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how to prepare oatmeal?

  • m

what's your favorite method of preparing oatmeal. stovetop or slowcooker or microwave? my attempts have not been too appetizing!

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  1. Stovetop very preferably.

    No instant oatmeal: however, quick-cooking (which I usually have on hand for baking), old-fashioned rolled, and steel-cut are all fine.

    I don't like crockpot oatmeal: gets way too gummy rather than genuinely creamy, and loses a lot of desireable characteristics.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Karl S.

      I highly recommend steel-cut, it's better for you than regular oatmeal and I think it's texture is preferable (more chewy, less gummy mush). It takes a while on the stove but it reheats well (make it at night for the morning).

      1. re: D-NY

        I found that if you will soak steel cut over night they cook more quickly in the AM

        1. re: Candy

          The same is true if you toast it. I make a pot of oatmeal about once a week, and store it in a container in the fridge. Slice off a portion in the morning, add a little milk, plus fruit, and microwave. The texture seems fine too. I always feel virtuous after my bowl of oatmeal!

        2. re: D-NY

          How is is better for you than rolled oats. Both regular rolled oats and steel cut are whole-grain (I do realize that some people think steel cut are somehow more whole grain, but they aren't).

          1. re: Karl S.

            Steel cut oats are simply cut oat groats while rolled oats are processed by steaming and then rolling the groats flat, breaking down the cell walls. Rolled oats are quickly digested and can change blood sugar levels faster than steel cut oats, which give your digestive system more of a workload even after cooking and chewing. Quick cook oats are worse because the oats are ground down completely and reshaped. Best of all, though perhaps not palatable to all, are whole oat groats, which gives your jaw a workout and (ahem) may not get entirely digested.

      2. I buy organic regular oats, not quick oats....steel-cut are probably the ultimate way to go but I'm the only one who eats oatmeal in my house and it's not worth it to make a whole crockpot of the stuff overnight...so, I use 1 cup of water to 1/2 cup of regular oats, add a pinch of salt and some raisins and cinnamon and sometimes toasted chopped walnuts...bring it all to a boil, stirring, then remove from heat, cover and let sit for about 5 or 7 minutes, and it still has some 'chew' to it. Oatmeal will never be exciting for me, but it's healthy and satisfying and holds me through the morning pretty nicely. (Just got my blood work back from annual check up...total cholesterol 150)

        1. k
          k. gerstenberger

          Steel cut is nutritionally superior, with no penalty for flavor. The less processed the better. The steel cut keeps me full longer - slow release of nutritive value I'm guessing.

          Ratios of oats to water determine thickness of finished product. Maybe a big "duh"? I prefer 1:3 for steel cut, and 1:1 for rolled. Both these ratios yield a thick product.

          Measure water, lightly salt, and bring to a boil. Whisk in the oats. Reduce heat to avoid boil over. Stir frequently, once a minute for the first 5 to 10 minutes. Reduce to a minimal simmer. The steel cut will rather suddenly form a thick bottom layer, which will progress to a welded blob in short order if you don't keep it moving. Avoiding the weld increases your enjoyment. If you're pressed for time use a double boiler, as this reduces the working time needed to stir. Hanging out in the kitchen while you make coffee, chop some nuts, cut some fruit, grind some flax, and read the headlines is no big deal, so I find the stirring to be easy.

          1 Reply
          1. re: k. gerstenberger

            While steel-cut oats are less processed, they are not any more whole grain than regular rolled oats. It's merely a texture preference, not a nutritional issue. I love both, and find them equally easy to make.

          2. I actually prefer microwaving.

            I like a chewier oat and I've found that those I prepare on the stove are too mushy and creamy. I usually use about 1/2 cup of organic rolled oats from Trader Joe's, cover with water by about 1/4", and then microwave for about 2 minutes. I usually add brown sugar or maple syrup or I cover the cooked oatmeal with sliced bananas and dark brown sugar and broil till the sugar is melted and almost black in spots.

            1. Hi everyone- I did not post this message!!! The tips are good, as I do like oatmeal, but I have emailed the moderators, as I do not like it that anyone can post under my name!!!!!

              2 Replies
              1. re: macca

                my mistake and no offense intended! are we both paul fans?i'll choose a new name!btw...about that oatmeal?????

                1. re: ex-macca

                  No problem-- It just surprised me. Welcome to the board. My name comes from the beginning of my last name- ( hint- I'm Irish descent), and is the nickname I had in school. :}

              2. I like steel cut on the stovetop...I get them bulk but follow the directions on an old can I bought once. I basically follow k. gerstenberger's method, but I try to keep the simmering time down to about 7 mins, and then give it 2 mins off heat, covered, to settle. I like it with lots of butter and salt and pepper.

                Also just learned this wonderful and speedy technique: Cover uncooked rolled oats with cold buttermilk, add fruit (or blueberry jam!) and enjoy. Cultured thick buttermilk is my favorite, and good plain yogurt works nicely too. btw, rolled oats are pre-cooked.

                1. I use old fashioned oats and cook them on the stove in a heavy pot. I like a stiff porridge--no gruel for me--so I use even amounts of liquid and oats.

                  I start by toasting the oats (3/4-1 cup) in a tsp. of butter in the pot. Then I add the same amount of milk or a mixture of half milk and half water. Simmer for 3-4 minutes on low, give it the occasional stir, and serve it up when it looks like super-thick oatmeal. Always have borwn sugar and if I'm very lucky--blackberries or rasperries w/a bit of cream is heavenly.

                  1. It depends which kind and brand I'm making, but when I'm lazy, I like the Multi-Grain Oats from Trader Joe's made either with water or milk in the microwave. I vary between adding apple butter and cinnamon, or when I feel decadent maple syrup and butter. I find use the given amount of water, and watch it as it cooks in the micro (I do it on high power), and then I add more water if necessary, or cook longer depending on the consistency I'm after that particular day. A bonus is that a cup of this particular oatmeal is that a cup dry when cooked gives a hearty 10 grams of fiber...

                    1. I've just discovered the best way of all - 1 cup of water, 3 T steel cut oats, 3 T rolled oats soaked overnight in the fridge for one serving. In the am, simmer for 7 minutes without a lid, let it sit covered for a minute or two off heat and you will have wonderfully creamy porridge! I add chopped apple or dried fruit while cooking, and top with chopped nuts, cinnamon, and brown sugar in various combinations which keeps me happily eating porridge every morning without boredom.

                      1. j

                        This method works for both steel-cut or rolled oats. Brown the oats in the pan with some butter before adding the liquid, water or milk, and then cook slowly while stirring until desired level of chewiness. I've also cooked them in stews or stocks as a thickener. Cookies are always a good way to get your fix of oat fiber.