HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


How do you like your oatmeal?

k.....I like my oatmeal one of two ways:

1. honey and flax seed
2. brown sugar and margarine/butter

I am not drinking milk these days and can use some suggestions on how to spice it up.....I am interested to hear how other chowhounds enjoy their big bowl of oats :)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. We are big oatmeal consumers in my home. Our current favorite is with brown sugar, cinnamon and small diced apples cooked with the oatmeal, not added after. The apples soften and add lovely flavor.

    We also cook the oatmeal with dried fruits (cranberries, apricots, mango...) and sweeten it with honey or agave nectar.

    Neither are too inventive, but me and my kids love it.

    Also, if you are not drinking cows milk, try adding almond or rice milk. There is a sweet flavor of rice milk called Horchata that works well with oatmeal. Enjoy!

    1. A spoonful of honey and tons of cinnamon for me. I think my husband likes brown sugar and cinnamon on his.

      1. We are big on oats during the cold months too. We make oat groats, rather than oatmeal. We cook it in the slow cooker overnight so it's ready in the morning. I like mine with maple syrup, milk and dried fruit - cranberries, prunes, apricots. I also soak the larger dried fruit overnight so it's not too chewy. DH has his with fruit only.

        1. On the sweet side, these are my fave combos:

          -canned pumpkin, cinnamon and a little maple syrup or molasses
          -soymilk, cocoa powder, and dried cherries
          -coconut milk and banana
          -soymilk, peanut butter and a bit of honey
          -whatever liquid, with a spoonful of lemon curd

          On the savoury side, I like:

          -quark cheese and fresh herbs
          -sesame oil and fresh ginger
          -roasted garlic
          -dried mushrooms (not too many, they taste strong)

          2 Replies
          1. re: piccola

            I'm so glad you mentioned coconut milk, I had intended to add another reply to suggest it, since the OP cannot eat milk.

            1. re: piccola

              Im so glad you mentioned pumpkin. My nutritionist thinks Im crazy , but its a GREAT way to get in some extra fibre

            2. i love brown sugar (but never use it, i use splenda *sigh) and lots of fresh berries. and a few tablespoons of ground flax seeds.

              dried sour cherries are good too...
              basically boring ideas are what i like :)

              interesting savoury ideas. gotta try the quark and herb. mmm.

              1 Reply
              1. re: junglekitte

                have you tried the splenda brown sugar mix?

              2. I add raisins and milk to mine.

                1. I have a bowl every morning during the week with usually fruit, like blueberries, cranberries or bananas, sometimes brown sugar and butter.

                  1. Nuked with blueberries, sweet&low, vanilla and cinnamon.

                    1. Splenda and a sigh here, too. Big pat of butter and the cold milk on top (not mixed in), so that you get little butter globules floating on the milk. (For the longest time I thought that was what buttermilk must be like.)

                      I seldom have the time, but it's amazing what a difference cooking on the stovetop makes compared with nuking. I've tried the slow cooker, but that goes too far in the other direction -- creamy becomes sticky and gloppy.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Bill on Capitol Hill

                        Yes, it is most important to add little pats of cold butter once it is not too hot, so that the butter softens but still appears in warm clumps throughout.

                        1. re: Bill on Capitol Hill

                          I agree about the slow cooker...don't care for the texture at all. Stove top method is my favorite too. And I strongly prefer the steel cut oats to the rolled oats.

                        2. Personally, when not watching calories, butter and brown sugar. Or sugar and cinnamon.

                          Also good is oatmeal parfait... layer oatmeal, vanilla yogurt, and berries... for healthy fats, add sliced almonds.

                          My ex loved bing cherries, brown sugar, cinammon, hazelnuts, and hazelnut oil.

                          Crystallized ginger and pistachios with a swirl of molasses.

                          1. Oatmeal is a secret sin around here. I usually have it when I find we have a ripe banana and a bit o' cream left from some baking and some brown sugar- ahhhh.
                            My mother has a story about her buddy who was considered the coolest grandmother b/c she would serve the gkids oatmeal with a small scoop of ice cream. Sounds pretty special.

                            1. Bierkermuesli is my fave.

                              I despise boxed cereals and "healthy" granola packages.

                              I make a fresh batch every week, just search the internet for the basics.

                              I soak oatmeal in hot water, then combine with dried/fresh fruit --blueberries, prunes, figs, etc. I then squeeze fresh lemon juice on whatever fresh grated apple just before serving, adding nuts and seeds in the mix. Fresh whole yogurt is the topper, adding honey if the mix is too sour.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Gypsy Jan

                                Actually Burchermuesli is made by 'soaking' the oats in yogurt/milk overnight, then adding fruit/nuts seeds. This is one of my favorite ways to eat oatmeal. The oatmeal absorbs all the liquid in the yogurt (the richer the yogurt the better - you can use fat free) and it's wonderful. You could use juice, soy milk or soy yogurt with good results. A mix of milk/oj gives it a bit of a 'creamsicle' taste.

                              2. I'm a big fan of toasting oatmeal, so here's my contribution. this one's been a staple in our house, especially with a young one. You can make it early in the week and reheat it with milk, too.

                                vanillagrrl's party oatmeal

                                In a generous saucepan, toast over medium heat:
                                1 cup of scottish steel cut oats in
                                1 Tablespoon of butter (according to cook's mag, until it "smells like butterscotch").

                                Stir almost continuously until the grains begin browning (about 3-5 minutes). Stir in:

                                3 cups water (or a little less for thicker oatmeal)
                                1 cup milk (low or wholefat)
                                2 handfuls (or 1/3 cup) dried sweetened cranberries
                                1 small handful (or 2 Tbsp.) packed brown sugar (optional -- the cranberries will sweeten it, too)
                                cinnamon to taste

                                Whisk or stir for the preferred result (longer for smoother porridge, less for lumps if you prefer that sort of thing) as you bring the mixture back to a boil.

