Oatmeal can be a delicious, hearty, and nutritious breakfast, as long as you don’t make mushy oatmeal. Win every morning with this easy recipe for Not Mushy Oatmeal.
Children learn what they live.
My mom had that on a plaque at our house growing up. And I’m finding it very true in many instances of life, particularly in food choices.
You see, my parents did not like oatmeal as children. Or liver. As a result, those are two foods I was never required to eat. Neither of them liked it, so why force their kids to eat it? Instead they fed us cream of wheat.
Which I think is nasty and will never subject my children to. You see, I learned early on not to feed my kids things that I didn’t like. Ha!
Children learn what they live — or they go the other way.
Unlike my parents, I love oatmeal. But, I don’t like oatmeal prepared according to package directions. Too mushy. Too soggy. Too much like what prompted poor Oliver Twist to say, “Please sir, could I have some more?”
Uh, no thanks.
Instead, I make my oatmeal to be more like rice with very little moisture left behind. If you don’t care for regular oatmeal, you might like it my way!
The method is pretty simple. Instead of a 2-1 ratio of water to oats that most manufacturer’s recommend, use a 1-1 ratio. Equal parts of oats and water will allow the oats to absorb all the liquid and be slightly al dente. No mush.
Serve with a spoonful of dark brown sugar and a tablespoon of real cream. Or if you want to gild the lily, add to those toppings a handful of toasted nuts and a handful of dried cranberries or raisins or cherries.
The result? A hot breakfast with texture! Something to sink your teeth into.
Please, sir, could I have some more?
(I also did a series on whole grains several years ago on Good Cheap Eats. If you haven’t visited already, pop over to learn some basics about grains, find some great whole grain recipes, and learn about whole grain storage.)
How I make this good:
Whenever possible, I like to cook with plain old ingredients. While the convenience of mixes and canned sauces is nice, I feel better about feeding my family just real food whenever possible. (Go here for some of my reasons on all that.)
This recipe has no processed ingredients, just real food. I like that. You can use gluten-free oats if you like. I usually try to buy non-GMO oats when I can. If not, I buy them in bulk from Costco or Sprouts.
How to make this cheap:
Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. Since oats are the main ingredient in this dish, it goes without saying, keep track of the price of oats at your stores and load up when you see a great deal.
(If you don’t already do so, consider following Good Cheap Eats, my food blog, where I regularly share money-saving tips and budget-friendly recipes.)
Tools I use to make this recipe easy:
This is a pretty straight-forward dish. You don’t need any fancy equipment. However, having some good basic kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs. Here are the tools that I like to use in this recipe.
- pot with lid – I have this “chili pot” which is great for making a bulk batch of Not Mushy Oatmeal
- Bob’s Red Mill old fashioned oats – This is a favorite brand of ours.
- 1 cup water
- pinch salt
- 1 cup rolled oats
- toppings for hot cereal , such as: cream, brown sugar, toasted nuts, dried fruit
Bring 1 cup water and a pinch of salt to boil in a pan. Stir in 1 cup old fashioned oats. Do not use quick oats — too mushy! Reduce heat to low and cook 5 minutes, covered. The oats will absorb all the liquid and be slightly al dente. No mush.
- Serve with desired toppings.