Jesse Mulligan's Kefir Soaked Oats Recipe, From The Sweet October Cookbook

Fuel up for busy days with Jesse Mulligan's kefir soaked oats recipe, as featured in The Sweet October Cookbook

Try making homemade kefir, or use store-bought for these oats. Photo / Supplied

The Sweet October Cookbook features sweet and savoury recipes by Sweet Louise members (those with incurable breast cancer) and well-known Kiwis and influencers. The book is available to download for $31 and features 31 recipes in total — for the 31 days of October. During October (breast cancer awareness month), Sweet Louise aims to raise $100,000 to continue to support around 800 women and men a year with incurable breast cancer. Here’s a preview of Jesse Mulligan's recipe from The Sweet October Cookbook. Visit

"We have a different sort of problem in our house: we can’t get the kids to stop eating breakfast. As the clock moves steadily towards the 9am school bell my three older children are at the bench demanding bowl after bowl of oats. At least we know they are fuelled up for the day! This recipe has almost nothing but healthy ingredients in it and yet is one of the most delicious ways to start the day. It’s also made with kefir which is full of live culture bacteria – there’s good research showing the benefits of including kefir and other fermented foods in your diet. Enjoy, but don’t blame me if you are late to school!" — Jesse Mulligan


1 cup plain (not quick-cooking) oats, organic if you like
2 cups kefir milk (see below)
Quality maple syrup (a good one will make all the difference, this is not the time to budget!)
Slightly tart fruit such as kiwifruit, raspberries or tamarillo — depending on what is in season
Nut butter and/or flavoured coconut yoghurt (optional)

Kefir milk
1 litre milk
1-2 Tbsp kefir crystals (expensive from a Health Food shop but free from ‘Fermenting Freaks’ Facebook page or other online communities)

1. Pour the milk over the kefir crystals in a jug or jar and place out of the way on the kitchen bench.

2. Cover with a paper towel and leave at room temperature for about 24 hours (the time will depend on the time of the year). The milk will become thicker and pleasantly sour — stir a couple of times throughout the 24 hour period to stop it getting too thick on the surface. Strain and put the milk into a sealed container in the refrigerator. Rinse the crystals and store in a container of water in the fridge for next time — you will need to ‘feed’ them with a splash of milk from time to time.

3. The night before, put the oats into a bowl and pour the kefir milk over the top and leave to soak. In the morning put the oats into a breakfast bowl, drizzle a small amount of maple syrup over and serve with fruit of your choice and a dollop of good nut butter or coconut yoghurt.

Note: For ease of preparation a store bought Kefir Yoghurt such as The Collective can be used instead of making your own kefir, just add milk or nut milk so that the oats have plenty to soak up. But do give homemade kefir a try at some stage, it’s incredibly easy and much cheaper! As an optional extra you can add grated raw apple, chopped dried fruit or spices to your kefir oats.

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