Not Mushy Oatmeal (Ultimate Recipe Swap: Whole Grains)

Ultimate Recipe Swap

Children learn what they live.

My mom had that on a plaque at our house growing up. And I’m finding it very true in many instances of life, particularly in food choices. You see, my parents did not like oatmeal as children. Or liver. As a result, those are two foods I was never required to eat. Neither of them liked it, so why force their kids to eat it?

Instead they fed us cream of wheat. Which I think is nasty and will never subject my children to. You see, I learned early on not to feed my kids things that I didn’t like. Ha!

Children learn what they live — or they go the other way.

Unlike my parents, I love oatmeal. But, I don’t like oatmeal prepared according to package directions. Too mushy. Too soggy. Too much like what prompted poor Oliver Twist  to say, “Please sir, could I have some more?”

Uh, no thanks.

Instead, I made my oatmeal to be more like rice with very little moisture left behind. If you don’t care for regular oatmeal, you may like it my way.

Bring 1 cup water and a pinch of salt to boil in a pan. Stir in 1 cup old fashioned oats. Do not use quick oats — too mushy! Reduce heat to low and cook 5 minutes. The oats will absorb all the liquid and be slightly al dente. No mush.

Serve with a spoonful of dark brown sugar and a tablespoon of real cream.

Or if you want to gild the lily, add to those toppings a handful of toasted pecans and a handful of dried cranberries.

The result? A hot breakfast with texture! Something to sink your teeth into.

Please, sir, could I have some more?

This ranks high on my list of whole grain recipes. Whole grains is what we’re adding to the frugal pantry over at Good Cheap Eats. If you haven’t visited already, pop over to learn some basics about grains, grab some whole grain coupons, see some great recipes by my blogging buddies, and learn about whole grain storage.

And if you’ve got a Whole Grain recipe to write home about, share it with us today!

Here’s how to participate in Ultimate Recipe Swap:

1. Post your recipe on your blog. Please mention in your post so that your readers know where all the other good recipes are hanging out. Then, come back here to add the link to your post to Mr. Linky below. (Find instructions for Mr. Linky here.)


2. If you don’t have a blog, simply post your recipe or tell us about it in the comments section.

3. Above all, please stick to topic. Today is whole grains. So if your recipe doesn’t include whole grains, it will be deleted. Thanks for understanding.

Have a story to go along with your recipe? We’d love to hear it!

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  1. If you want some oats with texture, definitely try making muesli, and use steel-cut oats. It’s a really nice breakfast during the summer when hot oatmeal isn’t as appealing. And you can keep it inexpensive by using any kind of juice – lately I’ve been using orange juice and just adding chopped apples in the morning.

  2. Oooh. I never thought about pecans and cranberries in oatmeal. I’ll bet it’s delicious.

  3. I agree, yuck, Cream of Wheat. I’ve been adding a spoonful of peanut butter to my oatmeal, it makes it really creamy and adds some extra protein.
    Thanks for hosting!

  4. i am so with you! hated oatmeal until i made steel cut oats, which have a texture more similar to brown rice. next time i have a run out and the only thing left is rolled oats, i’ll try cooking them with less water as you suggest!

  5. I’m going to have to try these. I’ve never liked oatmeal ’cause its too mushy, totally a texture thing. I’ll have to try this.

  6. I totally agree! I can’t stand mushy oatmeal. It reminds me of something you would feed someone without teeth, you just need to mush it with your tongue, yuck! I like slightly undercooked steel cut oats. they have a good bite to them!

  7. Awesome, important topic! I have tons of whole grain recipes; it was so hard to choose what to enter! If you need cornbread, biscuits, tortillas, or breadmaker bread, check out my recipes tab. I’m actually in the middle of a whole grains series, too, including sourdough. You would hate my oatmeal, though – it’s “soaked”, so it’s definitely soggy. 😉 Katie

  8. We need more whole grains in our diet!!

  9. Whole Wheat Oatmeal Cookies

    1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    1/2 cup white sugar
    1 egg
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    1 cup whole wheat flour
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 1/2 cups oats

    beat butter, sugars and eggs, when blended add the rest of the ingredients except oats. When well blended, add oats and stir until mixed.

    Preheat oven to 350. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 mins. Cool on baking sheet for 5 mins, then move to baking rack.

    Recipe can be easily doubled, this recipe makes approx two dozen 2″ cookies.

