Nothing says breakfast like hot oatmeal. It’s warm, hearty, and satisfying – ideal for those chilly winter mornings when you need something to start your day off right.
But, who has time to wait hours for their oats to simmer on the stovetop or sit overnight in a slow cooker? That doesn’t sound like a great way to kick-start your morning. Thankfully, there’s an easier way: the microwave. It’s faster and doesn’t require as much work.
Here’s how to make oatmeal in the microwave.
Simply put a half part of old-fashioned rolled oats into a microwave-safe bowl. Mix in 1 cup of water (milk), a pinch of salt, and a dash of cinnamon if desired. Microwave for one minute and stir. Put it again in the microwave for one more minute and stir. Remove from the microwave and toss in desired toppings.
In today’s post, we’ll walk you through each step of making oatmeal in a microwave and share some helpful tips. We’ll also address critical concerns about cooking oats in a microwave so you can make informed decisions when preparing your morning meal.
What Is Oatmeal?
Oatmeal is a whole-grain cereal made from oats. It can be served hot or cold and is often flavored with brown sugar, honey, raisins, cinnamon, or other sweeteners. When cooked, it has a creamy texture that makes it filling enough to serve as a meal.
So, what’s the deal with oatmeal? Is it really the nutritional powerhouse that we’ve been led to believe it is? Let us explore.
For starters, it’s easy to prepare, low in cost, and fillings. But that’s not all. There are many other reasons why oatmeal is good for you.
Oats contain beta-glucan soluble fiber, which may help lower cholesterol levels and reduce heart disease risk. They also have a low glycemic index rating, meaning they don’t cause blood sugar spikes as white bread or sugar can. This makes them great for people with diabetes or those with insulin resistance.
This hearty grain is also recommended for dieters. It has a high content of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance when mixed with water, slowing digestion and making you feel full longer. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool, helping it pass through your digestive system more quickly.
For these reasons, it’s understandable why cooking oatmeal is a concern for many people, particularly those on a diet.
Next, we answer this question and more.
Can You Cook Oatmeal in the Microwave?
Cooking oatmeal in a microwave is an easy, convenient way to get your morning meal on the go. It’s also a good alternative for those who don’t have access to a stove or oven and need something quick and simple.
But does it taste as good as stovetop oatmeal or retain its nutritional value? We reveal it all for you.
In a nutshell, yes. Contrary to popular belief, microwaving oatmeal has no negative impact on its nutritional value or taste. You can prepare it just like any other type of food. The key is to use an appropriate liquid-to-oats ratio and a sizable bowl to allow for expansion during cooking.
However, there are a few things to consider when cooking oatmeal in the microwave. For example, microwaves can cause hot and cold spots resulting in unevenly cooked foods. As such, it’s critical to stir your oatmeal every 30 seconds or so while it’s cooking.
Also, don’t overcook your oatmeal. The oats should be tender and chewy when you take them out of the microwave. If they’re mushy or watery, you’ve probably cooked them for too long. The trick is to nuke on reduced power until they reach your desired consistency.
How Long Does It Take To Microwave Your Oats?
Most oats will take between 90 seconds and 3 minutes to cook in a microwave. The exact time will depend on your microwave wattage, type of oats, portion size, and desired consistency.
For example, microwaves with a higher wattage will cook food faster than those with a lower wattage. You’re advised to consult your microwave’s instruction manual for specific instructions on how long to cook oats in your particular model.
For larger portions of oats (more than 1/2 cup), you may need to add extra time to account for their increased mass. And if you prefer your oatmeal less chewy and mushier, be sure to adjust cooking times accordingly.
Oats are classified into two types: rolled and steel-cut.
- Rolled oats are produced by steaming whole oat groats and then flattening them into flakes. They include old-fashioned, quick, and instant oats. Because of their larger surface area, they tend to cook more quickly than steel-cut oats.
- Steel-cut oats are made from whole oat groats chopped into smaller pieces with a sharp blade. Since they are minimally processed and retain most of their original structure, they take longer to cook than rolled oats. However, many people prefer them for their chewier texture and nuttier flavor.
A good rule of thumb is to nuke your oatmeal in short bursts, occasionally stirring, until you achieve the desired consistency. This will give you more control over the process and redistribute heat more evenly for a final tender breakfast.
Tips for Cooking Oatmeal in the Microwave
Cooking oatmeal is a great way to start your day, but it can be tricky if you don’t know how. Follow these tips for fluffy, delicious oats every time.