                                Cook for 15 minutes over low heat, covered, stirring once or twice to make sure the pan doesn't scorch.

                                Add salt to taste.

                                Cook for 5 minutes more.

                                Serve with toasted hazelnuts.

                                Serves 6.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: vanillagrrl

                                  I absolutely love Scottish steel cut oats! They have spoiled me forever and I can no longer eat regular rolled oats. Will have to try your version. Thanx for sharing!

                                  1. re: pilotgirl210

                                    Agree, love the steel cut oats! they are great with dried currants or cranberries & warm cooked pear or apple slices.

                                  2. re: vanillagrrl

                                    My recipe is similar. My ratio is 1 c. steel cut oats to 4 cs. water. I toast the oats in 1 heaping tablespoon of butter. Then add 4 cs. water, stir and leave it alone for twenty min. Then I add salt, almonds and orange/cranberry dried fruit. I give a quick stir and serve. This is good for those of us who hate milk or milky substances.

                                    1. re: vanillagrrl

                                      I will absolutely be trying this! It sounds amazing!

                                    2. Wow...all these ideas sound yummy.I will give them all a go....I will definatley try savoury oatmeal as well....never thought of that before.....interesting

                                      1. I add cocoa and sugar and cream.... it's really more like dessert in the morning! If no cocoa, then sugar and cream. Both versions MUST be sweet and thinned with the cream for me to enjoy.

                                        1. - Instant oats
                                          - water
                                          - crasins (dried cranberries)
                                          - splash of real maple syrup

                                          1. Stir (should be pretty runny)
                                          2. Nuke for about 1 minute
                                          3. Stir in some milk or cream (flavored creamers ok, too)

                                          I've also substituted the crasins with fav fruit jam, but with step 3. Great with a side of bread & butter pickles with eat bite...for real. Trust me.

                                          1. Okay, I feel so much better that there are others out there that consider oats a cuisine in themselves. My secret for most sweet oats is a grating of fresh nutmeg. I noticed salt was missing from a lot of recipes... just a little bit... and vanilla, what doesn't like a little vanilla? Cocoa and some well stirred instant oats gets darn close to chocolate pudding, no kidding. And as others have noted, Splenda actually works quite well with foods like oats. Don't think of it as a way to cut calories though, think of it as a way to add more butter. My final suggestion is scotch oats (about a 4-1 water to oats ratio) in the slow cooker overnight. I make up enough oats for a week this way.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: amkirkland

                                              salt is a must-use in oatmeal.

                                              I like the caribbean gruel recipes (sort of like congee) that involve a LOt of water, long cooking and cinnamon stick, allspice berries and whole cloves. I prefer to make this with a mix of water and milk but all water works.

                                              1. re: jen kalb

                                                Salt is a must-use, but if added at the beginning of cooking, it tends to keep the starches from fully gelatinizing (i.e. less creamy final product). Adding about 2/3 of the way through cooking works best, at least for me.

                                            2. I like TJ's cooked, lightly sweetened, cryo-vaced and frozen oatmeal. You just nuke it and add milk, or whatever. It's very good, and couldn't be easier.

                                              1. I think one simply must add butter...to lower the glycemic index and keep it healthy, of course!

                                                I also like a little brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and sliced toasted almonds if I have them.

                                                1. I love crunchy, natural peatnut butter in my oatmeal! It sort of ends up tasting like a muffin. Yum!

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: MRS

                                                    Please tell me exactly what you do to combine the oatmeal with the peanut butter. They are two of my favorite things.

                                                  2. In San Diego, a place called Spread serves a Banana Curry oatmeal topped with carmelized onions-- it was both savory and swwet and I have been trying to replicate it for months

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: wisconsingal

                                                      hi- i love Spread's oatmeal but it's so far from where i am in san francisco. if you figured out how to replicate it, would you mind sharing the recipe?

                                                    2. You have mucho info here but, mine style is a little different....I add quinoa to my steel cut oats then when done, a little butter, non fat 1/2 1/2 (from T.J's.) chopped walnuts, raisins and MAPLE SYRUP. YUM! :) KQ

                                                      1. I always cook the oatmeal with salt.

                                                        My favorite toppings are quite traditional:
                                                        - brown sugar, banana, walnuts, and soymilk
                                                        - brown sugar, cinnamon, butter

                                                        I have a can of pumpkin...I am tring that version this weekend. Such great, yummy ideas here!

                                                        1. The winning formula in my household: a pinch of salt, raisins, walnuts, and maple syrup.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: silverbear

                                                            This is my way, too.
                                                            -pinch of salt
                                                            -raisins or dried cranberries
                                                            -maple syrup or brown sugar
                                                            -sunflower seeds!!!

                                                          2. Great ideas here. Gotta try the toasted method and the cocoa.

                                                            I've been on an oatmeal kick for the last few months in an attempt to make myself eat breakfast every day (7 months pregnant, so trying to change bad habits, like skipping breakfast). Been making a double batch of steel cut oats on Sundays and nuking thruout the week. One tip for making a big batch (2 C. oats, 6 C. water, pinch of salt): Insulate the cooking pot by placing it on a cast iron skillet. Allows for low and slow cooking, half the stirring and less sticking. Works for me.

                                                            Toppings lately, to stave off boredom: ground mixed nuts (hazel, soy, almonds and pistashio), a little oat or wheat bran, with dried cherries, dried blueberries and honey. Nice texture contrasts.

