How to Make Oatmeal

It’s nearly as easy as just boiling water.

Making great oatmeal is more about technique than anything, and with just a few easy steps you’ll be on your way to starting your day the wholesome way!
Making oatmeal from scratch requires a little more time than instant, but it is so much more satisfying! Old-fashioned oats will give you a more textured bowl, while quick oats will be creamier and will cook a little faster. It’s up to you to decide your preference.

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1 Measure

You will need ½ cup of oats and 1 cup of water to yield 1 serving of cooked oatmeal.

If you buy the old fashioned oats and decide you prefer quick cooking oats, a pulse in the blender or food processor gives you quick oats in less than a minute!

2 Simmer

The trick to perfectly cooked oatmeal is to cook it in water, not milk (the milk comes later). You should also cook your oatmeal in simmering water, not boiling water. Boiling water will turn your oats into sticky glue. You want to bring the water just to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer before adding your oats.
Once you add the oats, stir and let them cook for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

If your oats threaten to bubble up and over the sides of the pan when you add them, reduce the heat.

3 Season

Just like your favorite cookie recipe, your oatmeal needs a dash of salt to bring out the other flavors. You are not adding salt to make it taste salty. You are adding salt because it works magic. You only need a little; just a quick shake will do the trick!

Salt isn’t the only seasoning you are adding, though. To jazz up one bowl of oatmeal, you can add 1-2 teaspoons of brown sugar (depending on your preference for sweetness), ½ a teaspoon of cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg.
This is also the step where you can float a little milk or cream across the top of your oatmeal. This is also a matter of preference. I’ve seen people just drown their oats in milk, the way you would a bowl of cornflakes. Others just like a dab. For our how-to purposes here I’m going to have you add 3 tablespoons of milk. You can always add more if you’d like, but 3 tablespoons gives you just the right amount of creaminess.

4 Add Toppings

Now that you have achieved the perfect cooked oatmeal consistency, you can add whatever toppings you’d like! My favorite add-ins are berries, walnuts and sliced bananas.
Some other delicious add-ins include:
 • Almonds or pistachios
 • Dried cranberries or raisins
 • Sliced apples or peaches
 • Chocolate chips
 • A spoonful of peanut butter
 • Maple syrup
What are your favorite oatmeal add-ins?

About Heather T.

Heather, who runs, has been making messes in the kitchen since she was a little kid when her mom handed her a cook book and told her, “If you can read, you can cook.” Today she serves up fresh, healthy eats, easy weeknight meals and decadent sweet treats.