Plain oatmeal is boring and, quite frankly, tasteless. Let’s be honest, it’s glorified porridge not a Cinnabon, but you can add plenty of flavor to a bowl of boring old oats. I find that the quick-cooking, gluten-free rolled oats that I currently buy from Trader Joe’s have the the best payoff of texture for cook time. Generally if you want chewier oats (less blobby and gluey) you’ll want a variety that has a longer cook time, and preferably over the stove with your eye on it stirring frequently. Ain’t nobody got time for that! I’ll forgo some texture for a speedy cook time.
Now, let’s get to the actual preparation (spoiler: it’s really easy).
Step 1. Measure out your dry oats
I usually stick with the regular 1/2 cup serving since I pile on toppings, which add plenty of calories, protein & healthy fats.
Step 2. Pour in your liquid
I use water. For some reason every time I use milk I get a boil-over in the microwave. And, truthfully, I don’t think it makes much of a difference unless you are really dying to get in some extra calories or macronutrients. I also do not measure. Most instructions will tell you to use 1 cup of liquid per 1/2 cup of oats. I find that using this much leaves me with more of an oat soup vs. an oatmeal. I just fill up my bowl with water until all the dry oats are covered.
Step 3. Microwave for 2 minutes
During this 2 minutes you can… watch the news, check Snapchat, brush your hair, wash your face, make a list or stare into the microwave while the bowl spins round.
Step 4. Top!
This is the fun part.
Here are some tips & inspiration for making your own oatmeal bowls!
Tip 1: Pick something with staying power
Nuts, nut butter, banana, fruits. Trust me, you need more than the oats.
Tip 2: Pile on the nutrients
In most of my bowls you will see that I add in any combination of chia seeds, flax, hemp seeds, ancient grains and sometimes even protein powder. None of these will add any particular flavor to your bowl and they actually help add back in some texture. The more the merrier for me. If you’re a little apprehensive start with one and then go from there.
Tip 3: Add flavor
Have you ever had plain oatmeal? If you have I bet you never will again. If you haven’t, well, I dare you. Flavor can come in the form of fresh fruits, dried fruits, fruit spreads, honey, maple syrup, spices (cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, cardamom, you name it). Clearly I tend to be a sweet vs. savory oat person but if you think that might be your thing well, Google it.
Tip 4: Go crazy, but not too crazy
Yes, there is a line, albeit a fine one. Sometimes too many toppings can be just that, too many. You start to feel like your eating your way through a pile of rubble and can’t really discern any of the flavors. That being said, try something new! One of my most favorite ever oatmeal combinations is tahini and honey. I was expecting good but I wasn’t expecting it to be that good.
Need some inspiration? Here are some of my favorite creations that I’ve shared on Instagram. Follow along for more inspiration and see the list of ingredients!