This is my second of three short recipe posts.We love oatmeal in the winter; I imagine we eat it at least 5 times a week from December through February. And each December we remember we customized the process and puzzle over how we made it the year before.  To minimize effort and cleanup we use our microwave for this. Originally we started with instant oats but didn’t like the flavor and texture. We knew that whole oats would be better but when we followed the written directions our bowls would boil over and make a mess. Yuck.

With a little trial and error we hit on the perfect resolution – at least for our GE microwave. Here is how we do it.

We start with Quaker Oats old fashion style oats, a dash of salt, a bit of butter, and some water.

Oatmeal fixin's
Oatmeal fixin’s

The bowl is an important part of the process; a regular cereal bowl is much to shallow and the whole mess will boil over in no time. We have a collection of various pretty bowls that are around 6 inches tall and 3 inches deep. A small microwave safe mixing bowl would work perfectly.

To start, use 1/2 cup of oats, about 1/8 teaspoon (AKA a “pinch”) of kosher salt and just a little dab of butter. Carla uses table salt and we don’t always use the butter. Finally add 3/4 cup of cold water and microwave for 5 minutes at power level 6 – 60% of full strength. You’ll likely need to adjust the time and power level for your microwave. Ours produces 1,650 watts. It appears that cooking at 60% power is accomplished by cycling through full power and no power. Watching closely I see that with about 1 minute and 20 seconds remaining the mixture boils up quite a bit and comes oh so close to boiling over; but then it dies down and doesn’t threaten to make a mess again. After watching a few times it is automatic; set the time and power and go read the paper for 5 minutes.

That bowl will be H*O*T so use a paper towel or pot holders to handle. I have one red bowl that gets so hot I can barely touch it with bare hands for a couple of minutes afterward.

Now that it’s cooked, it’s time to add the toppings. My favorite trio of toppings is less than 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, just shy of a Tablespoon of maple syrup, and a some raisins. I used to use brown sugar as the sweetener but sugar is just not good for me so I switched to maple syrup. Carla uses honey. She also uses the cinnamon, golden raisins, and chopped pecans. Pretty much whatever you want is fair game.

My favorite oatmeal toppings
My favorite oatmeal toppings

Put the toppings in the bowl and stir everything up.

Oatmeal almost ready to eat
Oatmeal almost ready to eat

That red disk is made of silicon and sits in the microwave; it is very flexible and has ribs on the back side so it doubles as a hot bowl holder.

For serving I add a little milk; Carla uses Almond milk – just a dash to thin it to the texture we like and breakfast is served.

Breakfast is served - oatmeal with all the fixin's
Breakfast is served – oatmeal with all the fixin’s

Nothing like a bowl of hot oatmeal to warm you up for the cold days of winter. You can download my recipe here for quick and simple access.

EDIT: January 12, 2020. We have adjusted our cooking to get a creamier oatmeal and still prevent boil over in the microwave. We now cook for 6 minutes on pressure level 5. Of course, this is particular to our microwave oven.

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