Oatmeal (or porridge) is an easy, healthy, and tasty 10-minute breakfast you can easily tailor to anyone’s tastes with different toppings like fresh fruit and nuts.
You can make an ultra-creamy oatmeal on the stovetop in about 5 minutes or make a super quick one in the microwave in about 2.
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Oatmeal is a way of processing and preparing oats. Also, it is one of the best healthy breakfast choices for you and your family.
Oats are a whole-grain food with several health benefits, and if you buy organic, there are virtually no downsides.
Plus, if you make it correctly and top it with fresh fruit and nuts, it’s a delicious meal – it’s certainly our favorite to eat as an everyday breakfast.
In this blog post, we’ll show you how to make oatmeal (porridge outside the US) in a saucepan on the stove top in about 5 minutes and how to make one in the microwave in about 2.5 minutes.
We’ll also give you some ideas for delicious and healthy toppings.
Note: oatmeal cooking time can vary based on your taste, generally from 5 to 15 minutes.
We recommend using one of two types of oats: old-fashioned oats (also known as old-fashioned rolled oats) and quick oats made from 100% whole-grain rolled oats.
Avoid brands that add other ingredients to the oats. Instead, the label should have one ingredient: organic whole-grain oats.
This recipe is NOT for steel-cut oats, oat groats, or instant oats.
Oats are naturally gluten-free; however, if you are allergic to gluten, read the label to be 100% sure.
Tip: Like most crops, oats are sprayed with pesticides. And they are sprayed a lot!
We think it’s best to stick to organic oats from brands you trust. While organic foods aren’t perfect, they contain a lot lower levels of pesticides.
You can use any milk, including non-dairy milk or water. You can also do half milk and half water.
We recommend using non-dairy milk like soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, or rice milk.
Add a pinch of sea salt or kosher salt to make the oatmeal more flavorful.
Sweeteners are optional, but if you like your breakfast a little sweeter, add maple syrup, agave syrup, or honey to your porridge.
Adding a little sweet flavor is helpful if you are weaning off sweet breakfast cereals.
We recommend adding one or two dry toppings and one or two fresh toppings to your oatmeal to make it taste more delicious and boost its nutritional value.
Nuts: almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and pistachios.
Nut butter: peanut butter, almond butter, or mixed-nuts butter.
Seeds: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, ground flax seeds, hemp seeds.
Spices: cinnamon, vanilla or vanilla extract, all-spice, nutmeg, cardamom,
Chocolate: dark chocolate chips or a chopped-up dark chocolate bar of 70% cocoa.
Dried fruit: raisins, dried banana slices, cranberries, coconut flakes, apricots, plums, figs, dates, etc.
Fresh fruit: kiwi, banana, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, apple, pear, strawberries, mango, passion fruit, etc.
Jams: organic and low-sugar, or even better, unsweetened jams from berries, are our favorites.
Jogurts: full-fat greek yogurt, low-fat yogurt, unsweetened soy yogurt, and other non-dairy yogurts, best if unsweetened.
To a microwave-safe bowl, add rolled oats, your milk of choice (or half milk half water), a pinch of salt, and optionally the maple syrup or honey.
Microwave at full power for 3 minutes. Take out, stir, and let sit and cool down for 2 minutes.
Serve with your favorite toppings.
To a saucepan, add rolled oats, your milk of choice (or half milk, half water), a pinch of salt, and optionally the maple syrup or honey.
Bring to a boil, then simmer on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes or until you reach your desired consistency.
Stir often to prevent the oats from sticking to the pot.
Let cool down for 1-2 minutes, then serve in a bowl with your favorite toppings.
Stovetop vs. microwave oatmeal
So which one’s better? Both are delicious and healthy breakfasts, and we cook both depending on how much time we have.
Stovetop oats win our taste and texture contest, but microwave oatmeal has an edge for a quick, everyday, no-fuss breakfast.
|Softer||No stirring required|
|Overall better texture and taste||Less washing up|
Strawberries, yogurt, and honey
This is Louise’s favorite oatmeal topping.
Top the bowl with 2 tablespoons of unsweetened soy yogurt (or another non-dairy yogurt), a few quartered strawberries (or another berry), and a drizzle of locally harvested honey or 100% pure maple syrup.
Optionally, you can add a tablespoon of chia seeds or flax seeds.
Peanut butter, chocolate, and banana
This is Nico’s favorite oatmeal topping.
Cook the oatmeal, turn the heat off and add one sliced banana. Stir it in, then let it cool down for 1 minute.
Transfer to a bowl and add a tablespoon of chunky peanut butter and a tablespoon of chopped dark chocolate (70% cocoa and up).
Nuts and berries
Try a handful of blueberries, a few toasted almonds, a spoonful of greek-yogurt or non-dairy yogurt, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Apple cinnamon and almonds are also an excellent flavor combination.
Optionally, you can add a tablespoon of chia seeds or flax seeds.
Mango, coconut, and chia
This one’s a fresh topping we love to make when mangos are ripe and sweet.
Use half mango per portion. Cut the mango into dice, add it to the bowl of oatmeal, and add a tablespoon of dried coconut flakes, a tablespoon of chia seeds, and a tablespoon of maple syrup.
Why eat oats for breakfast?
Oats are an excellent source of fiber, high-quality protein, and healthy carbs, and they are packed with minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins.
|100 g (3.5 oz) of oats contain:||Quantity||% Daily Values|
(the good ones)
|Thiamine (B1)||0.460 mg||40%|
|Riboflavin (B2)||0.155 mg||13%|
|Niacin (B3)||1.125 mg||8%|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||1.120 mg||22%|
|Vitamin B6||0.1 mg||8%|
|Folate (B9)||32 μg||8%|
|Vitamin E||0.42 mg||3%|
|Vitamin K||2.0 μg||2%|
If you can find me something better to feed your body in the morning, please let me know because I sure can’t 🙂
Unlike morning cereals (covered in added sugars) or scrambled eggs (usually topped with bacon and sausage), oatmeal and porridge are eaten with nutritious toppings such as:
- Nuts and nut butter (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans),
- Seeds (chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds),
- Fresh fruits and berries,
- Dark chocolate (70% or more).
