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How to Make Oatmeal

posted September 30, 2022
by Cassandra Morris
How to cook old fashioned oatmeal on the stovetop or in the microwave with four different topping variations.

This is your sign to pick up that bag of oats you’ve stashed away in the cupboard, never to see the light of day. If you think oatmeal is a bore to eat, I feel you. Your feelings are completely valid! 

The reason why doctors and nutritionists recommend oats is because it has plenty of health benefits. It helps lower your blood sugar levels and does wonders for our digestion. Healthy foods need not be boring, though!

Recently I’ve discovered more interesting ways to enjoy oatmeal, like making these guilt-free sweet treats, like these healthy chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter oatmeal bars. 

I’ve also made these grab-and-go apple pie overnight oats and carrot cake overnight oats that are perfect out of the fridge in the morning.  

But on a cold day, a warm bowl of oatmeal would be really nice. I know oatmeal sounds goopy, boring, and worse, tasteless! We can always switch it up by adding various ingredients to give it more flavor and texture (no more goopy lumpy oatmeal). That’ll make this healthy breakfast a little more interesting and fun to eat. 

This recipe contains 4 yummy oatmeal flavors that you’ll look forward to every morning. 

Read on to learn how to make oatmeal (in a microwave or on a stovetop) with the following flavors: 

  • Oatmeal with Maple Brown Sugar – If you’re looking for some sweet, healthy oatmeal minus the hassle, this is the best! 
  • Banana Blueberry Nut Oatmeal – A lush, purple-tinted oatmeal with hints of banana bread and is crunchy with walnuts. 
  • Oatmeal with Mixed Berries – Topped with fresh, juicy berries of your choice. 
  • Chunky Monkey Oatmeal – This is my personal favorite! It tastes both sweet and a little salty thanks to the combination of bananas, chocolate and peanut butter. 

So long, boring oatmeal! 

Recipe Ingredients

Start with these base ingredients (this is the same for all flavors):

  • Rolled oats – Prepare ½ cup of old-fashioned or steel-cut oats. I like these better than instant oats. 
  • Milk – Prepare ½ cup of any milk of your choice. My preference is unsweetened vanilla almond milk. 
  • Water – Prepare ½ cup of water to thin down the oats.
  • Ground cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt – To add a touch of flavor. 

Ingredients for Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal: 

  • Brown sugar – Pack 1 tablespoon with brown sugar (adjust sweetness to your liking). 
  • Maple syrup – Measure 1 teaspoon of maple syrup (adjust sweetness to your liking). 
  • Pecans – Add some crunch with 2 tablespoons of chopped pecans. 

Ingredients for Banana Blueberry Nut Oatmeal:

  • Banana – Thinly slice 1 small banana and divide it into half portions (half for cooking, half for topping).
  • Fresh blueberries – Prepare ¼ cup of fresh blueberries and prepare extra for topping. 
  • Brown sugar – Pack 1 tablespoon with brown sugar (adjust sweetness to your liking). 
  • Walnuts – Chop about 2 tablespoons of walnuts. 
  • Peanut butter – Scoop ½ tablespoon of peanut butter. 

Ingredients for Mixed Berries Oatmeal:

  • Mixed berries –Fill a  ½ cup with mixed berries of your choice and prepare extras for topping. You can use blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries, or whatever you wish. 
  • Honey – Measure ½ tablespoon of honey or maple syrup for sweetening. 
  • Brown sugar – Measure 1 teaspoon of brown sugar. 

Ingredients for Chunky Monkey Oatmeal:

  • Banana –  Thinly slice 1 small banana and divide it into half portions (half for cooking, half for topping).
  • Cocoa powder – Measure 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder. 
  • Chocolate chips – Prepare 1 tablespoon of semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips. 
  • Peanut butter – Scoop 1 tablespoon of peanut butter. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

Cook the oatmeal with the base ingredients. 

If cooking oatmeal in the microwave, follow these instructions: 

Step One: Place all the oatmeal base ingredients into a medium microwave-safe bowl and stir the ingredients together. 

  • Pro Tip: If the recipe includes bananas, add ½ of the banana slices into the base ingredients while cooking. If the recipe includes any berries, add them to the base ingredients while they’re cooking. 

Step Two: Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Then, add 15-second increments until the oatmeal is puffed and softened. This is only necessary the first time you make it to gauge the exact time needed and repeat it in the future. Stir before serving and add toppings as shown in the next section. 

If cooking oatmeal over a stovetop, follow these instructions:

Step One: In a small saucepan, bring the water and milk to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and pour in the oats and the base ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally until the oats are soft and have absorbed most of the liquid (about 5 minutes). 

  • Pro Tip: If the recipe includes bananas, add ½ of the banana slices into the base ingredients while cooking. If the recipe includes any berries, add them to the base ingredients while they’re cooking. 

Step Two: Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 2 to 3 minutes. Add toppings as shown in the next section. 

Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal 

Step One: Stir in the maple syrup and brown sugar into the oats. Add some milk to thin out the oats if desired. 

Step Two: Sprinkle chopped pecans on top of the oats. Serve warm. 

