How to Cook Oatmeal

Now that I know how to cook oatmeal, it has become my favorite breakfast food. It's hearty, healthy, and delicious!

how to cook oatmeal

Real oatmeal, from scratch, tastes so much better than packaged instead oatmeal! By varying your choice of dried fruits and optional toppings, you can have a different variety of oatmeal every day - and they will all be great!

This recipe makes one good-sized serving, and is easily multiplied.

Check that you have these staples at home

  • in the cupboard

    • rolled oats
    • cinnamon
    • raisins

  • in the fridge

    • milk
    • maple syrup

Get out your equipment

  • Essential

    • a saucepan
    • a mixing spoon
    • measuring cups

    How To Cook Oatmeal

    1 cup/250 mL water

    1/2 cup/125 mL rolled oats

    pinch cinnamon

    1/4 cup/60 mL raisins


    maple syrup

    Bring the water to a rolling boil.

    Add the oats, cinnamon and raisins.

    Reduce the heat.
    Simmer for about 10 minutes.

    Ladle the oatmeal into a bowl.

    Top with milk and maple syrup.


    • Use honey instead of maple syrup.

    • Use a non-dairy milk substitute (rice milk, soy milk, etc.) instead of milk.

    Ideas for making this recipe your own

    • Instead of (or as well as) raisins, use another type of dried fruit. Try currants, chopped dates, or dried cranberries. Or use kitchen shears to cut up dried apricots or dried mango.

    • What other toppings could you put on your oatmeal? A sprinkle of brown sugar? Some fresh raspberries? Some frozen (thawed) blueberries? Sliced bananas? Chopped nuts? Chopped apples? The possibilities are endless!


    • To make your oatmeal more digestible, soak the rolled oats in water overnight.

    In the past, I occasionally ate instant oatmeal. Now that I know how to cook oatmeal, I use rolled oats. There are other types of oats that you can use, too. Here's what I know about the varieties of oats:

    Types of Oats

    I'll list the varieties of oats in order from least processed to most processed. In general, the less processed a grain, the more nutritious it is - and the longer it takes to cook.

    Whole oat grains are called "oat groats" These are the most nutritious form of oats, because all of the grain (except the hull) is present. However, they need to be soaked and cooked for a very long time. They have a very chewy texture.

    Steel cut oats are groats that have been chopped into several smaller pieces, so they cook faster than whole groats.

    Rolled oats are oat groats that have been steamed, rolled into flat flakes under heavy rollers, and lightly toasted.

    To make quick cooking oats (or "quick oats") groats are cut into small pieces before being steamed and rolled. You can make your own quick cooking oats by putting rolled oats into a blender, food processor or Magic Bullet and processing them until they are in little pieces.

    Instant oatmeal has been precooked and dried. All you have to do is add hot water and stir. Unfortunately, most brands of instant oatmeal have large amounts of salt, sugar and sometimes artificial flavoring. Check the package label for details.

    My oatmeal of choice is made with rolled oats. In my opinion, rolled oats are a good compromise between convenience and nutrition. You will get most of the health benefits of oatmeal by eating rolled oats, and they don't take long to cook.

    Now that you know how to make oatmeal, you may want to try these other easy breakfast recipes: