Not your Grandmother’s Oatmeal


The first Sunday after Labor Day is National Grandparents’ Day. Have you ever heard the advice “eat like your grandparents”? This bon mot encourages us to step away from over-processed foods and hew to meals your grand- or great-grand parents would make, like oatmeal.

Good advice, but beware. Marketers have cleverly wrapped an old-time word around new products such as quick-cooking oats, steel cut oats, pre-sweetened instant oats, and oatmeal bars packaged to look like granola bars. But do these count? I’m pretty sure Grandma would look at these with a curious eye.

Some may be as nutritious, but when I see the added sugar and unpronounceable preservatives, I get wary. So I stick with a classic: Old-Fashioned Oats and add a new twist: Not Your Grandmother’s Oatmeal.

Cooking time for this recipe is only about 5 minutes vs. 1-2 for the quick-cooking oatmeal, so, really, is that even a difference?

First, notice the basic instructions for oatmeal is 2 parts liquid with one part oats. Liquid is generally water or milk. I like to do half water and half milk (I use Almond milk). Your preferences may vary; use whatever suits your personal taste.

Bring the liquid to a boil in a saucepan, then add oatmeal and boil for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. (If it seems a little watery, boil for an additional 1-2 minutes and stir vigorously).

Oatmeal ingredients

But, let’s be honest – the real magic to oatmeal is the TOPPINGS, amirite?

Grandma, for sure, put brown sugar on hers and probably a little milk because perhaps she made this, then let it sit too long, and it thickened into Redi-Mix Concrete.

I do add brown sugar, but here’s my personal twist. Try:

Ground flax meal –to boost those Omega-3’s
Dried Cherries – tart and sweet at the same time – yum!
Berries – either blueberries or raspberries – or BOTH
Bananas – Adding ½ a banana = needing less sugar – always good!
Granola – yes, basically sweetened oatmeal, but I love the crunch!

The best part is the world of possible add-ins. You can make this entirely yours!  A (insert your name) original! Go ahead, give it a try, and let me know what combinations you come up with.

Ultimate Oatmeal

It's all in the toppings!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: frugal, Kid Friendly, Plant Based, Vegetarian
Servings: 2
Calories: 343kcal


  • 1 cup oatmeal old-fashioned
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • ¼ cup raspberries
  • ¼ cup dried cherries
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granola


  • n a small saucepan warm the water and milk to boiling. Add oatmeal and reduce heat to simmer. Cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Divide oatmeal between two bowls.
  • To each bowl add fruit, brown sugar and granola.


Calories: 343kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 189mg | Potassium: 200mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 538IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 210mg | Iron: 2mg

Need other breakfast ideas? How about pancakes, or a Dutch Baby??


2 thoughts on “Not your Grandmother’s Oatmeal

  1. THE RECIPE WE (I) HAVE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR!!! THE OATMEAL OF ALL OATMEALS!!! Yaaassss! You make the BEST oatmeal ever! Thanks for sharing your secrets with us, Sula. 🙂 The public appreciates it.

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