                                                              1. My mother always cooked our oatmeal in skim milk and to this day I can't eat oatmeal in other homes or restaurants. Lactose intolerant daughter forced me to reconsider, I use soy milk, occasionally organic milk (doesnt seem to bother her as much). Love to flavor up with some of the following - cinnamon, vanilla, brown sugar, honey, raisins, dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, apricots). Try to eat oatmeal once a week and only use long cooking variety (usually Sat or Sun) for all the whole grain benefits.

                                                                1. A rather hefty pinch of salt, currants and made with milk, and then served with more milk and maybe a little too much brown sugar. Sticks to your ribs; got me and my boyfriend through graduate school!

                                                                  1. Nice to read all the posts stating butter as their topping of choice.

                                                                    I have always received raised eyebrows and looks of scorn for that preference in the past.

                                                                    Really good when apples and raisins added. Never one for milk on my oatmeal.

                                                                    1. In the trash! I mean, oatmeal . . .WTF?

                                                                      If I HAD to eat it, I'd whip up a batch of my home-made cereal bars with some walnuts, dried cranberries, maple syrup, honey and stem ginger.


                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                      1. re: TexasToast

                                                                        Clearly oatmeal is a staple for many of us!!
                                                                        Its a natural, nutritious, simple food, that if made correctly, and with the right ingredients, can be very good.

                                                                        I always feel at my best after eating a hearty, nutritious bowl of oatmeal, so NO NEED TO INSULT......

                                                                        1. re: pancake

                                                                          It wasn't an insult; it was more a compliment. I guess the irony is lost without the benefit of sound. I can't eat oatmeal plain, as it tastes like wallpaper glue.


                                                                          1. re: TexasToast

                                                                            yeah....the problem with text is I always misinterpret....and of course, you are entitled to your opinion....Well maybe some of the suggestions in this thread might help cover up the glue flavour you despise.... :)

                                                                        2. re: TexasToast

                                                                          I am so with you TT. I can't stand oatmeal. I want to like it. I try to like it. But nothing. Can't stand it. It smells good. I like it in stuff. I just can't do it. I'm envious of the oatmeal lovers!

                                                                          1. re: geg5150

                                                                            LOL. I can completely relate to both the “love it” and “hate it” camps.

                                                                            My mother was of the “I don’t care if you don’t like it, you’re going to sit there until it’s gone” school of dining. I remember sitting for hours with a bowl of oatmeal in front of me. Of course, the longer it sat, the more solid and disgusting it became. Finally I just forced the gluey globs down. But before I finished I felt that tell-tale urp, urp, and, yup, it all came back up, all over the kitchen table.

                                                                            In the end, it turns out that mom was right. It just took 30 years, and an introduction to Bierkermuesli through travel, instead of hours, for me to appreciate oatmeal. Now we make a big batch on Sunday evening with yogurt, honey, cinnamon, raisins, and chunks of tart crisp apple to eat throughout the week. Oh, and don’t forget to sprinkle the chopped pecans on top.

                                                                            1. re: geg5150

                                                                              I am 62 and just learned to love oatmeal 2 years ago. I too used to envy oatmeal lovers.
                                                                              Did you try toasting steel cut in butter and seasoning it with salt, nuts and fruit? I hope
                                                                              you can find a way to enjoy this delicious nutty tasting treat. It is also great for the digestive system. Please try again.

                                                                              1. re: geg5150

                                                                                I HATED it for years - especially after a school-sponsored camping trip where that was all we had for breakfast for 4 days. Then I decided to try to eat healthier and gave it another shot just a couple weeks ago... Sure, I add salt, butter, honey and cinnamon, but it fills me up to kick off the day - less snacking. And as a previous poster said, butter lowers the glycemic index...

                                                                                But seriously, now at 35, I LOVE it. Weird.

                                                                                1. re: Heatherb

                                                                                  Heatherb, many of us don't like stuff we used to love and vice versa...I think there's a thread about that subject too. Your tastes change through the years I guess.

                                                                                  1. re: Val

                                                                                    Either that or I'm just putting an awful lot of butter on it:)

                                                                            2. Oatmeal (IMHO) is best made with half milk and half water, the oats added to the liquid right away so they are more tender and creamy. I use whole rolled oats for the best texture. I love ground flaxseed in it for the nuttiness and nutrition, plus dried cranberries and blueberries. It has to have a pat of butter pushed down the center of the bowl (quirk from my childhood I guess) and of course, some brown sugar.

                                                                              There are some wonderful ideas here! Has anyone tried Baked Oatmeal?? It's wonderful on a chilly morning.

                                                                              1. This thread inspired me to revive my fall staple this morning, now that the apples are getting real good again.
                                                                                I always make oatmeal without milk, but that's because I like it topped with really thick yogurt. I like to cook it with apple bits, dried cranberries and raisins, cinnamon, just enough water and a pinch of salt. Then I top it with walnut bits, yogurt, and I change around with my favorite sweeteners: honey, date molassas, maple syrup or brown sugar.

                                                                                1. Am I the only one putting maple syrup and chocolate chips on steel cut oatmeal?

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: danna

                                                                                    you're definitely not alone on that. I love how the choc chips melt after a while. butterscotch chips are also really good with oatmeal.

                                                                                  2. I eat Oatmeal almost everyday... My favorite way is with Dried Fruit (Cherries are a fave) condensed milk (The new Nestle Squeeze bottle is my Food Product of the year!!) and lots of Penzey's vietnamese cinnamon! :)


                                                                                    1. Cardamom, pistachios and raisins, for a rice pudding-y taste. (Plus a little salt, vanilla, and some sugar.)

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: Pia

                                                                                        this sounds wonderful! i love cardamom.

                                                                                      2. I like to sprinkle a little Wheat Germ on top.

                                                                                        1. I add cottage cheese to mine - along with maple syrup and any dried fruit/trail mix I have in the house.

                                                                                          1. I just made a bowl of oatmeal as a snack. I prefer oatmeal cooked in 2% milk in the microwave with some honey, vanilla and Penzey's baking spice.