Maple Brown sugar oatmeal | cookingwithcassandra.com

Banana Blueberry Nut Oatmeal

Step One: Stir in the brown sugar and peanut butter in the oats until well combined. Add some milk to thin out the oats if desired. 

Step Two: Garnish with the remaining banana slices, blueberries, and chopped walnuts on top of the oats. Serve warm. 

Banana Blueberry Nut Oatmeal | cookingwithcassandra.com

Mixed Berries Oatmeal

Step One: Stir in the brown sugar and honey in the oats until well combined. Add some milk to thin out the oats if desired. 

Step Two: Garnish with the remaining berries on top of the oats. Serve warm. 

Mixed Berry Oatmeal | cookingwithcassandra.com

Chunky Monkey Oatmeal

Step One: Stir in the cocoa powder, peanut butter, and chocolate chips in the oats until well combined. Add some milk to thin out the oats if desired. 

Step One: Garnish with the remaining banana slices on top of the oats. Serve warm. 

chocolate chip cookies with Oatmeal | cookingwithcassandra.com

Best Toppings for Oatmeal

Besides the four variations that I have shown you, there are hundreds of delicious toppings that go so well with oatmeal. You want to introduce different flavors and textures to take oatmeal from good to great.  

If you fancy crunchy textures in your oatmeal, add ingredients like toasted coconut flakes, crumbled Oreo cookies (or any cookies of your choice), and pumpkin seeds. Chia seeds are extremely nutritious, too. Get some dried fruits (raisins, dates, etc) for a chewy texture. 

As for flavors, you could make fall-themed oatmeal (think apple and cinnamon or pumpkin and pecans). I think a combination of chocolate and raspberries could be really indulgent as well. It’s all about experimenting! 

Storage Instructions

Now that you know how to make oatmeal that someone will actually love, you can share it with them. Yay! 

When it comes to extras, cooked oatmeal needs to be refrigerated. Make sure it has cooled down a bit before transferring it into an airtight container. Do not put a piping hot oatmeal into the refrigerator as the sudden change of temperature may spoil it. 

Cooked oatmeal stays well in the fridge for no more than 3 days provided it lasts that long. Reheat it in the microwave and add a splash of milk to reintroduce moisture if it has dried up. 

Oatmeal's ingredients  | cookingwithcassandra.com

5 Minute Oatmeal Recipe

How to cook old fashioned oatmeal on the stovetop or in the microwave with four different topping variations.
Servings 1

Ingredients

Base Recipe

  • 1/2 cup rolled old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt

Maple Brown Sugar

  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons pecans chopped (topping)

Banana Blueberry Nut

  • 1 small banana divided
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts
  • 1/2 tbsp peanut butter
  • Additional blueberries for topping

Mixed Berries

  • 1/2 cup mixed berries blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, whatever you wish!
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Additional berries for topping

Chunky Monkey

  • 1 small banana divided
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate chips
  • Peanut butter drizzled and chocolate chips for topping

Instructions

Microwave

  • Place all the oatmeal base ingredients into a medium microwave safe bowl and stir together. Heat in the microwave on high for 2 minutes. Then add 15-second increments until the oatmeal is puffed and softened. This is only necessary the first time you make it. Then you can gauge the exact time needed and repeat in the future. Stir before serving
  • For recipes that include banana- Add 1/2 the banana thinly sliced into the oats and base ingrediants while cooking.
  • For recipes that include any type of berry (including blueberries): Add berries to the oats and base ingredients while they're cooking.

Stovetop

  • In a small saucepan, bring the water and milk to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and pour in the oats and rest of the oatmeal base ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the oats are soft and have absorbed most of the liquid, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 2-3 minutes.
  • For recipes that include banana- Add 1/2 the banana thinly sliced into the oats and base ingrediants while cooking.
  • For recipes that include any type of berry (including blueberries): Add berries to the oats and base ingredients while they're cooking.

Assembly

  • As soon as the microwave or stovetop step is done, stir in the toppings and let rest for a few minutes to cool and co-mingle together. Thin with a little more milk, if desired. Serve warm.
  • For recipes that include banana- Add remaining 1/2 of the banana thinly sliced as a topping to your oatmeal.
  • For recipes that include any type of berry (including blueberries): Add a couple extra berries as a topping to your oatmeal.

Hi, I’m Cassandra!

I’m a proud wife, dog mom, food lovin’ Canadian girl, former TV reality show personality, wine lover and on a mission to make living a healthy + balanced lifestyle easy for everyone.

More about me

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Hi, I'm Cassandra!

I'm a proud wife, dog mom, food lovin' Canadian girl, former TV reality show personality, wine lover and on a mission to make living a healthy + balanced lifestyle easy for everyone.

More about me

Never miss a recipe!

Sign up for free recipes straight to your inbox:

Free E-Cookbook!

Cooking dinner doesn’t have to take all night. Subscribe & receive my favourite 10 Quick & Easy Dinner Recipes in an easy e-cookbook format!

Jujeh kabab - Eating | cookingwithcassandra.com

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