Basic Oatmeal How-To (3 Simple Recipes)

I really love oatmeal. It’s not just something I eat in the winter time, and it’s not something I eat once a month. I have it at least four times a week, all year round.

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I had oatmeal for the first time two years ago, during my sophomore year of college. I knew I needed more soluble fiber in my diet to get my digestion issues under control, but I also wanted a low-cal option to help me lose my freshmen you-don’t-even-want-to-know-how-much.

I first tried the Quaker Instant Banana Bread flavor. Wow. I can remember being a little apprehensive of it at first (so mushy!), but the flavor appealed to me, so I stuck with it. By the time I finished that box, I was hooked.

That year, when I was home for spring break, all my mom had in the pantry was the giant carton of instant Quaker oats. I was so addicted to my daily bowl of oatmeal that I was willing to try it out.

I made it like I used to make Cream of Wheat. After I took it out of the microwave, I added butter, cinnamon, and sugar. And then I tried it. And gagged. So I added chocolate. And gagged again.

Flavored oatmeal packets spoil your taste buds with artificial flavoring and tons of sugar. And if you don’t know how to prepare unflavored oatmeal properly (which I didn’t), it makes the transition even more appalling.

Needless to say, I have come a long way. I now find flavored oatmeal packets revolting (although I still smile as I remember my mornings in my dorm room, digging into a warm bowl of Banana Bread goodness while I checked my Facebook). And I can whip up a mean bowl of oatmeal.

So, my Christmas present from me to you:

3 Easy, Adaptable Oatmeal Recipes

Peanut Butter Oatmeal

Prep Time: 2    –      Cook Time: 5

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 1 cup milk of choice, or water
  • 1/2 cup regular rolled oats
  • 1-2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Bring milk (I use an 1/2 c original almond milk and 1/2 c water) to a boil, add oats, and reduce heat to medium.
  2. Once more of the liquid has absorbed, add cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt.
  3. Stir in peanut butter (or swap in your favorite nut butter!).
  4. Add in any mix-ins you have on hand, such as raisins, chocolate chips, or your favorite nut.
  5. When you’re satisfied with the consistency of the oatmeal, transfer to a bowl. Serve with another splash of your milk of choice and any additional toppings (shredded coconut, banana, jelly, nuts, etc.).

Jammin’ Oatmeal

Prep Time: 2    –     Cook Time: 5

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 1 cup milk of choice, or water
  • 1/2 cup regular rolled oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
  • 1-2 spoonfuls of fruit spread/jam
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract OR 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Bring liquid (I use an equal mixture of almond milk and water) to a boil, add oats, and reduce heat to medium.
  2. Once more of the liquid has absorbed, add a pinch of salt, a splash of either almond or vanilla extract, as well as any other spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, etc.). Almond extract works really well with jams like cherry and blueberry, whereas vanilla is best with peach, strawberry, grape, etc.
  3. Stir in a spoonful or two of your favorite fruit preserves. It will take quite a bit of stirring for the jam to “blend” with the porridge–be patient! Raspberry, peach, apricot, blueberry, and strawberry jams/jellies/preserves work beautifully in oatmeal!
  4. If you’d like to add any additional ingredients (coconut oil, raisins, sunflower seeds), do so now.
  5. When you’re satisfied with the consistency of the oatmeal , transfer to a bowl. Serve with another splash of your milk of choice and any additional toppings (shredded coconut, nuts, etc.).

Fresh Fruit Oatmeal

Prep Time: 2    –    Cook Time: 5

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 1 cup milk of choice, or water
  • 1/2 cup regular rolled oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract OR 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • pinch of salt
  • a handful’s worth of fresh fruit

Instructions

  1. Bring liquid (I use an equal mixture of almond milk and water) to a boil, add oats, and reduce heat to medium. I also add a spoonful of milled flax at the same time as my oats.
  2. Once more of the liquid has absorbed, add a pinch of salt, a splash of either almond or vanilla extract, as well as any other spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, etc.). Vanilla extract works well with almost every single fruit, but almond is nice with blueberries and cherries!
  3. Stir, stir, stir!
  4. If you’d like to add any additional ingredients (coconut oil, raisins, sunflower seeds), do so now.
  5. If you’re using stone fruit (like peaches), add diced fruit to the oatmeal while it’s still cooking (you could even add it earlier, like before Step 2). If you’re using berries, transfer porridge to a bowl and top your oatmeal with the fresh fruit.
  6. Serve with another splash of your milk of choice and any additional toppings (shredded coconut, nuts, etc.).

About Lauren Smith

Lauren is a herbivore, Slytherin, and connoisseur of oats. She is a former teacher who is currently studying to earn a master’s degree in curriculum development. You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.


22 Responses to Basic Oatmeal How-To (3 Simple Recipes)

  1. Holli says:

    I’ve been eating oatmeal every weekday morning (and most weekends) for the last couple months. I go in and out of oatmeal stages, but it’s been nice finding variations for it! Thanks for sharing!

  2. lauren_015 says:

    Hurray! A fellow oatmeal lover.

  3. Oatmeal is my faveeeee! These variations are actually my favorite ways to eat oatmeal. The only one I haven’t tried is lemon poppy seed!! That’s genius 🙂

  4. Charlotte says:

    I swear I posted this before? I must be going crazy. Anyway, when I was feeling sick last weekend I made your chocolate-banana oatmeal, and I just wanted to let you know it was divine. I blogged about it with pictures and everything 😀 Except your pictures >>>>>> my pictures. Oh well.

    <3

  5. Charlotte says:

    Kay, I made your apple-cinnamon oatmeal, and it was awesome, and today I am just doing the fresh fruit thing with a nectarine (my peach isn’t ripe enough!), which I actually haven’t done yet. I’ve been adding a spoonful of almond butter to practically every bowl of oatmeal recently – it always seems to add something wonderful. But I adore almond butter, and I adore this post of yours. 🙂

    • Lauren Smith says:

      Awesome! I love adding peanut butter to mine. I made homemade almond butter once, but I don’t think I tried it in my oatmeal! Darn. I will have to make it again soon so I can do that!

      Do you ever make your own nut butters? I got a coffee grinder for Christmas, but since I don’t drink coffee, I’ve turned it into my nut butter maker. 🙂

  6. This one is quite expensive !

  7. m says:

    do you think i could make a variation of the fresh fruit oatmeal using tangerines? i just bought a box of them and i would love to use them in oatmeal!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Gave the oatmeal with preserves a try.. so simple, yet so tasty!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Down to my last 2 tablespoons of peanut butter… what better way to finish off a jar than with oatmeal? Thanks for the recipe, breakfast is sure to be delicious tomorrow morning!

  10. Christine says:

    I tried he Jammin’ oatmeal with Apple butter/almond extract and raspberry jam/vanilla extract. I just bought a jar of cherry preserves, which I think would work well with almond extract.

  11. Christine says:

    Please post more 5 ingredients or less, or simple recipes using pantry staples! While your fancy recipes are fun to try on the weekends, it’s the simple ones I turn to over and over when I need a quick breakfast during the week.

  12. Rabby says:

    Does it really affect the taste if you don’t add vanilla extract or vanilla essence? Just out of them.

    • Lauren Smith says:

      Yes, it will. I’ve eaten oatmeal before without vanilla, and it’s okay, but it definitely will taste a little more bland (especially if you’re making simple recipes like the one in this post).

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