                                                                                            Occasionally I will add dried fruit, and a pat of butter if I'm not obsessively watching calories.

                                                                                            What is the difference in taste with rolled oats, pin-head oats and steel cut oats? I have seen the "Good Eats" episode about oats, but I can only find o rolled oats in my local mega-mart.

                                                                                            1. I like mine salty. I put miso and some veggies with chicken stock.

                                                                                              1. I add the oatmeal after the water has begun to boil, to result in a drier, chewy finished oatmeal.

                                                                                                I eat it with granulated and it must be EVAPORATED milk.

                                                                                                Thats it.

                                                                                                1. Soak oats overnight in a 50/50 mix of water and milk and a pinch of salt, cook up in the morning and then serve straight in the bowl with either ;

                                                                                                  A layer of sugar - allow this to semi melt and go crusty


                                                                                                  A large spoonful of treacle ( Tate & Lyle Golden Syrup ) - allow a minute or two for this to thin out and then mix it through the bowl.

                                                                                                  1. I only eat oatmeal backpacking . . . so I like mine best served with a crisp morning in the mountains and preferably a babbling stream alongside. (Golden raisins, dried apples, and cinnamon & sugar are nice too.)

                                                                                                    But reading these posts has gotten me thinking, that maybe I should try making it at home with some of the variations suggested!

                                                                                                    1. Rolled oats soaked in kefir milk overnight with a little maple syrup or fresh blueberries, black caps, or wild rasperries (when in season).

                                                                                                      Will have to try toasting and steel cut too, yum yum!

                                                                                                      1. I'll have to try some of these suggestions. I virtuously made myself some the other morning, steel cut, no less. I expected wonderful things! Blech. It was pretty awful. I put honey and butter in it but it was still dreadful. Then, after I managed to eat it (nothing else to eat in the house), it sat in a ball in my stomach and had me worried about making it alive through the rest of the day. However, I still have a bunch left, and it is healthy, and it is on my strange eating plan, so I will try it again. I have hope that I will like it.

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: kayandallie

                                                                                                          It sounds like you undercooked it or did not use enough water. Use at least 3 parts water to 1 part oatmeal, with more water to make up for what the dried fruit absorbs if you add that. It should be almost fluffy when you get it right.

                                                                                                          I cook steel cut oats overnight in the slow cooker on a light timer to switch it on around 3am. An effortless breakfast is ready by 7:00. The timing took a little trial and error - yours might go differently. No milk, yes big pinch of salt. I am going to see if it comes out differently adding salt at the end. Any dried fruit on hand goes in. Pat of butter with brown sugar or cinnamon and sugar or maple syrup.

                                                                                                          1. re: atheorist

                                                                                                            A chef friend told me this hint and we've been using it successfully for years. Right before you go to bed, bring to a boil one cup steel cut oats, four cups of water, and a dash of salt. Watch it closely so it doesn't boil over. Give it a stir, turn off the heat, and put a lid on it. Leave it on top of your stove all night. Voila, in the am, you have perfectly cooked oatmeal. You can re-heat and stir in the pan, or if you're in a big hurry, spoon out a serving and zap it in the microwave. Perfect every time.

                                                                                                        2. I've been adding flax seeds, a little sweetener (brown sugar, maple syrup or honey), roasted salted almonds, some dried fruit (lately it's been these terrific dried cape gooseberries which are pretty tart), and cinnamon. I think of it as super food and try to cram as many good for me things as possible.

                                                                                                          I try to make it myself, but if I'm going with instant, I like the Trader Joe's Complete (with Soy Protein and Flax) in Brown Sugar flavor (way less sweet than that Quaker sludge) or Arrowhead Mills with flax seeds (also lightly sweetened)

                                                                                                          1. I like steel cut oats with dark sweet cherries that you can buy frozen. No other sweetner needed.

                                                                                                            1. i eat my oatmeal very simply....butter and a splash of either half and half or light cream. if i want some sweetener, then i might add a thinly sliced banana.

                                                                                                              1. cooked with a pinch of salt,served with a little milk,butter,brown sugar and sprinkling of dry All-Bran cereal

                                                                                                                1. I cook our oatmeal in half water, half skim milk -throw in raisons or dried cranberries-no salt. Serve with a little half and half or soy milk. If I'm wanting sweet, I cut up a banana. I hate the instant pre- sweeted flavored oatmeal- might as well eat fruit loops!

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: jackie de

                                                                                                                    Oh, gwaaaaaad, Jackiede: you're not kidding. There's not much that's more artificial tasting than parcooked, "peaches N cream" oatmeal. Nothing peachy or creamy about it. I like my oats (McCann's steel-cut) cooked in half water/half skim, served with good butter, salt and pepper. My mom eats hers with a mixture of dried crans and blueberries and walnuts with vanilla soy; brother eats his with maple syrup and toasted pecans when he can remember to take the pecans out of the oven. Darling sister eats hers Dominicans-style, cooked in coconut milk with orange zest, cinnamon and clove, and my kids like it with stewed apples (cooked down in a little maple syrup til soft, and layered over the oatmeal.) Mr. eats them like grits; topped with a soft-fried egg, bacon crumbles and pepper and salt. And my stepfather eats them plain, every day of his life, and credits it with having turned his diabetes around. (Edit) and I LOVE granola, homemade, extra-toasted, with coconut, pecans, walnuts.......about a 1:1 ratio on oats to goodies.

                                                                                                                  2. In cookies, with butter scotch chips and pecans :)

                                                                                                                    1. I discovered this week that if you add pumpkin, a couple tablespoons of light cream cheese, splenda, and appropriate spices you have yourself a fantastic excuse to eat pumpkin pie for breakfast.

