Oatmeal is one of the most versatile breakfasts around and can even be reheated the next morning to save time. You need to know a few tricks for perfect instant oats, but it’s way easier than you think.
The most quickest and easiest way is to use a microwave, though I will also show you how to do it on the stove or in a pot. To microwave, add a splash of water to the bowl and microwave for 30 seconds – 1 minute. Let stand for a minute, so they don’t get too hot inside. Just keep in mind that microwaves vary in power, and you might need to experiment with your food heating. You’ll know they’re done when the texture is like porridge. And who wants to eat hot oatmeal without a microwave?
Here’s how to get tasty, hot-from-the-stove oatmeal in the shortest amount of time possible. Pan and source of heat will confirm cooking, but this is what works for me:
1) Start with dry stainless steel or non-stick pan
2) Turn your burner to medium heat or just below high heat. The exact temperature isn’t crucial, but you want the oats to sizzle as soon as they hit the pan.
3) Add the desired amount of oats and stir thoroughly for about 20 seconds
4) Start with a 2-to-1 water-to-oats ratio. Pour in about 1/4 of your desired amount of water or cream (or milk) and stir the mixture thoroughly
5) Turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let it sit untouched for one minute (30 seconds if you’re using steel-cut oats). The very hot pan will steam the oats enough to cook them perfectly even without the stove being turned on.
6) Add in your sweetener and any fruit you might like (I like half a diced banana for one serving, but blueberries work well too), and stir thoroughly. If the mixture seems a little thick (it should be pourable but not watery), add more water or milk by the tablespoon until you reach the desired consistency.
7) Reheat on medium heat just until it comes to a boil, stirring frequently. Serve immediately, or if you’re not in a rush, turn off the heat and let it sit for 2-3 minutes before digging in. You want clear liquid when you dig your spoon in, but no crunchy bits.
The oats will be slightly more gelatinous than the traditional microwave method but still as nutritious and tasty as ever. And if you’re worried about toughening up your oatmeal, I haven’t had that problem at all; they come out perfectly tender every time. Enjoy!
Different Ways to Reheat Oatmeal in the morning
Perhaps you find yourself rushing to school or work in the morning and can never spare enough time for a proper breakfast. Or maybe your little brother wants your leftover oats but doesn’t want them cold. In either case, you can reheat your oats in a variety of ways to give them the same comfort they had when you first made them. Here are five great ways to reheat those cold oats:
Heat oven to 350°F (175°C). Spread out cooled oats on a baking sheet and pop in the oven for about 5 minutes until rewarmed.
This technique works best when you’ve split your oatmeal into two servings. Simply place half of the oatmeal in a pan on low heat and slowly reheat, occasionally stirring to avoid burning it.
- Tea/coffee urn
Fill the urn with water and place your oats in a mug inside. Let the oats sit for about half an hour, depending on how hot the machine is, before removing them from the urn. The warmth of the tea or coffee should be enough to reheat your oats.
- Coffee pot
Put your oats into a freezer bag, remove all excess air, and pop in your coffee pot. Turn on the machine to brew a fresh batch of coffee. When the cycle is complete, take out your oats and enjoy!
- Mason jar
Place your oats in a mason jar half filled with water before screwing on the lid tightly. Shake it vigorously for about a minute, and then put the jar in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
These tips should help you save time and reheat your oats with ease. Consider mixing different reheating options and see what works best for you.
Is it safe to reheat oatmeal?
2 minutes of Googling turns up nothing definitive. Is reheating oatmeal safe?
Reasonably assume that it is, if not for health reasons, then at least food safety reasons.
After doing some research on the topic, I have concluded that it is probably safe to eat reheated oatmeal as long as you do it the right way. That is, do not reheat it more than once.
Reheating food is probably the most likely way to make yourself sick with food poisoning. Even if you’ve followed all safety precautions and cooked your chicken or beef or whatever thoroughly, you can still get sick if you don’t eat the meal promptly after cooking and instead leave it sitting out in the open.
So reheating it is a very bad idea for this reason alone, but what about reheating oatmeal? Is that any different from reheating other foods? Will you get sick after eating reheated oatmeal?
Again, there’s a lack of definitive research on the subject and many conflicting opinions online, but I think it’s safe to say that you won’t get sick just because oatmeal is reheated.
This has mainly to do with the low-moisture content of oatmeal. According to nutrition data, its carbohydrate content is high – 55%, but its water content is very low at only 9%. That is less than one-quarter of the water content in, say, scrambled eggs.
Water is where bacteria are most likely to grow. So as long as oatmeal doesn’t dry out completely and you reheated it very thoroughly (to a temperature higher than the standard boiling point – 100 C/ 212 F), there’s no need to worry.
Some healthier people might argue that reheated oatmeal is perfectly safe because it’s naturally gluten-free and vegan. I don’t wholly agree with this because oats are often processed in contact with wheat. Still, suppose you want to get technical about it. In that case, oats contain only a minimal amount of gluten (<10 mg/kg) which has been tolerated even by people with very serious gluten intolerance.
