A bowl of oatmeal is probably one of the most filling and healthiest breakfasts you could have. However, if it is not prepared right, it can turn into a hot, gluey, bland meal. Here are 5 reasons why your oatmeal may be turning out wrong:
1. Making it with water instead of milk
You’ve probably heard that oatmeal is a super-satisfying breakfast that will sit like a brick —in a good way—in your stomach, until lunch. That’s true, but only if your oatmeal is made with a protein, which you won’t get from water.
So cook your oats in regular dairy milk or unsweetened soy milk. Rather use almond or coconut milk? That’s fine, as both will lend a little bit of extra heft and creaminess. But since they’re still pretty low in protein, you’ll need another source—like nuts, seeds, or some sort of nut butter.
2. Forgetting to stir
Stirring helps break up all those bubbles before they get too big, so you’re less likely to end up with an explosion. If you’re microwaving, keep a close eye on your oats and give them a good stir every 45 seconds or so.
If you’re cooking on the stove top, just stir your porridge frequently. You’ll stop big bubbles in their tracks. But also, all that stirring will help your oats release extra starch, giving your oatmeal a creamier texture.
3. Using a small pot or bowl
You might not feel the need to bust out the giant soup pot if you’re making oatmeal for just you. But oatmeal has a viscous texture that’s really great at forming big bubbles. And if you use a small cooking vessel, you’re pretty much asking for your porridge to spill over.
And make a gigantic mess on your stove top. Ditto for cooking your oats in a smallish bowl in the microwave. Bigger, deeper bowls can go a long way toward preventing a spillover.
4. Adding your oats at the wrong time
Microwave users, feel free to ignore this. But if you’re doing the stove top thing, when you add your oats to the pot plays a role in determining your oatmeal’s final texture. If creaminess is your goal, add the oats after your liquid has come to a simmer. If you like your oats to keep their shape, add them to the cold liquid before cranking up the heat.
5. Not adding enough salt
Whether you’re making savory or sweet oatmeal, you need to add a pinch of salt. Always. Do it at the beginning of cooking, and your porridge will taste nutty, toasty, and delicious—not boring and glue-like. (If you do it at the end, then your oatmeal will just taste strangely salty. Try not to do that.)
If you’ve been making any of these mistakes, hopefully the tips given above will help you get your bowl of porridge just perfect.
image couresy: popsugar.com, prevention.com.