                                                                                                                      1. I discovered this week that if you add pumpkin, a couple tablespoons of light cream cheese, splenda, and appropriate spices you have yourself a fantastic excuse to eat pumpkin pie for breakfast.

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. This is extremely decadent, and not something you can throw together first thing in the morning, but hear me out.

                                                                                                                          Once, for a dinner party, I made a red wine syrup for some oranges - boiled down a whole bottle of red with cloves, cinnamon and sugar until it got a little gloopy.

                                                                                                                          The next morning I put some leftover red wine syrup on my oatmeal with a sprinkling of raisins and a dollop of creme fraiche.


                                                                                                                          1. I'm another in the savory camp: Steel-cut oats with grated parmesan.

                                                                                                                            1. I make an all purpose cereal mix that can be done either muesli style (soaked overnight in a mixture of milk and yogurt) or cooked hot.

                                                                                                                              2 cans Trader Joe's MultiGrain cereal (mostly oats but other whole grains in there as well)
                                                                                                                              1 bag TJ's All Fruit Trail Mix
                                                                                                                              4-6 oz of other dried fruit (I mostly alternate between dried cherries and dried strawberries)

                                                                                                                              Mix that all together and store it in the cupboard.

                                                                                                                              For cold (Muesli): I make enough to last for most of a week.

                                                                                                                              3 cups mix
                                                                                                                              1 32 oz container of yogurt (usually a thick Armenian or Russian Style)
                                                                                                                              2 cups of milk
                                                                                                                              Mix it together in a sealable container and let it sit in the fridge over night. It'll continue to thicken over the few days it will take to go through the container, ending up as almost a labne consistency.

                                                                                                                              Hot single serving:
                                                                                                                              1/2 cup mix
                                                                                                                              1 cup water or half milk/half water
                                                                                                                              combine in a small saucepan, bring to boil, reduce heat, cover, simmer 6 minutes. Serve topped with yogurt, milk, or cream and the sweetener of your choice if the fruit doesn't already make it sweet enough.

                                                                                                                              1. I mushed a small slice of pumpkin pie into my bowl of oatmeal. Very nice taste/texture combo.

                                                                                                                                1. raw honey, apples and raisins, maybe ginger or cayenne.

                                                                                                                                  or macrobiotic style: miso and kimchi.

                                                                                                                                  or, whatever leftovers, fruits, nuts, and seeds are around.

                                                                                                                                  oh, and once I had a lot of dumpster-doven smoked salmon, so i cooked it with my oats, mixed some miso in, and it was so good!

                                                                                                                                  1. While the oats are cooking, I put a handful of raisins in the bowl I'm going to eat out of. Then when the oats are done I pour them over the raisins--this warms and steams them without cooking them excessively (to each their own, but I just don't much care for cooked raisins). I add about half a teaspoon of cinnamon and a teaspoon or so of honey, and stir in a little milk.

                                                                                                                                    I've been known to put in blackberries or blueberries, if I have them; but I prefer raisins. (And I don't like raisins in just about any other setting.)

                                                                                                                                    1. I love steel cut Irish oats cooked overnight in my neuro fuzzy Zojirushi rice cooker. I add milk and dried cherries. A decadent addition is a square of dark chocolate with almonds - melts as you stir it in....Mmmmmm

                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                      1. re: jcanncuk

                                                                                                                                        One of my crockpot books came with recipes for steel cut oats or groats over night in the crockpot. It's soooo great!

                                                                                                                                        One cup Steel Cut Oats
                                                                                                                                        4 cups water

                                                                                                                                        Cook on low for 8 hours. Mix in fruit and nuts at the end.

                                                                                                                                        The other is:

                                                                                                                                        1 cup groats
                                                                                                                                        pinch of salt
                                                                                                                                        one 4 inch cinnamon stick
                                                                                                                                        4.25 cups water

                                                                                                                                        Cover and cook 9 hours. Discard cinnamon stick.

                                                                                                                                      2. with milk and sugar or with coconut milk and bananas and raisins-

                                                                                                                                        1. Do anyone know why my oatmeal turn sour? I follow the direction of the package.. water..salt & oatmeal..boil... and it turn out sour. I like to keep it simple no sweet added. pls help!! thanks

                                                                                                                                          1. My complaint about oatmeal has always been that even though it's great breakfast food (complex carbs, fiber, lo fat), there's no protein. So I started adding a slightly beaten egg just before I take it off the heat to let it stand and thicken. I temper the egg with a little of the oats first, then mix it in. It blends right in and you wouldn't even know there's an egg in there, except it tastes a little heartier and richer. throw a few blueberries and walnuts in and it's the perfect breakfast!

                                                                                                                                            1. There was a whole thread fairly recently on adding eggs to oatmeal. I hadn't heard of it before. I'll have to try it.

                                                                                                                                              1. Sweet camp here.

                                                                                                                                                1 Tbsp silvered almonds (great texture and crunch)
                                                                                                                                                1 Tbsp craisins
                                                                                                                                                splash vanilla

                                                                                                                                                Yum yum. This is breakfast nearly every day of the week.

                                                                                                                                                1. I'll have to try mixing egg into my oatmeal... I only like oatmeal made with milk (water creates an abominable GLUE!) I make mine like rice pudding - milk, brown sugar, raisins cooked into it, and cinnamon. Honey or maple syrup are good instead of sugar, but messier...
                                                                                                                                                  Here's a bowl of oatmeal I made a few weeks ago, with craisins in it.