There are no known cases of oatmeal triggering celiac disease in this context.
So my conclusion is that, yes, reheated oatmeal is safe to eat – unless you’re interested in stressing the digestive system unnecessarily.
How to Prepare and Store Oatmeal for the Week
The single most important thing to do to get the convenience factor of oatmeal is to prepare your breakfasts for the whole week in advance. That’s easy enough if you have a microwave at work. All you need is a jar that can hold 2 cups or more of oatmeal and keep it warm throughout the day without drying out too much.
Here are some things you can do to make the process even easier:
1. Use oatmeal that’s already been cooked – it will save you time, water, and electricity at home. Just reheat in advance with a microwave or stovetop until piping hot again.
2. Mix up your choice of milk, fruit, nuts, and sweeteners and store them in a separate small container. You can pre-portion yogurt with honey or maple syrup for the next day if you know what you want to eat.
3. Label everything!
If you don’t like surprises, put labels on your jars and yogurt cups before putting them in the fridge overnight. Write down what you have on your counter, just in case.
RECIPE for cooking Oatmeal
How to Make Oatmeal for the Week
Tools Needed: Saucepan, Cooking Range or microwave, fridge, freezer.
Ingredients needed: rolled oats, the fruit of choice (fresh or frozen), milk of choice (dairy or non-dairy), sweeteners of choice (sugar, sweetener of choice), any additional ingredients you wish
Step One: Prepare Your Oatmeal Base
Measure out one cup (or however much you want) of fresh or frozen fruit into a microwave-safe container.
If using frozen fruit, make sure not to use fully frozen fruit as it will be very difficult to break up the clumps of fruit. Add 1 cup rolled oats on top of the fruit. If you would like to add any extra spices or flavors, this is a great time to do that as well!
Step Two: Add Your Milk and Microwave
Add 1/2 cup of dairy or non-dairy milk of choice to the top. Microwave for 1 minute or until the desired temperature is reached.
Step Three: Add Your Sweeteners and Eat!
Add sweetener of choice, if desired. I usually use a tablespoon of sugar/agave nectar/honey in mine, but it’s completely up to you how sweet you want your oatmeal to be. Stir and enjoy!
Step Four: Store in Fridge
After the oatmeal has reached room temperature and cooled down, it’s time for storage. Add the oatmeal containers directly to the fridge and eat cold or heat up again when needed. I typically will only store mine for a few days, but if you want to keep them longer, make sure to place each container into an airtight bag or box.
Step Five: Freeze the Rest!
If there is still some oatmeal left that can’t fit into your fridge, don’t fret! Take the remaining oatmeal and portion it out into small containers that fit into the freezer. They will be ready for you after a long day!
What do you like to put in your oatmeal? I would love to hear about it!
Can You Make Oatmeal in Advance?
I often make a big pot of oatmeal for the week on Sunday. Does it last in your stomach? I don’t think it’s that bad. I usually eat some fruit with it, so I get something else in there.
To prep the oatmeal ahead of time, you can certainly cook the oats one night and then portion them out into containers to store in your fridge for up to three days or so!
Please note, however, that the fridge will turn the oats a bit more firm and gummy than if they were to be eaten right after cooking. I personally prefer cooked oatmeal that is cold or room temperature.
You can also store your oatmeal in the freezer for up to two months! To prepare this way, you cook your oatmeal, as usual, let it cool for a bit after cooking, and then portion it into your desired number of containers.
For best results, I would suggest using airtight containers or freezer bags to store the oatmeal for more extended periods.
I hope this helps!
What are your favorite types of oatmeal?
I like to add just brown sugar and cinnamon. Sometimes I’ll throw in some fruit or nuts if I have them, but usually, it’s just the two ingredients with some milk on top.
How long does Oatmeal stay good for?
I like to make my oatmeal with water and cook it on the stovetop. Then I’ll typically let it cool down before putting each portion into its container. Oatmeal will last in your fridge for about 5-7 days before going bad. The same goes for storing oatmeal in the freezer, but it can last a bit longer if you put them in airtight containers or freezer bags.
How do you keep your oatmeal from getting gummy?
Adding a little bit of cinnamon to my oatmeal helps keep it from getting gummy. The small bit of spice makes a huge difference in the taste.
How long does cold, cooked oatmeal last?
Cold oatmeal should be eaten within 3 days of being made on average. I would suggest using airtight containers or freezer bags to ensure that your oatmeal does not get any mold in it.
How long can you keep oats in the fridge?
Oatmeal should be eaten within 5-7 days of being cooked on average if kept in the refrigerator.
If put into airtight freezer bags or containers, you can keep oatmeal for 1-2 months in the freezer.
How long does oatmeal last open in the container?
Oatmeal can last up to 2 months if put into freezer bags or containers but only lasts about 3 days when kept in the refrigerator. I would suggest using airtight containers or freezer bags to ensure that your oatmeal does not get any mold in it.