Oatmeal That's Cooked Just Right
If instant oatmeal seems too gooey for your taste, and if you don't have 15 to 20 minutes in the morning to wait for steel oats to cook, old-fashioned oats cooked in the microwave give you the best of both worlds. You can also customize your cereal, cooking it just the way you like. Add a few seconds to the basic time for a dense chewiness, or subtract a few seconds for a looser texture.
How to Microwave
Set on high, microwaving old fashioned oats takes just a few minutes for a single serving. Most directions call for 1/2 cup oatmeal and 1 cup water, but you may prefer 1/3 cup oats and 2/3 cups water or 3/4 cup oats and 1 1/2 cups water. You can also substitute milk for the water in the recipe for a more creamy oatmeal with more protein than in oatmeal made with water.
Measure the oats and tap water into a large cereal bowl using a ratio of 1 part oats to 2 parts water. Add a pinch of salt if you want, but it's not necessary, especially if you add flavorful additional ingredients before or after the oatmeal cooks.
Microwave the cereal on high for 2 to 3 minutes. Begin with a 2 1/2 minute time period if you've used 1/2 cup of oats, increasing the time if you've used more oats and water and decreasing it if you've used fewer oats or like a more dense result.
Better Tasting Oatmeal
When you microwave your oatmeal with additional ingredients, you add both flavor and nutrition. Add dried cranberries or raisins before cooking, and add spices such as cinnamon, allspice or a tablespoon of cocoa mix after cooking. Keep other ingredients on hand in your cupboard for ready mixing into the cereal, such as toasted chopped walnuts, slivered almonds or shredded sweetened coconut.
Susan Lundman began writing about her love of cooking, ingredient choices, menu planning and healthy eating after working for 20 years on children's issues at a nonprofit organization. She has written about food online professionally for ten years on numerous websites, and has provided family and friends with homemade recipes and stories about culinary adventures. Lundman received her M.A. from Stanford University.