Recipe: Oatmeal

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I actually don’t even like oatmeal, but it’s a very easy “real food” meal that both of my daughters happen to LOVE. They love it so much that my 1st grader takes oatmeal to school as her snack every single day and my preschooler sometimes takes it as part of her lunch (in a Thermos to keep it warm). Apparently a lot of people use water to make their oatmeal, but our secret is milk. I feel the same way about hot chocolate, too. Forget the water…use milk! At the start of our budget pledge last year I tried making oatmeal with water as a cost saving measure and my 6-year-old would have nothing to do with it. I didn’t even tell her anything was different I just served it like I normally do, and she knew immediately that something was wrong. And she wouldn’t eat it either. So after more than a year of playing around and tweaking our oatmeal recipe just the way my kids like it I thought I would share.

4.8 from 6 reviews

Serves: 1
  • ⅔ cup milk (any variety will do but we use whole milk at our house)
  • ½ cup plain rolled oats (I get ours out of the bulk bins at Earth Fare)
  • Big dash of cinnamon
  • Drizzle of honey
  • Small splash of pure vanilla extract
  • As many raisins as your heart desires :) …also, good with nuts on top
  1. In a small pot over high heat warm up the milk.
  2. As soon as the milk starts to bubble drop in the oats, stir once, and turn the heat down to low.
  3. Let the oats simmer for 2 – 3 minutes. You can stir it a couple times if you’d like.
  4. Once the oats have soaked up most of the milk add the vanilla, honey, cinnamon, raisins, and mix everything together. Take off the heat and serve or store for later in a Thermos.
    Tip: My daughters like their oatmeal a little “soupy” so I usually try to catch it before all of the milk has been absorbed by the oats. You could also add a little extra cold milk at the end, which will help cool it down for little ones as well.

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107 comments to Recipe: Oatmeal

  • Christy

    Tried this for my child’s school snack today. She loved it! It was delicious and easy. Thank you for the idea and the Thermos tips!!

  • Val

    I absolutely love oatmeal. To save a little money I usually use half milk and half water – there is not much of a difference in taste, and it tastes sooo much better than when you just use water!
    Plus, there are so many varieties- add any fruit!
    I usually add two or three differend kinds of fruit to keep it interesting- anything from apples, bananas, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, grapes, oranges, mandarin oranges, pineapple, … you get the picture.
    Tastes amazing!

  • Melynda

    We are moving slowly toward “real food” and I was still using oatmeal packets from the store. But we are iced and ran out, so I decided to look up how you do it. It was a big hit! The only thing I did different was to use my hand blender to blend the dry oats a bit before cooking. About half are still whole oats, but there are smaller pieces and powder that make it creamier and more likethe consistency you get from the packets. I made up several more packets of measured, blended oats with cinnamon and raisins for the next several days!

    • Katie

      Melynda, your tip about blending the oats first so they have the texture of the packets worked great! I have been trying to switch to rolls oats but missed the taste of the packets and this did the trick!!

  • Megan

    Has anyone tried this in the microwave, similar to the store bought packets? Also, should I use “traditional” rolled oats or the quick oats? Thanks :)

  • brenda

    What is the difference between oatmeals, i have been told to stay away from oats that cook instantly because they loose their nutritional value. Is this true? I love the steel cut oats but hate the 25minutes required.

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Brenda. Steel cut oats, because they are in a more whole form, probably do hold onto a bit more nutrients when cooked than their rolled counterparts. The only difference between old fashioned rolled oats, quick oats, and instant oats, is how thinly they are rolled and how quickly they soften when cooked. ~Amy

    • Stacey

      As soon as the grain is cut in any way, it starts to oxidize the nutrients. So steel cut isn’t any better nutritionally than rolled oats or quick oats. You would have to buy whole oat groats and slice them yourself to retain the nutrition. Basically, oats are fibre, which is still excellent for you.

  • Sandi

    If you like the texture of steel-cut oats, but hate the long cooking time, start the night before. Add 1 cup oats to 3 cups boiling water, stir, cover, and let sit overnight. In the morning, add another cup of liquid (water, milk, juice, whatever) sweetener, spices, etc, stir and heat to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and let it cook until it’s thick, then let it sit for 5 minutes, uncovered. REALLY good.

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