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How to Make the Perfect Oatmeal (4 Useful Tips)

Learn how to make the perfect oatmeal for breakfast indulgence or a fiber-loaded dessert. Our 4 tips guarantee the creamiest and most delicious oatmeal ever!  

Overhead view of a bowl full of oatmeal topped with blueberry sauce, with a spoon on the side, both positioned between several blueberries/mint leaves and a glass of water.

Oatmeal is a very popular breakfast dish in many countries, including in the United States. But do you how to make the perfect oatmeal?

If not, check out our 4 tips below.  Our method is both gluten free and dairy-free!

How To Make the Perfect Oatmeal

2 combined images, one of a saucepan with oatmeal being mixed with heavy cream and brown sugar and the other showing a spoon full of oatmeal.

  1. The type of oats: Either steel-cut/Scottish oats or old fashioned oats/rolled oats (100% whole grains) — both are less processed than instant oatmeal and hold their shape better once cooked. They also take longer to cook, absorb more liquid, and produce a smooth texture (while instant oatmeal cooks faster, yet often winds up mushy and/or lumpy).
  2. Water rather than dairy: Water is the ideal liquid for cooking oats because in contrast to milk, there is less of a chance for scorching. A touch of dairy (whole milk, half-half or heavy cream) or canned coconut milk can be added after cooking for extra creaminess and richness.
  3. Proportion of oats to water: The right proportion is 1:3– that means, for example, 1 cup of oats to 3 cups of water in order to cook the oats perfectly. The best way to cook them is by first bringing the mixture of oats/water to a boil over high heat, and then reducing heat to medium-low for a simmer.
  4. Breaking oats down by stirring until cooked: The ideal tool is either a pointed wooden spoon or the end of a wooden spoon.  Steel-cut oats should take about 12-15 minutes to cook, while rolled oats will take approximately 5-10 minutes. This makes rolled oats my preferred oats because they cook quicker than steel-cut, while holding still their shape relatively well. The heat and stirring cause both oats to release their starch, which adds to the creaminess.

Overhead shot of a spoon full oatmeal above a bowl of oatmeal topped with blueberry sauce.

Toppings are a whole separate chapter. I used a blueberry lemon sauce for my oatmeal, but one can vary according to one’s preference. My daughters love theirs mixed with a bit of heavy cream and apple sauce.

However, you can add spices, applesauce, cocoa powder, Nutella, or peanut butter to your cooked oatmeal.  Top with chocolate chips, dried fruits and/or chopped nuts, fresh berries, or banana rounds and honey (the latter, very common in Brazil)…

… or use preserves as a topping, or a smear of butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar for a caramel-like flavor, etc. The options are endless! 😉

Every time, it comes out consistently creamy and delicious, but the different toppings make it exciting! That is the beauty of it all!

In addition, if you’re serving oatmeal for breakfast it can be less sweet than serving as a dessert. The type of sweeteners also vary according to each person’s choice — granulated sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave, sugar substitute, etc.

Adding a pinch of salt while cooking oatmeal is not required but certainly helps to bring out the sweetness of the topping or added mix.

Well, I hope these tips help you to make the best oatmeal that you have ever had. It certainly helped me because my family says that I make the best!

Large overhead view of half of a bowl with oatmeal topped with blueberry sauce.

 

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How to Make the Perfect Oatmeal
Learn how to make the perfect oatmeal for breakfast indulgence or a fiber-loaded dessert. These 4 tips guarantee the creamiest and most delicious oatmeal ever! 
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Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Passive Time 0
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Passive Time 0
Servings
people
Ingredients
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan, combine oats, water, and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir constantly with a pointed wooden spoon or the handle end of a wooden spoon.
  3. Let simmer, while stirring, until cooked (about 5-10 minutes). If using steel-cut oats this will take around 12-15 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, heavy cream or coconut milk, and sweetener.
  5. Enjoy by itself or with a topping of your choice!
Recipe Notes
  1. Tips adapted from Jaime Oliver.
  2. Mix/Topping suggestions:  Mixed with apple sauce, spices, cocoa powder, Nutella, or peanut butter to your cooked oatmeal. Topped with blueberry sauce, chocolate chips. dried fruits and/or chopped nuts, fresh berries, banana rounds and honey drizzle, preserves,  a smear of butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar for a caramel-like flavor, etc. The options are endless! 😉

7 Responses to How to Make the Perfect Oatmeal (4 Useful Tips)

  1. Deb|EastofEdenCooking April 3, 2018 at 5:40 pm #

    Oatmeal is such comforting way to begin the day. The cooking you tips are spot on! I like my oatmeal sweet rather than savory. It’s milk and brown sugar in my bowl!

    • Denise Browning April 3, 2018 at 7:29 pm #

      I also enjoy mine sweet. Thanks for stopping by Deb and have a delicious week!

  2. Little Cooking Tips April 4, 2018 at 2:39 am #

    Exceptional post dear Denise!!! We love oatmeal but never tried it with water, the way you described it. We sure will now however!:) Our favorite spice for this is cinnamon, have you tried it with it?
    Sending you our love,
    Mirella and Panos

  3. John / Kitchen Riffs April 4, 2018 at 9:53 am #

    Love oatmeal! Often have it for breakfast in the cooler months. Terrific tips, too — thanks! 🙂

  4. Natalie April 9, 2018 at 3:18 am #

    oh, thanks for 4 useful tips!
    So I guess I would try my very first oatmeal with the berry jam for topping xD

  5. Sheeba April 11, 2018 at 9:05 am #

    Thanks for the tips! I love my oatmeal with banana slices and dry fruits.

  6. Raymund April 15, 2018 at 2:45 pm #

    Great tips! and kudos with the photo, this is the prettiest oatmeal I had seen so far

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