I just mentioned that I bought some apple cinnamon instant oatmeal and was surprised at how much added sugar it had. I was trying to cut back on the time it takes to make a bowl of oatmeal in the morning and tried the instant oats. It was a disappointment. I like my oatmeal creamy and these tiny dried flakes just couldn’t deliver, no matter how long I cooked them.
But I found a way. I soak some regular rolled oats overnight and they cook up in a few minutes in the morning. You just have to remember to soak them the night before.
The basic recipe is just oats and water, about double the amount of water to oats. You can always adjust the fluid amount when you cook it:
- 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup water
Cover and refrigerate. These are my oats from this morning that I just took out of the fridge:
Add salt right before you eat it, not overnight and not while heating. Two reasons:
- Salt breaks down soluble fiber and will make the final product watery.
- Salt added early will dissolve and you’ll end up adding more later for taste, more that you don’t really need.
These are the same oats after less than 5 minutes simmering on the stove. You just can’t get instant oatmeal this creamy. You can’t get regular oats this creamy either unless you cook them longer. Soak, and you have the best of both worlds.
What you see above is just plain oatmeal. There are endless variations. You can substitute almond milk, soy milk, cashew milk, rice milk, apple juice, or an applesauce/water blend for the water. You can add dried fruit like raisins, chopped dates, cranberries. You can spice it with cinnamon. Add maple syrup or sugar while it’s heating. Add fresh fruit as a topping. I add a few teaspoons of oat bran in the overnight soak too. Some people eat this cold right out of the fridge in the morning but I like to heat it. One tip: the cinnamon will blend in better if it’s heated.