                                                                                                                                                  1. I make my rolled oats with a little salt, a little sugar, and a little peanut butter.

                                                                                                                                                    1. I grew up eating (and loving) grits-- not the healthiest breakfast. So I eat my oatmeal "grits-style" with a little butter and some salt and pepper. Mmmmm. I eat it almost every morning in the winter.

                                                                                                                                                      1. I'm surprised no one mentioned the Cook's Illustrated Steamed Oatmeal, from a couple of years back. It produces tender, individual flakes that have texture and lots of surface area to collect butter, milk, what have you. But no creaminess. In that way they are more like the Scottish cut oats, except they are more tender. Maybe they'd appeal to those who object to the 'gluiness' of regular oatmeal. I doctor them with dried cherries (Montmorency from TJ) and butter.

                                                                                                                                                        Blanch the rolled (not instant or even quick) oats in plenty of boiling, salted water for a couple of minutes. Drain the water, and put the oats in a steamer or sieve over boiling water, covered for about 15 minutes. Proportions and time are not critical. The only part of this I don't care for is that it's harder to clean than a single smooth pot. But it keeps well, and is easy to reheat in the nuker.

                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Leucadian

                                                                                                                                                          For several years now, I have been making an oatmeal mix and having a serving about five mornings each week - all but Friday and Sunday.

                                                                                                                                                          I adapted (adjusted) a recipe I found in Taste of Home slightly and have been very happy with it. I mix 6 cups of regular oatmeal (originally I used quick oats), 1 cup of various diced dried fruits (varying the fruits keeps the oatmeal interesting), 1/4 cup each of brown sugar and white sugar, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of salt. Each morning, I use 1/2 cup of the oatmeal mix and 3/4 cup of milk (I use skim usually). Microwave for 2-1/2 minutes on half power in a large enough bowl to prevent boilovers. Stir and microwave for another 2-1/2 minutes. When it has cooled some, I add a little more milk (just enough to thin it satisfactorily) - stir and enjoy.

                                                                                                                                                        2. On top of my oatmeal, I like to put fresh sliced strawberries, a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of brown sugar.

                                                                                                                                                          1. I love it with butter and brown sugar, or with orange marmalade. Or, if I'm really needing a mood booster (and this is usually dessert, not breakfast -- nutella!)

                                                                                                                                                            1. I nuke the oats with a little salt, pecans or walnuts, dried fruit,and filtered water. After it's cooked I add a couple of teaspoons of tahini, honey or maple syrup, and a little milk.

                                                                                                                                                              1. I cook them 2 parts liquid to 1 part oats. The liquid is 3/4 water 1/4 milk. Add a dash of salt. Stir, bring to a boil. Turn of the heat, cover with lid for about a minute. Stir into bowl, add sugar. Taste for needed salt. Add generous pat of butter. When butter is almost melted, add layer of milk. I add other items to oatmeal upon request but not to my own.

                                                                                                                                                                1. i make mine with water, then add a big scoop of vanilla protein powder. yummy. sometimes i throw in a ripe banana.

                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fallingup

                                                                                                                                                                    wow - this was one of my first threads posted here almost two years ago! Nice to see it still peaks some interest in the minds of other chows.

                                                                                                                                                                    I must say I took a few of these suggestions and tried egg, maple syrup and nuts in my oatmeal and am often changing it up now because of everyone's input.
                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks chows, I love this place!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pancake

                                                                                                                                                                      I recently go a new rice cooker with a setting for porridge. My first attempt at rice cooker oatmeal was a smashing success. I added dried cranberries, used water for liquid, and it came out great. Very creamy.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. so many great ideas on here! i am also an oatmeal fanatic, especially of the steel-cut variety. one of my favorite things to do is dice up an entire apple and throw it into a deep bowl with 1/4C steel-cut oats, 3/4C water, and a hefty sprinkle of cinnamon. nuke it (i am too hungry when i wake up to do the stove-top method) for 3 1/2 minutes, stir, then nuke for another 2 minutes and let stand a minute before eating. the apple gets a wonderful texture.
                                                                                                                                                                    also delicious is a handful of frozen berries and a dollop of pomegranate molasses!

                                                                                                                                                                    1. I love my oatmeal like a spackle consistency - I use half the water recommended!

                                                                                                                                                                      However, when making steel cut oatmeal I do use the normal proportions recommended.

                                                                                                                                                                      Love oatmeal with bananas and cut up Fuji apples.

                                                                                                                                                                      My favorite comfort food - day and night.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. Want to be able to find this!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. I eat oatmeal most mornings. Trader Joe's has a quick cooking steel cut variety, so you get the texture of steel cut oats, but it only takes 7 or 8 minutes to cook.

                                                                                                                                                                          I add nutmeg, black pepper, and a half cup of cottage cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: operagirl

                                                                                                                                                                            I like my oatmeal raw...I soak it overnight in skim milk and in the morning I add low fat yogurt, finely chopped pecans and any kind of fruit I have on hand. I eat it faithfully every day and my digestive track loves me for it!

                                                                                                                                                                          2. 1 medium banana sliced, 1/4 cup rolled oats, 1/2 cup skim milk, dash of salt. microwave until done, stir in 1 tbsp of peanut butter.

                                                                                                                                                                            I also tried one where I did 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 a medium banana, some raisins, and 3 chopped dates with some salt and vanilla extract but it was TOO sweet for my taste (no added sugar). Next time, I'll use only 1 or 2 dates.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. I like it very well done with soy milk. It has to look a bit glue-y and cinnamon. Oh yes, cinnamon is a must!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. On one of the blogs I read, Kath Eats Real Food, she has a "Tribute to Oatmeal" page with a ton of delicious-looking oatmeal ideas!


