Oatmeal – The Ultimate Comfort Food

by Jenn on February 20, 2009

in Breakfast,Budget,Pastas and Grains

Warning – this post is not gluten free!


Most people when they think of oatmeal, they think of some Quaker instant packet that you add water to and stick in the microwave, that hardly even resembles real food.  When cooked correctly though, oatmeal is a filling, tasty, healthy, and satisfying meal.  While this is totally NOT gluten free, REAL oatmeal is my favorite type of breakfast on a cold day, and still takes under 10 minutes to make from scratch.  Recipe below is for one serving, very easy to make big batches though for multiple people.


1/2 cup oats
about 1 cup milk (give or take depending on your consistency preference)
1 oz. of nuts (walnuts, pecans, or sliced almonds work great – a 1oz. serving is just enough to fit in the palm of your hand – if they are walnuts or pecans, I like to crush them a bit before adding)
1 oz. dried fruit (raisins are awesome, though currently I’ve become a big fan of dried goji berries available in bulk section at Whole Foods)
1/2 tbsp. butter
pinch salt
pinch nutmeg
pinch cinnamon
brown sugar (for garnish)

Mix everything together in a pot (except b. sugar), use Med. High heat and stir so things don’t burn or stick until all are incorporated and oatmeal is desired consistency. Pour in mug or bowl and garnish with brown sugar.


Oatmeal is not just for the crunchy granola types.  There is something about the “getting back to the basics” feel of eating real homemade oatmeal though that is intensely satisfying.

On using milk.  Milk is a MUST to good oatmeal.  If you use water, the oatmeal will taste like it.  Trust me, switch to using milk.  Once you do, you’ll never be satisfied with watery oatmeal ever again.

I know some of you are going to say “butter?!! I thought you said this was healthy!”  Ok, so you can leave out the butter if you want.  But this entire meal as I have listed here, is about 500 calories.  Cutting out the butter would bring it down to around 450 calories (b/c I only call for 1/2 tbsp), and it’s not completely necessary, though I’ve found adding it adds a richness to the oatmeal that I’ve come to enjoy.  Your breakfast should be a substantial meal, so that it can last through the day and you don’t find yourself gorging at other meals.  Just my two cents on nutrition.

Oh and I just love my Michael Aram Forest Leaf platters!  They were a wedding gift from my parents and my sister.  Seriously, his work is exquisite.  If I had an infinite supply of spending money, besides buying all sorts of cool stuff for my kitchen, I would buy his entire forest leaf collection.


Caitlin February 23, 2009 at 1:54 am

Kath Eats Real Food – best source of oatmeal recipes EVER. And yes, I love the platters. Might need to get married just to get some 😉

Jenn February 26, 2009 at 2:35 am

Oh that’s an awesome blog! Thanks for pointing that site out!

Kanella March 18, 2009 at 1:03 pm

I never thought oatmeal could look this good and I as well love my Michael Aram leaf platters, now I just to try the oatmeal.

TheGoddessAtPlay December 2, 2010 at 11:15 pm

You can certainly make this a gluten-free dish by using certified gluten-free oats. Oats are naturally gluten-free, but in the U.S., you have to purchase certified gluten-free oats because of cross-contamination from the fields.

If oats were grown in a field that previously grew wheat, barley or any other gluten-containing grain, the oats will pick it up and carry it into the plant. In addition to certifying the oats are grown in gluten-free fields, the certification also ensures no cross-contamination can occur in processing at the plant.

Oats are one of my favorite breakfasts … I love it with a splash of soy milk, some honey or brown sugar and dried fruit, like cherries, cranberries or blueberries, as well as a handful of nuts.

Jenn December 4, 2010 at 11:48 am

Yes, however, our local grocery stores at the time did not carry them, and at $15/lb at the one store we could find them, GF oats were not an option as poor grad students :( Luckily as it is only my husband who has a gluten intolerance, I was still able to enjoy cheap and tasty oatmeal breakfasts!
Now that we live in Europe we cannot find oats that are labeled “certified gluten free” so we have no idea if oats here are GF or not – do you know??

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