You're Cooking Oatmeal The Wrong Way

You want to love oatmeal with all of your heart because the evidence is out there: oatmeal is a great way to show love to your heart. That goopy porridge is one of the few foods that are rich in soluble fiber, which reduces "bad" or LDL cholesterol (per Healthline). But, if you enjoy a breakfast that's rich in textures – the soft warmth of a perfectly toasted bagel, topped with cold, sweet jam, or big chunks of sweet granola, swimming in creamy milk – oatmeal is hardly the kind of food you'll want to jump out of bed to enjoy. It's just so ... bland. We have good news, though. It's not the oatmeal that's the problem. It's your cooking technique. Because, if your oatmeal is boring, that means you didn't cook it correctly. 

When prepared the right way, oatmeal can have a creamy nuttiness that tastes surprisingly indulgent (per The Kitchn). But to achieve this non-mealy oatmeal taste, the key is to use steel cut oats instead of that terrible instant oatmeal you've been buying. And here's the catch: following the instructions on a tin of steel cut oats calls for 45 minutes of time standing by the stove – and you're hungry! A better option bound to yield delicious results: you can make overnight oats in a mason jar the night before, and when you wake up tomorrow, just take the jar out of the fridge, warm it up, and boom! You've got an instant oatmeal upgrade.

How to make overnight oats

To make overnight oats, you don't even need to use a stove or a microwave – just throw oats, milk or yogurt, and your favorite toss-ins, such as cinnamon, honey, and nuts – into your mason jar and refrigerate overnight, and enjoy the next morning warmed or chilled. That's just the base of your breakfast, of course. You can embellish it with fruits, nuts or nut butters ... even chocolate chips. If you want a traditional morning treat, one popular Rachael Ray recipe adds dried cranberries or raisins to the equation for a burst of chewy sweetness. If you're craving a more sophisticated start to your day, try adding espresso powder, or savory spices like cardamon; you can even use peppermint extract or eggnog to really wake up those tastebuds (per Wholefully).

The key, though, is to get the ratio of oats to liquid right. You'll want equal parts oat and your milk or non-dairy liquid, and about 1/8 part seeds, such as chia or nuts, to ensure the texture has the right bite (via Feel Good Foodie). How much sweetener, spices, and other toppings you use is a personal choice, however; your version of "not enough honey" could be "sickeningly sweet" to someone else.