                                                                                                                                                                                  I came up with a variant of her banana oatmeal a couple months ago, using steel cut oats to delicious effect:


                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: operagirl

                                                                                                                                                                                    Steel cut oats, mixed very runny in 1/2 water + 1/2 unsweetened soy milk, with a handful of ground flax meal, a generous amount of grated orange peel, dash of brown sugar and one stick of cinnamon. Pressure cooker 10 minutes. Then sprinkle with dried cherries and pumpkin seeds.

                                                                                                                                                                                    If you like it cold and raw, I also enjoy:
                                                                                                                                                                                    Quick cook rolled oats, with ingredients as above, except lemon zest instead of orange (somehow it seems fresher and better cold). Pre-soaked in a closed container in the fridge for two days.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Can't seem to find anything I love better than my banana oatmeal....

                                                                                                                                                                                    1/2 cup cooked oats
                                                                                                                                                                                    ~3 tbsp chopped pecans (great little crunch added)
                                                                                                                                                                                    1 banana, cut lengthwise then sliced
                                                                                                                                                                                    ~1/2 tsp vanilla extract
                                                                                                                                                                                    ~1 tbsp amber agave nectar


                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Recently tried putting fresh cranberries into my organic old-fashioned oats while cooking and discovered I love them more than the usual raisins & walnuts...I still add the walnuts though, and cinnamon, and ground flax. I do enjoy the tart flavor of those cranberries! Have tried fresh blueberries in there but they don't add anything to the flavor, to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Val

                                                                                                                                                                                        I love cranberries too, with chopped walnuts and a little orange zest . but my favorite is a little trader Joe's peanut /flax butter, bananas, cinnamon and a half teaspoon of coconut palm sugar( thanks to GHG!), milk or soymilk or almond milk to thin a bit.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: magiesmom

                                                                                                                                                                                          hmmmm...maybe when I *tire* of the cranberries, I'll try that out...anything rec'd by GHG gets top priority for me...she is lovely ♥.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I take my oatmeal with whatever fesh fruit is on hand, a touch of vanilla, and my vanilla protine powder, with a splash of soy milk! Great when I'm training for a fight!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Steel-cut with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Steel cut oats baked in a casserole in the oven (with maple syrup, butter and so on). It takes 40 minutes or so but the leftovers are excellent heated up the next day or two. The top remains crunchy and the middle is thick and softer. You can add sorts of yummy things to it such as dried fruits, chocolate chunks, toasted nuts, etc. Great in a bowl with browned butter ice cream!

                                                                                                                                                                                            I also love the Scottish oatmeal served with whiskey in B&Bs all over Scotland. Mmmmm...

                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chefathome

                                                                                                                                                                                              Shut UP, chefathome!! Oatmeal, with Whiskey? Really? Really really? Never in all my born days. I'll be switched.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                I am SERIOUS!!! Many Scottish B&Bs offer it and it is amazing. Truly. I have a feeling I spelled "whiskey" incorrectly - it should be "whisky". In Ireland it is "whiskey". Oops...

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chefathome

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I want to try that! Oatmeal with whiskey! Awesome!

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: mamachef

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yes that sounds suspiciously like Athol Brose - Oatmeal, Whisky and heavy cream ... mmmmmmmmm!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  anyway - my first post so I'll tell you how I like my porridge. I use Bobs Red Mill Scottish Oatmeal (widely available). Best I've found since we came to Canada from Scotland many moons ago,

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1cup oatmeal
                                                                                                                                                                                                  3cups water
                                                                                                                                                                                                  bring water to boil, add 1/2 tsp salt
                                                                                                                                                                                                  slowly add oatmeal, stirring to avoid clumps
                                                                                                                                                                                                  turn heat down to low and simmer covered for 10 mins, stirring occasionally

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I just eat mine as is with a splash of cold 1% milk and sprinkle a tiny bit of salt on the top MMM no sugar, cinnamon or butter - I think you miss out on the unique taste of oatmeal if you do that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Just my preference.


                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I have spent most of my 56 years never eating oatmeal. Then recently, one fateful day, I cam across an Epicurious recipe where you cook the oats in water, add grated apples and apple juice, raisins, cinnamon and brown sugar (not a lot) and I was a convert. LOVE LOVE LOVE the stuff. True, I'm not purist but does that matter. This stuff is just fantastic. Not too sweet. Warm on a cold morning. And really chewy tasty. I've yet to try to make it with steel cut oats which I hear tell are even better but I will...one day soon. Honest.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. If you cut a banana into very thin slices and whisk it into just-cooked steel-cut oatmeal while it's still in the pot, the oatmeal takes on this great fluffy, creamy texture. I love to make my banana oats with peanut butter mixed in and a spoonful of jelly on top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. my preference varies on any given day...
                                                                                                                                                                                                    - sometimes rolled oats, sometimes steel-cut, sometimes oat bran.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    - sometimes stove top, sometimes baked, sometimes pan-seared.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    - sometimes water, sometimes evaporated milk, sometimes almond milk, sometimes goat milk.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    - sometimes ground chia seeds, sometimes flax meal, sometimes both (but always at least one).

