Oatmeal is a quick and nutritious breakfast option that is both mildly flavorful and extremely versatile. Whether you prefer sweet oatmeal or savory oatmeal, this article provides key tips and tricks to help you cook oatmeal perfectly every time. Learn how to make oatmeal that is both enjoyable and healthy.
1. Gather Ingredients
Before you embark on any baking journey, it is important to make sure you have all the ingredients you need. The first step is to check over your recipe and make sure you have all the ingredients called for. Here is a list of items you should have ready to go before you begin:
- Dry ingredients like flour, sugar, baking powder, etc.
- Fresh ingredients like eggs, butter, milk, etc.
- Mixing bowls and utensils like spoons and whisks
- Measuring cups and measuring spoons
- Pans, baking dishes, and cake rings, if necessary
- Hand mixer or stand mixer
If you already have the ingredients and appliances on hand, check to make sure that your ingredients are still fresh before you start. It will be difficult to create a successful baked good if you are using outdated ingredients or appliances.
Make sure you also read the recipe through before you start. That way you’ll know in advance if you need to heat ingredients up, measure out specific amounts, or let a mixture sit at a particular temperature. It is essential to read the recipe thoroughly in order to understand the order of steps and ensure you have all the tools you need to get the job done correctly.
Lastly, prepare your ingredients before you start. Measure out the amount of each ingredient, crack the eggs, and soften the butter as necessary. Having everything set and ready to go when you start will make the baking process much easier.
2. Prepare Oatmeal
To make oatmeal, you will need a pot, water or milk, oats, and any desired seasonings such as salt, vanilla, or cinnamon. Here are the steps for cooking oatmeal:
- Measure: Use 1 part oats to 2 parts water or milk for thick oatmeal. If you are looking for porridge-style use 1 part oats to 4 parts water of milk.
- Pour: Pour oats and liquid of your choice into your pot.
- Add milk or water: Add liquid to oats, a little more than the measured portion for thick oatmeal or porridge.
- Bring to Boil: Heat the pot on medium-high heat until it boils and stir occasionally.
- Simmer: Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes while stirring occasionally.
- Flavor: Turn off the heat and add your favorite seasonings such as salt, cinnamon, or vanilla.
- Bitter Taste: If you’re not using sweetened oats and your oatmeal tastes too bitter, add a teaspoon of brown sugar or maple syrup.
- Serve: Serve oatmeal warm with toppings of your choice such as nuts, fruits, or nut butter.
Oatmeal can also be prepared in a slow cooker using the same steps above. When using this method, use 3 parts liquid for every 1 part oats, and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
It is a great idea to soak the oats overnight before cooking. This will help you digest the oats better and it will also reduce the cooking time. Start by measuring out the oats and liquid of your choice in a pot, add the oats and liquids, then let it soak overnight. In the morning, bring the oats to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes to prepare your oatmeal.
3. Simmer Oatmeal
Oats are super versatile, making for a great breakfast option. Simmering them in a pot or pan helps to bring out a creamy texture. Here’s how to do it:
- Gather 1 cup of rolled oats, a pinch of salt, and 2-4 cups of liquid of your choice (water, milk, a combination of the two, etc).
- Bring the liquid to a gentle simmer in a pot or pan over medium-high heat.
- Stir in the oats and salt.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
If desired, add fruits, yogurt, nuts, or other desired toppings at the end. If the oats are still a bit too firm, try adding a splash more liquid and cooking them for an extra few minutes.
Tip: Oats don’t have to be cooked in just water or milk – try almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk… even coffee or tea! Get creative with your flavors.
4. Season Oatmeal
Oatmeal is a traditional breakfast dish that is especially popular in the cooler months due to its warmth and comfort. Oatmeal also provides a range of beneficial nutrients, including protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. There are various techniques to making oatmeal and it can be served with different toppings. Here are 4 ideas to make the most of the different flavors in each season.
- Spring: Use a light fruit such as peaches or nectarines. Add other fresh ingredients such as almond slices and light honey for sweetness.
- Summer: For summer oatmeal, consider a tropical theme such as pineapple, banana, or coconut. Add a few walnuts or almonds for crunch and some honey for a hint of sweetness.
- Autumn: Try tart apples or dried figs with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Other possible ingredients could include honey or light brown sugar for sweetness.
- Winter: During the cold winter months, add some comforting warm oats. Use mashed sweet potatoes, chopped dates, and walnuts. Add a tablespoon of butter or coconut oil for richness.
By making seasonal adjustments to an oatmeal recipe you can make the most of the unique flavours of each season. Furthermore, these slight adjustments can make a meal healthier and more tasty.
5. Serve Oatmeal
Oatmeal makes a delicious breakfast: it is naturally low in sugar and high in fiber, and it has a nutty flavor and a creamy consistency.
The oatmeal will thicken as it cools. For a creamier texture, use 1 1/4 cups of water instead of 1 cup and stir frequently as it cooks. If desired, you can also add diced apples, raisins, or nuts to the oatmeal.
To serve the oatmeal, divide it among four bowls. You can top the oatmeal with brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup, as well as fresh fruit and nuts. Alternatively, try stirring in a few tablespoons of yogurt for a tangy flavor or a few tablespoons of peanut butter for a nutty taste.
Using the guidelines outlined above, you should have all the information you need to make perfectly cooked oatmeal every time. Enjoy experimenting with flavor combinations and methods to figure out what works best for you.
Also read: The Link Between Diet and Mental Health