Mock Grape Nuts (Gluten-Free)
An overnight soak plumps the oats, doubling their volume, and allowing for a versatile topping with just the right amount of crunch.

Yield: 2 cups


  • 1 cup (176 grams) steel cut oats (certified gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) melted coconut oil (or melted butter*)
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons coconut sugar (may substitute brown sugar or maple syrup**)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt


  1. Place the oats and the water in a bowl.  Allow to stand at room temperature overnight (covered or uncovered is fine).
  2. The following day, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F and grease a large, rimmed baking sheet.  (You may also line it with parchment but I usually do not…keep reading.)
  3. Drain any residual water off the oats (most of it will have been absorbed), and toss them with the melted oil.  Sprinkle the sugar and salt overtop, and toss to evenly coat the oats.
  4. Spread the oats in an even layer over the prepared baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir.  (If using parchment, they may stick a little at the beginning.  Don’t worry, this will lessen as the oats continue to dry out.)  Return to the oven for 15 minutes, and then stir again.  Repeat for another 15 minutes or until the oats are dried out.  The precise cooking time will vary based on oven.  After about 45 minutes, if the oats are sufficiently brown but still have some moisture in them, reduce the oven temperature to 250 or 275 F, and continue checking and stirring every 5-10 minutes or until crisp and dry. If the oats are mostly dry but a few pockets of slight moisture remain, you may turn the oven off and allow the oats to sit in the still-hot oven until they are cool.
  5. Remove the oats from the oven.  When completely cool, transfer to an airtight container. Use as a crunchy topping for yogurt, stovetop oatmeal, cold cereal, salads, etc.  The oats will keep for several weeks at room temperature.


  • *Melted butter (or even another mild or fruity oil–like avocado oil) can be used instead of the coconut oil.  When I tested with butter, the oats browned slightly more but still turned out quite well.
  • **Two tablespoons of sugar creates a slightly more savory end result with a subtle, pleasing salty note.  Three tablespoons offers mild sweetness.  You may taste before baking and add to taste.  Brown sugar may be used if coconut sugar isn’t available.  Maple syrup works but extends the cooking time due to the added moisture.

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