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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114 comments to Recipe: Oatmeal

  • 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.

  • […] Homemade oatmeal from 100 Days of Real Food: Ingredients: Milk, plain rolled oats, honey, cinnamon, pure vanilla extract, toppings (fruit, […]

  • Abbey

    Lisa, this recipe is great, but I thought you were cutting artificial flavoring, too? Vanilla extract is not flavored by the vanilla bean it is actually artificially flavored. Do you use some alternative?

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Abbey. There is artificial vanilla and pure vanilla extract. Lisa sometimes even makes her own. Pure vanilla extract is made by soaking beans in alcohol for several weeks. She does not use artificial. :) ~Amy

  • Ashley

    What do you think about Quaker Organic Regular instant oatmeal?

  • […] a child? Just this one meal alone will reach the recommended added sugar limit. So, I say make it yourself with just plain oats, cinnamon, and a little drizzle of honey (if […]

  • […] for convenience I do like to have one squeeze bottle around for when we need just a little (on oatmeal for example). – […]

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