These ingredients add even more goodness in the form of fiber, protein, and healthy fats, 100% plant-based, meaning no cholesterol, no hormones, and plenty of vitamins and polyphenols.
Improves digestive health
Plenty of science supports this, but most importantly, you’ll see the benefits yourself after eating oatmeal for a few days.
Heart health is the biggest challenge the western world faces to keep its people healthy.
The beta-glucan (a soluble fiber found in oats, barley, sorghum, rye, maize, wheat, durum wheat, and rice) lowers the LDL cholesterol that builds up in the arteries.
This reduces the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Keeps you full
Foods rich in fiber, water, and protein make you eat less because they provide that feeling of satiation and satisfaction that signals the brain to stop eating.
Again, this might help you control your weight.
Lower blood sugar levels
Some evidence suggests that oats may help lower blood sugar levels thanks to beta-glucan.
It seems this type of fiber slows down glucose absorption in the blood.
These are just some of the nutritional benefits of oats, and we think that eating home-cooked oatmeal made with rolled-oats Monday to Friday is one of the best investments for your health.
What’s the catch?
Like most crops, oats are sprayed with pesticides. And they are sprayed a lot!
We think it’s best to stick to organic oats from brands you trust.
While organic foods aren’t perfect, they contain a lot lower levels of pesticides.
How much oats per person?
It depends on the toppings, your metabolic rate, and whether you work out, so adjust your oatmeal portion based on your needs.
Generally speaking, 1/2 cup to 1 cup (60 to 120 grams) of oats is sufficient for most people, especially if topped with nuts, seeds, and fresh fruit.
What’s the best liquid-to-oats ratio?
The most common liquid-to-oat ratio is 1 part (i.e., 1 cup) of oats for 2 parts (i.e., 2 cups) of liquid.
This will yield moderately creamy oatmeal with a pleasant texture, and it will cook in about 5 to 6 minutes on the stovetop and about 3 minutes in the microwave.
However, for the creamiest oatmeal, add 1 part of oats and 3 parts of liquid. This will increase cooking time to 10 – 12 minutes on the stovetop and 5 to 8 minutes in the microwave.
Meal Prep and Storage
Make ahead: the best way to shorten cooking time in the morning is to soak the oats in the liquid overnight in a bowl in the fridge. When you wake up, stir, and microwave them for 1 minute, and you are ready to go.
Refrigerator: let leftovers cool down completely and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Reheat in the microwave for one minute or in a saucepan with the milk.
More Oats Recipes
Get more wholesome breakfast ideas with these easy and tasty oat recipes:
- Bircher muesli, aka overnight oats (green apple, almond milk, raisins, almonds, maple syrup).
- Oat flour muffins (blended oats, banana, dates, canola oil, cinnamon, etc.)
- Oatmeal pancakes (blended oats, baking powder, banana, milk, water, etc.)
- Homemade granola (walnuts, almonds, seeds, tahini, maple syrup, cinnamon, etc.)
- Oat cookies with raisins (almonds, raisins, banana, chocolate chips, etc.)
For many more breakfast ideas, check out our breakfast category page.
- ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup milk of choice or ½ cup milk + ½ cup water
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey (optional)
- 6 strawberries
- 2 tablespoons yogurt of choice greek, non-dairy, etc.
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
Peanut butter Chocolate Banana
- 1 sliced banana
- 1 tablespoon chunky peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon dark chocolate chopped (70% or more)
Nuts and Berries
- ¼ cup berries of choice blueberries, raspberries, etc.
- 10 nuts of choice almonds, walnuts, etc.
- 1 tablespoon yogurt of choice greek, non-dairy, etc.
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
Mango Coconut and Chia
- ½ ripe mango
- 1 tablespoon coconut flakes
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- To a microwave-safe bowl, add rolled oats, your milk of choice (or half milk half water), a pinch of salt, and optionally maple syrup or honey.
- Microwave at full power for 3 minutes. Take out, stir, and let sit and cool down for 2 minutes.
- Serve with your favorite toppings.
- To a saucepan, add rolled oats, your milk of choice (or half milk, half water), a pinch of salt, and optionally maple syrup or honey.
- Bring to a boil, then simmer on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes or until you reach your desired consistency.Stir often to prevent the oats from sticking to the pot.
- Let cool down for 1-2 minutes, then serve in a bowl with your favorite toppings.
STRAWBERRIES, YOGURT, AND HONEY
- Top the bowl with yogurt, quartered strawberries, and a drizzle of locally harvested honey or 100% pure maple syrup.Optionally, you can add a tablespoon of chia seeds or ground flax seeds.
PEANUT BUTTER, CHOCOLATE, AND BANANA
- Cook the oatmeal, turn the heat off and add one sliced banana. Stir it in, then let it cool down for 1 minute.Transfer to a bowl and add a tablespoon of chunky peanut butter and a tablespoon of chopped dark chocolate (70% cocoa and up).
NUTS AND BERRIES
- Try blueberries, toasted almonds, greek-yogurt or non-dairy yogurt, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.Optionally, you can add a tablespoon of maple syrup.
MANGO, COCONUT, AND CHIA
- Cut the mango into dice, add it to the bowl of oatmeal, and dried coconut flakes,chia seeds, and maple syrup.
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