PREP TIME: 2 minutes
ACTIVE TIME: 8 minutes
1½ cups water
1 cup rolled oats (certified gluten-free if necessary; see Tip)
¼ cup nondairy milk (nut-free and/or soy-free if necessary)
1 to 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Salt to taste
1. Combine the water and oats in a small saucepan or pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, untouched, for 3 to 4 minutes, until slightly thick and sticky.
2. Add the milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, until it’s heated through and has reached your desired thickness. Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve immediately with your choice of toppings.
Simple Fruit and Nut Oatmeal: Once cooked, top oatmeal with ⅓ cup fresh fruit (sliced banana, chopped strawberries, sliced nectarine or peach, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries) and/or 2 tablespoons chopped dried fruit (peaches, apricots, apple, cherries, raisins) and/or 1 tablespoon chopped nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, macadamia nuts). If desired, drizzle with a little more maple syrup.
Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal: Increase the amount of cinnamon to 1½ teaspoons and add 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses and ¼ cup raisins to the oatmeal when you add the milk. Top with an additional 1 tablespoon raisins, a drizzle of maple syrup, and/or 1 tablespoon chopped nuts.
Peanut Butter and Banana Oatmeal: When adding the milk, add ⅓ cup sliced bananas and 1 tablespoon peanut butter. Top with a few more banana slices, 1 tablespoon chopped peanuts, and drizzles of peanut butter and maple syrup. You could also add a couple of tablespoons of chocolate chips to take it over the top.
Double Chocolate Oatmeal: Stir in 2 tablespoons cocoa powder when you add the milk. After removing from the heat, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons chocolate chips. Top with chopped nuts and/or cacao nibs.
Fruit Pie Oatmeal: Add ⅓ cup chopped fruit of your choice (apple, pear, strawberries, bananas, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, peach, pear, persimmon) to the pot when adding the oats. Top with ¼ cup of the same fruit and/or 1 tablespoon chopped nuts.