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Watery Oatmeal Solutions

Once in a while the oatmeal gods yield up watery oatmeal, precise though we may be with our measurements.

I found a cool trick: top with granola! Stir in just slightly. It absorbs quite quickly.

Flax seeds (if you buy the vacuum packed stuff and store in fridge so it doesn't go rancid) are delicious and healthy in oatmeal, and absorb like a charm. Wheat germ, too.

I'm also starting to get into stirring yogurt into oatmeal...quite thoroughly. Gives a nice light texture (and flavor if it's flavored yogurt) and will also make the wateriness moot.

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  1. I like the idea of adding granola. Definitely will try that.

    I eat oatmeal almost every day and I seem to have the opposite problem - it gets thick and gummy really fast and I have to add more water to get it right.

    What kind of oats do you use?

    Last year, I remember stirring blueberry yogurt into oatmeal and it turned such a lurid color and took on a weirdly sour flavor that I never did it again. But maybe that's just me...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Cattus

      texture seems to have to do with when you add the water. You get more grain-like oatmeal by boiling water before adding oats, and gummier oatmeal from starting both together.

      I've used quaker and fancy organic, don't see a big diff. Steel-cut is, to me, like a whole other food. Good, but not for every day.

      1. re: Jim Leff

        That makes sense. I always start my oats and water together. I'll try boiling it first next time. Thanks for the tip.

        BTW, walnuts and dried apricots make a nice addition to cooked oatmeal.

    2. I make my oatmeal in the 'nuker.' I do not follow the container instructions. I use 9 fluid ounces (1 cup and 1 shot glass) of water with 3/4 cup of old-fashioned rolled oats. Ninety seconds in the nuker and a stir, then another 90 seconds. The result is thick oatmeal with no visible water. Forget the cup and a half of water.

      4 Replies
      1. re: ChiliDude

        Yeah, for plain oats and not steel cut, the microwave makes good oatmeal. It is a 1 to 2 ratio ... 1 part oatmeal to 2 parts water ... so a 1/3 cup oatmeal to 2/3 cups water. Any variation in measurements as long as it is 1:2. Just the cooking time varies. If it is watery put it back and re-zap in 30 second increments until you get the desired consistancy.

        Freezing helps watery oatmeal. The second zapping helps the extra absorption ... though frozen oatmeal is not as good as fresh made.

        I like the yogurt idea. Pomegranite molasses is good and theoretically healthy.

        Though I found brand doesn't matter, I'm finding I can pick out Cristine & Bob's oatmeal out of the various brands I froze. It is just nuttier with better texture.

        1. re: rworange

          theoretically healthy, or hyped as healthy? as an iranian chick, i've been eating pomegranates forever, but i'm cynical about the ubiquitous advertisements for pomegranate juice. that being said, i agree that pomegranate molasses on oatmeal is really tasty, as it is on waffles, and yogurt, and lots of other stuff.

          Jim, if you want wacky textural enhancements, try cooking an egg in. Makes for an oddly but not unpleasantly fluffy oatmeal experience. More here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/33267...

          1. re: rworange

            I've found that, to my taste, steel-cut oats actually improve with freezing, as long as you don't overcook them the first time around. I cook a large amount, add a bit of maple syrup and brown sugar, cool, portion into snap-lock containers, and freeze. By the time I've nuked the individual servings, the oats have softened just to the point that I like them.

          2. re: ChiliDude

            I'm the laziest oatmeal maker in the world. I pour some oats into my bowl, add just-boiled water from the kettle (I don't measure either), then cover with a plate and walk away. About ten minutes later, I stir and add a little honey. I use regular rolled oats (not instant!), and sometimes add some raisins at the beginning. It always turns out pretty good; I don't like my oatmeal very mushy.

          3. i eat oatmeal pretty much everyday of my life for breakfast and I have found that when cooking the oats in the microwave, adding milk instead of water to them makes for a much more watery outcome. Just water makes it more thick and gummy. Doing half water and half milk makes for a favorable outcome i think

            1. To thicken, I chuck in some Shredded Wheat, Weetabix or bran cereal. Works like a charm.

              Chunky applesauce makes a nice addition. So do those freeze-dried fruit bits from TJ's.

