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Living in South Texas one of the things we look forward to during the Holiday Season is cold mornings that allow us to truly enjoy a warm bowl of homemade oatmeal. It just isn’t the same when it’s 80 degrees outside by 9:00 am 6 months out of the year. Making your own oatmeal is a quick and easy upgrade to the store-bought packets of instant oatmeal, plus you can control how much sugar and spice you add.
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
Oatmeal uses the simplest of ingredients -oats, water, and salt.
The complete ingredient list and measurements are listed in the printable recipe below.
- Rolled Oats: We prefer rolled oats for that classic oatmeal texture. Steel-cut oats have a coarser, chewier texture and nuttier flavor and take longer to cook – up to 30 minutes. Quick oats are similar to rolled oats, but are steamed even longer in processing and rolled thinner. This allows them to cook in just a few minutes and their flavor is even milder.
- Ginger, Nutmeg, and Cinnamon: This is the classic spice combination, but if you don’t like any of those three, feel free to substitute or just leave them out. Some other spices that are popular include allspice, clove, cardamom, and of course vanilla. Or try some pre-made combinations like pumpkin spice, apple pie spice, or even chai spices for tea.
- Brown Sugar: With its warm flavor this is a favorite for oatmeal, but maple syrup is just as commonly used and totally delicious. You can use honey, of course, or if you really want to watch your calories you can use about half the agave nectar as the other options while still effectively sweetening the oatmeal.
Oatmeal Topping Options
Cinnamon Spice Oatmeal is delicious without any additional toppings but here are a few that we love to add to our bowls of oatmeal:
- Cinnamon Apples
- Cranberries and Walnuts
- Peaches and Pecans
- Banana and Walnuts
How to Make Cinnamon Spice Oatmeal
Here are the quick step-by-step instructions with visuals; you can find the full instructions with the exact ingredients in the recipe card below.
Pro-tip: Make a larger batch since oatmeal keeps well in the fridge and heats up in the microwave in 1-2 minutes. Add a splash of milk or a milk alternative to make the texture creamier.
1. Prepare Oatmeal: In a large saucepan bring water along with a pinch of salt to a boil over medium-high heat. After the water has come to a boil add the oatmeal and reduce to medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Once the oatmeal has thickened add spices, brown sugar, and butter and reduce the heat to low. Stir to combine and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the oats are tender.
2. Add Toppings and Serve: Remove from heat and serve immediately. Top with additional spices and brown sugar or other toppings.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: Oatmeal keeps well in the refrigerator and it’s just as easy to make 8 servings as it is 4.
How to Store: Let the oatmeal cool to room temperature and then store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Single-serving size containers make it even more convenient to reheat for a quick weekday breakfast on the go.
How to Reheat: Use a microwave-safe container to microwave for 1-2 minutes depending on the wattage of your oven. Stir in a splash of milk or your favorite milk alternative to recreate the creamy texture and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and brown sugar.
Recipe Tips and Notes
- Don’t add too much water. The perfect water-to-oatmeal ratio is 2:1.
- Don’t cook on high heat. To avoid overcooking the oatmeal reduce the temperature to medium.
- Don’t skip the pinch of salt. The salt helps bring out the nutty flavor of the oatmeal. Salt also helps make sweet foods a little sweeter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Oats contain a type of soluble fiber, called beta-glucan, which lowers blood glucose and cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Beta-glucan also promotes healthy gut bacteria and intestinal health.
The texture of oatmeal is better when made with water; save the milk for when serving it, and then just a splash will do.
Adding refined sugar, even brown or turbinado sugar is counterproductive if you’re trying to clean up your diet. Any sugar adds zero nutritional value —just lots of empty calories that will ratchet up your blood sugar. If you want to add a sweetener besides fresh fruit, opt for a natural one like maple syrup or honey.
Let’s Connect! If you make this recipe or any other recipe on Casual Epicure, please don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It helps others who are considering making our recipes and we love hearing about your cooking experiences. And if you snapped some shots, share them on Instagram, and be sure to tag @casual.epicure so we can feature them in our stories.
Other Recipes to Try
If you enjoy this recipe, we recommend checking out some of these other breakfast recipes:
- Fluffy Silver Dollar Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberries
- Crepes with Berries
- Spinach, Egg, and Bacon Quesadillas
Cinnamon Spice Oatmeal
- 1 Large Saucepan (4 Quarts)
- 2 cup rolled oats
- 4 cups water
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- In a large saucepan bring water along with a pinch of salt to a boil over medium-high heat.
- After the water has come to a boil add the oatmeal and reduce to medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add spices, brown sugar, and butter to the oatmeal and reduce to low heat. Stir to combine and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the oats are tender.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately. Top with additional spices and brown sugar.