Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Flavored Oatmeal Variations

Do you eat Oatmeal for breakfast everyday or few days a week?
Are you one of those who can just cook it and eat with few walnuts without any other flavor additions? If yes, I 'bow' to you. Because, that is one hard job for me to do.
Do you like to buy those flavored instant oatmeal packets? If yes, this post might interest you.

Which is good for us? Rolled oats or Quick cooking oats?
If I say both are almost similar, would you believe me? Calories wise, serving size wise they are same. Rolled oats need a little longer to cook compared to quick cooking oats. Quick cooking oats are finely cut rolled oats which have been toasted to make it cook even faster. That's all. Rolled oats have a little more fiber than quick cooking oats. But apart from that, there isn't much of a difference nutrition wise.

You need microwave oven at least to cook rolled oats. Whereas quick cooking oats can be cooked by just pouring boiling water on it. I know the pack says to cook for 1 minute in microwave, but if you have access to very hot water (like the coffee makers give for tea), you can cook quick cooking oats. Just pour very hot water on the quick cooking oats and let it sit for few minutes. It will be ready to eat.

Now the question is why am I writing this post?
Mainly because I don't like those flavored packets for two reasons. First reason is: they are loaded with sugar. Secondly because they are way too expensive. So, I solved the problem by making my own. I actually put them in individual ziploc bags (snack size) so that I can take them to work and make it there. When I am home, I make it with rolled oats in the microwave. Here is my way of getting different flavors.

Using rolled oats using microwave:

1. Apple Spice: 
Rolled Oats - 1/2 cup
Apples - 1/2 an apple chopped
Cinnamon - 1/4 tsp
Cloves - 1/8 tsp
Nutmeg and all spice powders - a pinch each
Sugar - 1 - 2 tsp

2. Banana Nut: 
Rolled Oats - 1/2 cup
Bananas - 1/2 a banana (or 1 if you love bananas) sliced
Cinnamon - 1/4 tsp
Brown Sugar - 1 - 2 tsp
Walnuts - 2 TBSP

3. Raisins, dates and walnuts: 
Rolled Oats - 1/2 cup
Raisins - 2 TBSP
Dates - 2 TBSP chopped

4. Cranberry, Almond: 
Rolled Oats - 1/2 cup
Sweetened dried cranberries - 2 TBSP
Sliced almonds - 2 TBSP
Sugar - 1 tsp (optional)

5. Pear Honey: 
Rolled Oats - 1/2 cup
Pears - 1/2 a pear chopped
Black pepper powder - 1/4 tsp (Ya, no typo here. They taste great)
Honey - 1 - 2 tsp

6. Cherries:
Rolled Oats - 1/2 cup
Dried cherries - 1/4 cup
Sugar - 2 tsp or about 1 TBSP of cherry preserve

7. Blueberries:
Rolled Oats - 1/2 cup
Blue berries - 1/3 cup (fresh or dried 3 TBSP)
Sugar - 2 tsp

8. Apricots and Cashews:
Rolled Oats - 1/2 cup
Apricots - Chopped 3 TBSP
Cashews - broken 2 TBSP

9. Maple Brown Sugar:
Rolled Oats - 1/2 cup
Maple sugar or maple syrup - 2 tsp - 1 TBSP

10.Strawberry and Cream:
Rolled Oats - 1/2 cup
Chopped fresh strawberries - 1/3 cup
Sugar - 1 - 2 tsp or 1 TBSP strawberry preserve
Increase milk to 1/2 cup

Take rolled oats in  a bowl. Add the spices if using, dried fruits and nuts and 1 cup water to it and microwave on high for 2 - 3 minutes. Take it out, stir milk (about 1/4 cup) and the fresh fruit if using.

Using Quick cooking Oats:
You can use the same method but by microwaving only 1 minute or by pouring really hot water on the oatmeal if using Quick Cooking Oats.

This is just my favorite flavors. Using these guidelines, you can come up with your favorites. As long as you have time to use fresh fruits or have lot of dried fruits on hand, you have a lot of possible combinations that you can come up with.


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  1. Very interesting suggestions Champa, though as you know we typically don't prefer sweet flavoured for breakfast...will surely see if I can try for snack..:)

    1. I totally understand. It took me few years to get used to sweet breakfast.

  2. Delicious, loving the variations!

  3. Good ones Champa. Nice to have variations with normal oats. I load them up with dry fruits most of the time. :o)

  4. My favorite is a dollop of ghee, a pinch of salt and a dollop of Indian pickles (e.g. vadumanga). So, it's the equivalent of oatmeal ganji (Kannada; kanji or conjee in other languages). You can also try any hot sauce in place of pickles, or leftover sambhar or chatney or rasam. There's no reason oatmeal has to be sweet!

    1. anonymous,
      Very true. I sometimes pour some rasam or sambar on dry oatmeal and eat it as my dinner. Thanks for the comment. I never tried it with pickle though maybe because I am not fond of pickles that much.

  5. Very interesting variations Champa.Recently I have started using oatmeal for breakfast and these ideas really comes in handy :)

  6. WOW Lot of variations. Nice collections.

  7. Good recipes. We can also cook oats with a liitle milk and 2 cloves of garlic, when cooked add salt and pepper, and eat it hot for breakfoast. We have been doing it for quite sometime. You can add finely chopped and cooked beans and carrots to add taste and color to the the food


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