Oatmeal: A Secret Health Food – promised recipe post

I have been promising to post this recipe for a few close friends.  It was written with the pure neophyte in mind.  It’s just not a recipe but also a “cookipe”.  I wrote it after trying to duplicate some of the pre-packaged, flavored oatmeal packs’ tastes.  If you eat a lot of oatmeal this saves you about 2/3 the cost of the packets.  And of couse I always think my recipes are best.

Patrick’s “Secret” Microwave Oatmeal Recipe


  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 2 cups water (more or less (MOL) for desired consistency)
  • ¼ cup (MOL to taste) packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (MOL to taste) (secret ingredient)
  • Optional Ingredients:
  • o 1 teaspoon (MOL to taste) ground cinnamon
  • o 2 Tablespoons (MOL to taste) honey
  • o ½ cup Nuts (Walnuts, Pecans, Almonds, etc) – chopped, crushed or otherwise mangled (releases more flavor)
  • o ½ to 1 cup bite-size fruit, fresh or frozen. (Apples and berries such as blueberries or strawberries work really well here.) Make sure that all the fruit is bite-size or smaller. Frozen fruit should be rinsed and drained well with any stems or other less than desirable parts removed.


  • □ Any substitutions you might want or need to make. (Instead of Apples and nuts replace those and the brown sugar with peaches, white sugar, and evaporated milk for oatmeal with peaches and cream.
  • □ If you like peanut butter, replace the nuts with two tablespoons (MOL to taste) of peanut butter instead).
  • □ Using a small sprig of fresh mint leaves for a garnish could be another nuance as well as adding a small amount of fresh fruit to the top of the food.

Including other layout items:

  • Microwave
  • Hot pads for handling hot cooking bowl
  • A large microwave safe cooking bowl
  • The spoon to stir with while cooking
  • The serving bowls and spoons

Skills and Methods

  • How to use a microwave – Keep food covered in case of splatters. (I use waxed paper for this.)
  • Mix, Beat or stir until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  • Fold – Mixing ingredients by cutting into center of the food you desire to mix with the edge of a spoon or spatula and while scraping the bottom and side of the bowl and turn, lifting the ingredients until the ingredients have been layered on top of the other ingredients. Slightly rotate the bowl and begin again. This is continued until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  • Rinsing and draining fruit

Cooking Instructions

Step 1:  Lay out everything you need to cook. 

Step 2:  Place water and oats in bowl and cook until done…  Usually 3 to 5 minutes. The more you make the longer it takes.  The longer you cook them the softer, creamier and thicker the oats get.  Just add extra moisture when needed to keep it mixable.  I always use more water but the oatmeal will thin out a little when you add the other ingredients so not too much more. 

Step 3:  Add brown sugar, honey and cinnamon.  Stir.  Why not add everything at once?  Well, you get the most kick out of your vanilla when you don’t let the essential oils escape.  Heat causes this.  If you wait until you are almost ready to serve then you’ll get more bangs for your buck.  Some people prefer the more blended taste of the vanilla and that’s fine too.  If that is the case, feel free to add it first thing after you finish cooking the oats.  If you add the fruit at this stage (say strawberries) then you get as a final product is strawberry-flavored oatmeal with nuts.  Most folks enjoy a certain distinction between their flavors and textures.  It’s more fun to eat that way. 

Step 4:  Add vanilla.  Stir.

Step 4-½:  If you like your oatmeal very hot now would be a good time to reheat what you just mixed (Maybe another minute or two in the microwave).  You want to do this before you add the fruit so as to keep your fruit fresher for serving. 

Step 5:  Fold in fruit.  Fold?  Why can’t I just stir it in?  Fruit gets softer the longer it is exposed to heat.  Sometimes very fast.  Folding is a very efficient method of mixing foods together fast without over-mixing or destroying either food. 

Step 6:  Place in serving bowls, garnish if desired, and serve with spoon.

  • ² Makes 2-4 servings

©Patrick Lalande 2008 All Rights Reserved


2 Responses

  1. MOL = More or Less
    Sorry I didn’t make that more clear.
    Thanks for asking, though.


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