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Make-ahead oatmeal -- help with texture?

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  • eamcd Sep 10, 2010 05:11 PM
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I've gone through this post:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/692164

Since my son has finally discovered he likes oatmeal, I'd like to make a batch from real rolled oats ahead and reheat in the microwave in the morning before school. But last time I did this the reheated oatmeal had a funny texture, for lack of better description, it was mealy-mushy, very different from the creamy fresh batch.

I cooked it as usual --on the stove with water, a pinch of salt, some milk, and raisins near the end. Until now, I was the only one who ate it, so I didn't make it often before.

Should I portion out some before it's done and save those portions slightly undercooked?

I want to keep the benefits of the real oats for nutrition and low cost -- the near-teen goes through 4 packets of the instant!

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  1. After I discovered how much I like steel cut oats rather than rolled oats (or those instant mushy packets) I thought I'd like to take them to work for my morning break. However, you have to cook steel cut oats the old fashioned way on the stove. I have had reasonable success with cooking up a batch of oats, letting them cool and then dividing them into individual servings. When I take them to work I just add a little bit of water to them and reheat in the microwave. They aren't quite as good as freshly cooked, but they still have the firmer texture. I add raisins, brown sugar, etc. right before I reheat them in the microwave.

    1. I'd suggest trying steel cut oats instead of traditional rolled oats. I've always had the same texture issues with reheating traditional oatmeal, but the steel cut oats reheat wonderfully in the microwave and retain their original slightly-chewy texture (in a good way).

      1. I microwave my oatmeal, add milk, raisons and brown sugar and it works for me.
        Takes maybe three minutes.

        1. I'd rec steel cut, too, but if your son prefers rolled oats, try parboiling. Dunk the rolled oats (not quick oats) in boiling water for a minute or two, drain and let cool. The next morning, they should cook up quickly stovetop or in the microwave. But, honestly, do you not have three minutes to cook them in the microwave in the morning? Is it that the boy doesn't want to cook his own, and you'd like to have it ready to go for him, so he won't make other choices in your absence? Maybe I'm getting nosy here...

          1. Thanks for the ideas. I'll try him on steel cut as well. He has developmental issues, with texture sensitivity, so the "nubby" steel cut might throw him.

            I have microwaved oatmeal before, but I too often have "boil over" issues and, honestly, just prefer the creaminess of stove-top cooked. So I was just hoping to find a way to get that in a school-morning time frame!

            But if steel cut doesn't work, I guess I'm back to microwaving! Although I might also try the parboil suggestion.

            Thanks all!

            1 Reply
            1. re: eamcd

              When I make a single serving (40-45 g. oats to 8 ounces water/milk) I use a quart size bowl. Because I'm lazy and don't have a dishwasher, I just eat it out of the big bowl, but you could transfer it to a cereal size bowl for your son. That amount reaches the lip of the large bowl, but hasn't yet overboiled.