              1. I've been eating my oatmeal uncooked lately and I love it!! 1/2 cup oats with some flax, cinamon, whatever fruit or dried I'm in the mood for and vanilla soy milk - love the chewy consistency, and don't have to worry about it being to thick or too thin, it's good either way!

                1. In a similar vein, my mom used to add all bran cereal to oatmeal when it was nearly done cooking (maybe she added a little extra water too?) Talk about making an already stick-to-your-ribs breakfast even heavier... Her other standard add-in was some instant Wheatena or Maypo.

                  I personally make my oatmeal a little watery anyway, since I usually add kimchi and pickles and maybe some veggies, so it's fine with me if it's a bit on the soupy side!

                  1. You're talking my language! I've been eating oatmeal quite often with yogurt lately - but the steel cut ones and not the regular quaker - which I should try. You can go flavored, but I like to just use vanilla then spoon in a heaping help of blueberry or any other kind of jam to flavor it...I've thought about using granola to thicken it and make it crunchy as well - glad that it works. Have you ever tried regular cereal instead of granola? I like my oatmeal soupy, but not watery....

                    1. I make it watery so I can stir in protein powder, esp. apple flavored isopure w/ cinnamon. Or, occasionally I'll stir in eggwhites at the end of nuking in the micro. When i have the time, I'll make pancakes simply by mixing oats w/ egg whites cinnamon and vanilla and maybe splenda (yeah i have a palate that seems to like it--sue me :-)

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Emme

                        interesting about adding in the eggwhites to the oatmeal...do they cook enough after youve made the oatmeal to cook the whites or do you nuke a little more after adding the whites?

                        1. re: geminigirl

                          I've done it both ways... if you just add them at the end and stir, you get clumpier pieces. Sometimes I'll add when there's still water and let them disperse themselves less clumpily throughout. The other option is to let it the oatmeal cook through, then pour egg whites on top, and essentially let them cook as a crust to the top, and if I do this, I'll mix in seasoning or something into the egg whites first, so it becomes a flavored crust.

                          1. re: Emme

                            Interesting. I've been poaching eggs on my oatmeal, but the yolkiness is sometimes a bit much (except with steel cut, which love the yolks). maybe I'll try just whites.

                            I'm realizing I need protein at breakfast, so it's either eggs or yogurt....or I cook the oatmeal with milk.

                      2. I find that if I add the oatmeal and water in a bowl and then let sit for a while before I nuke it, I get neither soupy nor gummy oatmeal. I use regular old fashioned oats, and it seems that they soften as they absorb some of the water, and then a few minutes in the microwave (stopping to stir so they don't boil over) makes for a really tasty bowl o'oats. For the last week or so (due to cholesterol issues) I have been using the Smart Balance old fashioned oatmeal. Although it is manufactured by H-O, it somehow tastes nuttier and chewier than I remember original H-O tasting. I think it already contains flax seed. Just finished a bowl right now with some smart balance light spread mixed in) and I know that this will keep me going all morning.
                        But I do think that regardless of how you choose to cook your oatmeal,. a few extra minutes on heat will eliminate the soupiness.

                        1. I have been eating oatmeal with rice krispies or special k every morning since i was 3... it adds a really interesting texture.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: PotatoPuff

                            I actually LIKE my oatmeal very runny. Not with water pooling about, but verrry goopy. I try to avoid oatmeal, actually, since I only love it with butter, milk and lots of brown sugar....sort of defeats the purpose.

                            Lately, I've been eating lots of homemade granola (Bittman + my own additions) with yoghurt or milk and bananas. Also meusli with stewed rhubarb and yoghurt. Very deelish.

                            1. re: oakjoan

                              Oakjoan, can you wean yourself gradually by using less butter and sugar? And switching lowfat yogurt for milk?

                          2. I sprinkle pure cocoa powder over oats and place them on aluminum foil in the toaster oven. Toast until somewhat crispy (the cocoa carmelizes a bit). While the oats are toasting, I heat the soy milk. After toasting the oats and heating the soy milk, I stir the oats (and 1 or 2 packages of splenda) into the heated soy milk ... it's heavenly! Rich and cocoa-y and healthy, too.