. So good! I made these into jumbo-sized muffins and added the bloobs and zest from three big lemons. They were lush and light and fabulously lemony and though I see now that I completely forgot to add the honey (which am sure takes them to a whole other level), they were still amazing.
    Great recipe., thank you.

  8. I lost my other recipe that was very similar to this so I decided to try it. This recipe turned out great! The only change I made was to add 2 teaspoons of cinnamon to the dry ingredients. I will be saving this recipe!!

  9. Beautiful recipe thank you so much. I had all the right ingredients and I love lemon so much so I added the zest and on the very top of each muffin I put a little cinnamon.

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