Wednesday, March 13, 2013

6 ways to make Oatmeal great

I haven't always been an oatmeal lover, especially not the homemade kind.

Growing up, I often would eat the instant oatmeal and I still stock it in my pantry in case I need a super quick breakfast.  I know its full of sugar but it tastes so good and let's be honest, its better than not eating anything.

In fact, I often eat the instant oatmeal for breakfast before my long runs and races.  I ate it before my marathon too. It just works for me to eat that before running and has really never caused any issues.

But I do try to eat homemade oatmeal during the week because I know it is better for me and it does keep me fuller, longer.  But just plain oatmeal is gross.

Here's a few ways I have tried to spice up my morning oatmeal - 

Use milk instead of water

Most oatmeal recipes call for a 1:2 ratio for oats to liquid and I usually do 1/2 cup of oats to 1 cup of liquid.  I have found that using even 1/2 cup of coconut or almond milk with 1/2 cup of water makes the oatmeal taste creamier.  I prefer almond of coconut milk because I can't always handle dairy, especially after a morning run.

Add a little Brown sugar to the top (and bottom)

My favorite instant oatmeal is the maple brown sugar variety so trying to make the homemade stuff exactly like that was my goal.  I added brown sugar to the bottom of the bowl and then poured in the oatmeal followed by another sprinkle of brown sugar.

Mix with Peanut Butter

Adding a dollop of peanut butter to my oatmeal has become one of my favorite ways to enjoy it. The peanut butter melts from the hot oatmeal and gets all creamy and gooey.  This is a perfect way to mask the oat taste.

Mix with chocolate

This didn't exactly turn out how I wanted because I only had cocoa powder in the house but mixing a little chocolate into oatmeal is another great way to mask the oat taste and have some chocolate too.

Top with Pumpkin Butter

When I made my first batch of Pumpkin butter back in the fall, I put it on everything! Muffins, toast, and of course oatmeal. This is one of my favorite ways to eat oatmeal.  The pumpkin taste goes so well with the oats and I usually devour the oatmeal.

Add bananas (and other fruit)

I have found many different ways to add bananas into my oatmeal. At first I would saute up the bananas on the stove while cooking my oatmeal and then top my oatmeal with the bananas.  Frying the bananas made them very sweet so I didn't need to add any sugar.  But this is slightly time consuming and it does dirty another dish so I started putting the banana into the oatmeal about half way through.  The banana wasn't mushy from being cooked in the oatmeal and added a lot of flavor.  To get more fruits, I sometimes top my oatmeal with blueberries too.

Here is my recipe for oatmeal -

1/2 cup rolled or old fashioned oats
1 cup milk (any kind)
1 banana, sliced
Toppings - cinnamon, PB, fruits, etc

Add milk and oats together into a pan and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat and stir occasionally so it doesn't burn the bottom and doesn't boil over.  Cook for 10 minutes or until oatmeal is desired consistency.  Add sliced banana half way through or wait until the end - its good either way.

If you are crunched for time, take 1/2 cup oats and 1/2 milk and mix together in a microwave safe bowl.  Add sliced banana and mix together. Then pop it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, stopping and stirring half way through.  Once it is finished cooking, add toppings and enjoy.  Same great oatmeal but way faster!

How do you like your oatmeal??


Katherine said...

Love all of your ideas!

Health food giveaway on my blog :)

..:danielle:.. said...

these are great ideas! i usually add milk and granola to mine (nothing like adding more sugar to sugar haha) but the coconut milk (or almond milk) sounds delish! i always eat oatmeal before marathons too :)

Logan said...

I've never made mine with milk before, but for no particular reason. I bet it makes it creamy delicous! I always add brown sugar, fruit if I have it, and almond slivers for a little something crunchy!

I keep premade bags of dry oatmeal at work on mornings that I have to rush out without breakfast or for the days that I need a little extra something before a run after work. It's so cheap, simple, and healthy!

The Many Thoughts of a Reader said...

I also prefer the instant kind haha. But I since the whole healthy aspect of it and I dont want my kid eating that garbage I suffer through. I also like the peanut butter approach and strawberries on top. I also like drizzling honey. Tonight in the fridge I amtrying out pumpkin overnight oats. Fingers crossed it's good.

KellytheCulinarian said...

I used to prefer the instant kind, but I find that steel cut oats sticks with me longer. I make it in the crock pot over night, then top it with a microwaved chopped apple and cinnamon. Bananas and peanut butter are another common topping. I usually add a splash of almond milk, too. Here's my crock pot recipe:

Johann said...

I'm no oatmeal fan but this looks really good. I'm showing my wife who loves oatmeal. :)

Unknown said...

I am actually going to have to try some of those! I have NEVER been an oatmeal person, even the flavored kind as a kid. I've gotten a little better over the years and can eat it if there is nothing else. I think if I tried some of these suggestions I might actually be able to eat more of it!

Kim said...

Yum! Oatmeal! I need to try making it with milk. I have been making malt o meal with a bit of milk, but not oatmeal. I like mine with brown sugar and PB2!

Amber said...

I have actually become a big fan of steel cut oats lately. I make a big batch on Sunday nights and split it into five servings for the week. I eat it with a about 1/2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter, almonds and milk! Delicious!

Amy said...

Yum! I like mine with chopped apple and a little cinnamon. Every once in a while I treat myself with a scoop of chocolate chips.

Joanne said...

I always make mine thick with water. I add bananas, raisins, and cinnamon. If I need an extra kick, I add a tsp. of PB.
It's so filling. Love oatmeal - steel cut :)

Unknown said...

I put milk, cinamon, brown sugar and raisins in it.

Molly said...

Yum! I love to add cinnamon, a few almonds, dried cherries and sometimes coconut!

Anonymous said...

I'm just getting to this late, but thanks for the recipe ideas! I love oatmeal but have stopped buying the instant stuff. This inspires me to try it the old fashioned way. Pumpkin butter, peanut butter, and almond milk all sound delicious!