  10. That’s just how I like my oatmeal, too. Simple, not mushy, al dente. Yum! I always serve it with boiled eggs.

  11. I’ve wanted to “like” oatmeal but just couldn’t stand the mushy gross texture. I’ll have to try your version and see if it can convert me 🙂

  12. I love toasted pecans in anything. I can’t believe I forgot about URS today. Better late than never.

  13. I can’t wait to check out everyone’s links. Mine included pearl barley but I guess that’s not a whole grain 🙁 Ooops! Thanks for sharing your yummy recipes everyone 🙂

  14. Marylouise says:

    I have tried & tried to eat oatmeal( because it`s so good for you) but could never get past the texture.I will definitely try this one…Thanks!

  15. yum! I am going to try this. I love oatmeal – but only dry. The cooked stuff is way too mushy. LOL. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. MMM, This is how I’m going to make oatmeal tomorrow morn. Just never thought about reducing the water. Thank you so very much.

  17. something I never considered until a few years ago beyond a soup ingredient , was cooking with Barley. a young gal from Czech Republic who stayed one summer with us, prepared it for us, check out any website for Czech Food and enter the words Barley, she made it with Onions and Cheese and baked it in the oven. Apparently they eat it on Christmas Day, the dish in their language is in reference to St John. it is delicious and I have made it many times, my vegetarian friends love it too as a main dish. Sorry I dont have the exact recipe but look it up on the internet. enjoy!

  18. OOOPs. if barley isnt a whole grain, what is it? sorry about the previous entry. but it is good to eat.

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      @nanajan, we’re going to let barley come to the party. I think some would say that “pearl barley” isn’t whole since its bran has been removed. Kind of like white rice, I think. But, we’re gonna let it wear the whole grain hat. 😉

  19. I love that you added the cranberries too, it looks delicious. I am glad to have found you tonight, as you’re food on a Thursday. This is my first time, so great to meet you. Thank you for hosting!

  20. Thank you so much for posting this! I don’t like mushy oatmeal either, I made this kind this morning, added a bit of butter, brown sugar, dates and walnuts and I’m loving it!

  21. Christy B. says:

    I had a hankering for oatmeal yesterday, so I fished through the cupboard only to find some “best by 2008” instant packets. Figuring that was only a guideline and they’d still be edible, I made some. And I gagged it down. My one year old seemed to like it, though!

    This morning I found this recipe. Yum! I didn’t have the ingredients to fancy it up so it was just flavored with brown sugar and whole milk. I loved the non-mushy texture of the oats. I’ll definitely make it again. And while it may take a little longer than the microwave kind, it did give me a time to race to get the dishes done in. 😉

    Oh yeah, and the one year old hated it! Spit out every bite. *sigh* there’s no accounting for taste. 🙂

  22. This is fab! I can not tell you how much I hate eating oatmeal because it reminds me of paste! Can’t wait to try this in the morning. Thank you so much!!

  23. I add 1/2 cup raisins to 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup old-fashioned oats and cook at medium temp for 6 minutes. Remove from heat and put lid on, and let sit for 6 minutes. Remove lid and add 2T brown sugar. My kids do not like mushy oatmeal or when their grandpa adds milk once it’s in the bowl.

  24. This is fabulous! I have not ever had oatmeal like this. I love it!

  25. As a library paste oatmeal hater, there’s a surefire way to cook oats with better texture (like this) in the microwave. Put your dry old-fashioned oats in a large microwaveable cereal bowl (you need room to bubble), add just enough cold water (or juice) to float, microwave on high for 1 minute (add 30 seconds for mushier oats or lower power microwaves). Enjoy! I put a spoonful of peanut butter in it, but we ate it with a drizzle of molasses or cinnamon or carob powder as kids. My mom also makes this with apple juice in place of water.

  26. Yes! I like my oatmeal to be about the consistency of oatmeal cookie dough! Love your recipe 🙂

  27. So glad to run across someone else who likes al dente oatmeal. I made mine this morning with walnuts, blueberries and unsweetened shredded coconut. (gluten free oats)

  28. Alice E says:

    I fix my ‘not mushy’ oatmeal with a different method. For 2 servings:

    Bring one and one half cups of water to as rolling boil. Add salt if you wish. Add one cup of old-fashioned oats to pan and stir to moisten. Put the lid on the pan and turn off the fire under it. Now leave it alone and don’t lift the lid for 10 minutes. Uncover it and serve. If you wish you may add dried fruit at the same time as the oats.

    My husband eats this with sugar. I prefer butter and salt, grated cheese or topping it with an over-easy egg since I don’t really like sweets early in the morning. Neither of us add milk. This leaves the flakes of oats separate and is a favorite with my husband who doesn’t like his oats mushy either. I like the fact that I don’t have to stand over the pan and it can’t burn.

    I may try reducing the amount of water, but this works for us and is so easy. Just set the timer for 10 minutes and do something else.

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