Classic oatmeal for one is a quick and easy way to start the day with a hot, filling breakfast that only takes minutes to cook up. No microwave or store bought instant oatmeal required. This single serve oatmeal recipe is the perfect way to start your day and uses bananas as a natural sweetener.
As a kid, oatmeal was not my favourite breakfast. I didn’t like the taste or the texture unless it was loaded with brown sugar and lots and lots of milk. It wasn’t until I was in my mid-twenties that I found myself actually craving a big bowl of steaming oats on a cold day. That was when I also learned I didn’t need to cook my oatmeal the same way my parents did!
Single Serve Oatmeal
I love oatmeal for breakfast. But I don’t love cold or leftover oatmeal at all. So it was really important to me to figure out how to get the ingredient quantities just right for a single serving so I didn’t wind up with more than I could eat in a single sitting.
I also want it to cook up fast, which means I’m not using steel cut oats. Instead, I went with old fashioned rolled oats, which don’t have all the nutritional benefits of steel cut oats but they’re still a decent breakfast alternative (and they cook up much faster than steel cut oats).
I found 1/3 cup of oats and 2/3 cup of liquid to be perfect for my morning appetite. If you’re the ravenous type in the morning, you can up your quantities to 1/2 cup of oats and one cup of liquid. Any more than that and you’ll likely be looking for a way to use up leftovers at some point in the next day or two.
Liquid to Oat Ratio When Making Oatmeal
The liquid to oat ratio for oatmeal when using old fashioned rolled oats is easy to remember: 2:1. Whatever measurement of oats you use, you’ll need double the amount of liquid. 1/3 cup of oats means 2/3 cup of liquid. One cup of oats means two cups of liquid etc.
Do You Have To Use Water?
No! I cook my oats with water because I like to serve my oatmeal with milk just like I would dry cereal. But you can sub your favourite milk (dairy, nut, soy) for the water or do half water and half milk. Using milk will make for a slightly creamier finished dish!
This recipe calls for several add-ins. The most important two are the salt and the banana. The others are optional. The salt… well you just need the salt. A pinch of regular table salt is all you need.
The banana is what sweetens the oatmeal – it softens up as it cooks and makes for a wonderful natural sweetener, especially if you use the raisins as well. I don’t use any other sweetener since I’ve started using a banana in my oatmeal. If you want a little extra sweetener try adding a teaspoon of maple syrup or a tsp of brown sugar. Try it without first though!
I like adding the vanilla just for the flavour but with the price of vanilla extract right now, don’t worry about adding it in unless you really want it!
Top your oatmeal with your favourite fruits. Fresh or frozen raspberries, blueberries or strawberries are all great. So is sliced mango or peaches or the remainder of the banana you used during the cooking process. You can also serve it with your favourite milk, a drizzle of maple syrup, a sprinkle of hemp seeds… get creative and use your pantry staples!
Classic Oatmeal For One
- 1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats
- 2/3 cup water you can sub the milk of your choice or do half milk and half water
- 1 tbsp raisins
- 1/2 banana thinly sliced
- 1/8 tsp vanilla extract not required
- 1 sprinkle cinnamon
- 1 pinch salt
- Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan and give a quick stir - choose a saucepan with a lid because you'll need that later
- Turn the heat on to medium and keep an eye on your pot - it won't take long to boil and once it starts to boil you'll need to stir it frequently for about 3-4 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed (don't let it stick to the pan because that makes a big mess). If you are using quick cooking oats it will take even less time so watch carefully!
- Once the liquid has been absorbed - and this will literally only take a few minutes, remove the saucepan from the heat and cover. Let it sit for another 2-3 minutes
- Serve - you can top with fresh or frozen fruit, additional milk or even a drizzle of maple syrup or a sprinkle of hemp seeds
Oatmeal is delicious with fresh or frozen fruit - berries, mango, sliced peaches and bananas all work well. If you have a slightly larger appetite, increase the rolled oats to 1/2 a cup and increase your liquid to one cup. The remaining ingredients can stay the same. Increase your quantities anymore than that and you will likely have left over oatmeal. Meal Prep Tip: You can combine the oats, cinnamon, salt, and raisins in the saucepan the night before and just add your sliced banana and liquids (water and vanilla) in the morning when you're ready to start cooking.
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