                                                                                                                                                                                                    flavorings/add-ins/toppings include one or more of: fruit (fresh, dried and/or pureed); nuts/seeds or nut butter; espresso powder; cocoa or carob powder; pumpkin puree; cottage cheese, ricotta, or Greek yogurt; maple syrup; spices (cinnamon, ginger, vanilla...)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    i love oats :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Hey Pancake,
                                                                                                                                                                                                      I don't like sweet or cold, worse when they come combined!
                                                                                                                                                                                                      So I use Quaker Oats, cook them lightly in water. Then... I add cold natural unsweetened yoghurt (about 2 tbs to 3 for a bowl fo oatmeal), salt 1/2 tsp and stir it up and eat it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Turns best when you make the yoghurt at home... it is healthier, since I believe manual energy is far far better than electrical or mechanical energy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have also added:
                                                                                                                                                                                                      a pinch of asafoetida (what westerners call 'the foul smelling thing', but is in fact a great digestive),
                                                                                                                                                                                                      finely chopped cilantro or parsely
                                                                                                                                                                                                      chopped cucumber
                                                                                                                                                                                                      chopped red onions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      If you are adventurous, add chopped green chilly too... I love it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I have yet to try the savory options, but got tired of all the sugar I was putting in my diet. And I discovered cinnamon is great at replacing it. But then I heard cocoa powder was good for libido and thought hmmm....now cooked with some milk (soy/ almond/ or nonfat), a teaspoon of cocoa and cinnamon with a few walnuts and the punchline....fresh raspberries!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Good for late night snakcs too. And yes I cheat and nuke it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: righteyeblues

                                                                                                                                                                                                          if you don't mind caffeine, try mixing a little espresso powder with the cinnamon, and a little vanilla. good combo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Just saw "Moe’s Famous Homemade Baked Oatmeal" on " Unique Eats", but so far, no recipe.


                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Bananas and cream sounds really good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            This week, I've been doing sauteed leeks in the bottom of the saucepan, an egg poached on top for the last two minutes, and then sesame oil and siracha on top. I love it! I either read it or compiled it from other people's suggestions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Maple syrup and pumpkin pie spices, frozen "harvest" fruit stirred in (Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries), a puddle of milk and sugar and melted butter, eons ago in school we'd put peanut butter M&Ms in too, the melting candy coating making a rainbow in the oats and now I still like a scoop of peanut butter and a drizzle of maple syrup on top sometimes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Stewel cut with Golden Raisins, and after it is in a heated bowl, swirl in a teaspoon or more of organic peanut butter!!!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Four parts water to one part steel cut (prefer McCann's to Bob's), pinch of salt,simmer half an hour, add a slash of maple syrup and a couple of tbsp. of milk. I like it so much I never consider anything else.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I have never been a big milk fan, and have been trying to get three servings of dairy in daily. I have been eating steel cut oats, which I cook the regular way ( 1 cup steel cut oats stirred into 4 cups of boiling water, turn down and simmer 1/2 hour). I cook a batch every 4 or 5 days, and refrigerate leftovers and microwave a serving a day. Before microwaving, I cut up a peeled apple and sprinkle on top, and also sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar. I eat this with 1/2 cup of almond milk, and I love it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I switched to baking oatmeal a while back and I prefer it to cooking on the stovetop. It turns out very creamy when baked.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Heat the oven to 350F. Bring 2 cups water and 2 cups milk (I use 1%), a tsp. of vanilla and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon to a simmer in an oven-safe pot. Add 1 cup steel cut oats. Stir, let return to a simmer and then put in the oven. Let it bake for 70-90 min. stirring occasionally. Throw in some sultanas and brown sugar to taste, stir and serve. Sometimes I add a bit of cream or a pat of butter when I feel like living dangerously.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Creamy peanut butter and honey stirred in with some sea salt sprinkled on top

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nutella swirled in with the oatmeal, a dash of cinnamon, and roasted hazelnuts sprinkled on top

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Maple Syrup and toasted walnuts

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ovaltine or Milo mixed in

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Caramelized bananas, dash of nutmeg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Crushed peanuts, toasted coconut, turbinado sugar. dash of salt


                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I have been on an oatmeal kick lately too. It has to be cooked with 2% milk..no water..a shake a cinnamon, a splash of vanilla, and a bit of buckwheat honey. Have done all the dried fruits and fresh fruits, various toasted nuts, but never savory for breakfast. I do love steel cut oat "risotto"! Pestos, wild mushrooms, and chiles have all foimd their way into batches...and of course...cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I eat it every day. My goal is to have a healthy breakfast that tastes good.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I use 5 minute Quaker Oats and find that I need add neither milk nor added sugar. For sweetness, I add an assortment of fresh fruits (banana, pear or apple, and whatever is in season: strawberries, blackberries, cherries, peaches, etc.) in addition to dried fruits (raisin and figs). I vary the combination based on availability.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. My latest morning obsession:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1/2 C. old fashioned oats, cooked with 1C. water for five minutes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              mix in:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 oz. cream cheese
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Tbsp. raisins
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Tbsp. grade b maple syrup


                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. got pretty hungry reading the recipes in this Bittman article from yesterday's NY Times:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Wow! Saw my post from the original topic's postings, ever so many years ago. I tried steel cut and apparently couldn't stomach them (in fact, I just threw away some recently when cleaning out the cupboards of expired stuff).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  How the years have changed me...
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  McCann's or Quaker Oats Quick cooking: 1/2 cup oats to 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  throw some raisins in the bottom of the bowl and add the above
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  nuke for 1 1/2 minutes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  dump into Starbucks oatmeal thermos
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  sprinkle cinnamon on top and stir
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  take to work and eat it as soon as I get there

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: kayandallie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I just started using the unsweetened Almond milk about a month ago and love it on my oatmeal. Still a creature of habit with the other ingredients, though. Honey, vanilla, and cinnamon..mmmmm!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: VeggieHead

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Vanilla beans or vanilla extract? Forgive me if that's a stupid question...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Heatherb

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Vanilla bean paste...Nielsen-Massey brand. Good stuff!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. My mom would stir an egg into my oatmeal and add some sugar when I was little so I do that now. When I make a small portion, I only use the egg white or else it'll be entirely too eggy. Everyone at work finds this strange. Maybe it's an Asian thing...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chasiu

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I like my oatmeal sort of sloppy. I like it with butter, brown sugar and low-fat milk. The low-fat milk makes it more refreshing somehow, cuts the butter or something.