- The oat needs room to expand, so use a deep, microwave-safe bowl or mug at least 3/4 full. Otherwise, you risk spillage all over your microwave.
- Use the recommended oat-to-water ratio of 1 part oats to 1.5 parts water. Too much liquid will make your oats soggy, and too little will make them dry and crunchy.
- For creamier oats, substitute milk for water, or experiment with alternative liquids like almond and coconut milk. In addition to enhancing flavor, milk provides protein and other nutrients that keep you fuller for longer.
- Do not cover your microwavable bowl or mug, as it can trap steam and make your oats soggy. Instead, microwave your oats uncovered, checking them every 30 seconds until they’re done to your liking.
- If you’re reheating leftover oatmeal, make sure it’s thoroughly heated to a safe temperature (165 degrees Fahrenheit) before eating. Leftover oatmeal can be refrigerated for up to 6 days or frozen for six months.
How to Cook oatmeal in the microwave
Microwaving oatmeal is easy, fast, and requires minimal cleanup. It’s also ideal for those who need to grab breakfast on the go. Here’s a step-by-step guide.
Step 1: Measure out Your Oatmeal
Use quick-rolled oats for best results. However, steel-cut oats will also work fine but take longer to cook and require more water. For each serving of oatmeal, use 1⁄2 cup of dry oats and 1 cup of water.
Step 2: Add Water, Salt, and Your Oats to Your Microwave-Safe Bowl
Transfer your 1⁄2 dry oats into a microwave-safe bowl, and add 1 cup of water, a pinch of salt, and any other flavorings (such as cinnamon or vanilla extract). Stir well until all ingredients are combined. Substitute milk for water for an even creamier texture.
Step 3: Microwave Your Oatmeal
Place your uncovered bowl of oats in the microwave for 90 seconds to 3 minutes on high power. Stir every 30 seconds during cooking to prevent burning. Your oatmeal is done when it’s plump, creamy, and just bubbling around the edges.
Step 4: Serve Your Oatmeal
Using potholders, remove your bowl from the microwave and set it aside for 1 minute before serving. Stir, then serve with toppings such as brown sugar, raisins, nuts, or fresh fruit.
Faqs On How to Make Oatmeal in the Microwave
1. How do you microwave oatmeal without it exploding?
Exploding oatmeal is caused by superheating. This occurs when the liquid boils faster than it can escape through steam, resulting in pressure buildup inside your microwave. To avoid this, use a large, deep microwavable bowl and lower the power level of your microwave, so it doesn’t heat up too quickly.
2. Why is my oatmeal spilling over in the microwave?
The starches in oatmeal absorb water quickly, causing it to swell and spill over.
Furthermore, as the water begins to boil, steam is produced, which pushes against your oatmeal bowl, forcing it up and out of its container. Consider using a large deep microwavable bowl, and don’t cover your oatmeal while cooking.
3. Can you microwave oatmeal with milk?
Absolutely. In fact, for added flavor and nutrition, use milk rather than water when making oatmeal. If all you have is water, that’s fine, but it will result in a less creamy texture.
However, the liquid-to-oats ratio still applies.
4. Can you eat oats raw?
Raw oats are safe for consumption. They’re high in fiber and low in fat, so they’ll keep you full without packing on the pounds.
Moreover, they contain beta-glucan, which has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. However, soak them before eating to augment their nutritional value and digestibility.
5. Is microwaving oatmeal healthy?
The truth is that microwaving oatmeal is perfectly safe. In fact, it’s a healthier alternative to boiling water and cooking oats on your stovetop. This is because microwaves cook food quickly and efficiently, allowing nutrients to remain intact. However, expect some changes in texture.
6. Is oatmeal good for weight loss?
Oatmeal is an excellent weight-loss food because it is high in fiber and protein, which help you feel fuller for longer. It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals and has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels. However, eat in moderation, or you will consume too many calories.
Cooking oatmeal in a microwave is not only faster but also easier. All you need is a deep sizeable microwave-safe bowl and your favorite oatmeal (rolled oats are best), and you can have breakfast ready in minutes.
Microwaving, like any other cooking method, has its flaws. However, if you want to get the most out of your microwave oatmeal and have it taste great, you must strictly adhere to specific instructions.
First, cook your oats on low heat to avoid burning or sticking to your bowl. Second, use the proper liquid-to-oats ratio; too much water will result in soggy oats. Finally, stir it occasionally to prevent it from sticking to one side.
So now that you know how to make oatmeal in a microwave go ahead and try it.
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