The Best Toasted Oatmeal

The other day we received a cookbook in the mail called Whole-Grain Mornings. It’s written by English-teacher turned entrepreneur / baker Megan Gordon, who started a granola business (Marge Granola) in Seattle that’s become nationally-known. We were expecting the book, and I immediately began to pour over the recipes.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect because we’re not huge breakfast eaters (peanut butter English muffin and I’m good to go). However, as I paged through the recipes, I started to get excited. The book is full of innovative yet accessible ways to embrace whole grains: from California Barley Bowl to Yogurt Cups with Roasted Cherries and Toasted Millet. I compiled an entire list of recipes for meal inspiration throughout the day (not just the morning!).

When I passed the book off to Alex for perusal, he only made a few pages through before he decided to get his hands dirty: a recipe I’d passed right by because it said “The Best”. I’m generally suspicious of recipes with this preface, but he was already toasting the oats. After a few minutes, a smell filled our kitchen that was so nutty and sweet I forgot my hesitation. What resulted was indeed “the best” oatmeal I’d ever tasted: the oats were chewy (instead of the creamy texture of the stirred method) and deliciously nutty from toasting, topped with a bit of sweet maple syrup. We were both floored. “The best?” I guess she was right!

The rest of the book is incredibly lovely; beautifully written with lots of sweet personal details, and gorgeous photographs by the talented Clare Barboza. I think what we like most though, it that it is such an accessible resource: not only does it have our favorite oatmeal recipe, I can see ourselves taking inspiration from it for months to come. The book is available here. The best oats? Below.

“The Best” Toasted Oatmeal
 
Note that this method yields for a chewy oat texture, rather than the typical creamy texture. The recipe serves two, make sure to double or triple for ample leftovers. A large pot works best; it allows the oats to cook evenly.
by:
Makes: 2
What You Need
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup milk
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon water
  • Maple syrup
  • Toasted almonds or pecans (optional)
  • Milk (optional)
What To Do
  1. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add 1 cup oats and toast for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they start to smell fragrant and nutty.
  2. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, add ¼ cup milk, one pinch kosher salt, one pinch cinnamon, and ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon water. Bring to low boil over medium heat. Add the toasted oats and stir gently to combine, then cover the pot, turn off the heat, and allow to sit for 7 minutes.
  3. After 7 minutes, the oats are ready to serve. The texture will be a chewy texture, not creamy as with the stirred method. To serve, top with real maple syrup. Add toasted almonds or walnuts and/or milk if desired. Leftovers can be kept refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 5 days.

 

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29 thoughts on “The Best Toasted Oatmeal

  1. Kathryn

    I’ve just ordered this book based on all the amazing recipes I’ve seen from it – I’m similar in my breakfast habits to you but can’t wait to change things up a bit!

    PS the pics in this post are totally brilliant, some of my absolute favourite ones of yours.

    Reply
  2. Christy@SweetandSavoring

    What a great idea to toast the oats before cooking them! I just finished my morning oatmeal (our staple), and it was loaded with other stuff that added flavor (pb, yogurt, nutmeg, cinnamon, coconut, etc). I think we’ll try this tomorrow, thanks!

    Reply
  3. Megan Gordon

    Oatmeal never looked so beautiful! What a lovely, lovely post and a tribute to one of the more humble recipes in the book (but one of my very favorites!) Thank you so much for the sweet words here — I’m so glad you both are enjoying the book. xox

    Reply
  4. Lisa in Indy

    Very yummy oatmeal variation! Thank you for sharing, Alex and Sonja (and Megan). I made the recipe for lunch today – perfect for being snowed in here in Indy! My usual cooked oatmeal gets added butter, vanilla extract, (sugar-free) maple syrup, maybe brown sugar and some kind of fruit, such as raisins, stewed apples or craisins. I did add Smart Balance, vanilla, the SF syrup and craisins with toasted walnut pieces. So yummy.

    I think a bowl of hot oatmeal with nuts, etc. is a great way to start the day, but even with all of my extras, I’ve never been able to get my “oatmeal-phobic”, 86 y.o. mother to indulge. She still has horrible childhood memories of being forced to sit at the table on her birthday staring down a bowl of cold oatmeal that “tasted like wall-paper paste” for hours after everyone else had finished. The trauma has lasted all these years (ha).

    But, harkening to MY childhood, I employed the “you have to have ONE ‘tasting bite’” and was shocked to see Mom actually eat a spoonful of the “Best Oatmeal (in the World)”! No convert to oatmeal but after 75+ years, she has at least overcome her phobia. There IS life after wall-paper paste oatmeal.

    Anyway, the 2nd serving won’t be lost; more for ME! Thanks for sharing!!! And I hope we all get dug out by Spring!

    Reply
  5. sara forte

    i know this is belated, but I love the new design. sorry I haven’t commented earlier but it looks so sharp, I love it! I am enjoying megan’s book too and need to try these oats!

    Reply
  6. Erin

    I LOVE these photos! The lighting in your new house/kitchen is treating you well (I need to come visit to check it out first hand ;) And I agree about the book- so many lovely recipes and stories!

    Reply
  7. lovelea

    I saw this on Pintrest and knew immediately what this was… I have been cooking my oatmeal like this for years.. I use old fashioned oats and basically do the same steps as the recipe. After growing up on the tasteless mushy version, as an adult I knew how I wanted it to taste. You know you are eating oats when you prepare it this way and can add your favorite fruits and nuts as usual.

    Reply
  8. Mary@SiftingFocus

    I too, am leery about recipes that claim to be the ‘best’, but you have my interest peeked now. I love oatmeal and am always searching for ways to dress it up. I can’t wait to try this recipe tomorrow morning. Also, can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of the book. So many people are recommending it, and with Clare Barboza’s photography, it’s sure to be amazing.

    Reply
  9. Katie @ 24 Carrot Life

    I made this this morning and it was great! I used coconut oil. My milk didn’t soak up all the way so there was quite a bit left over but it made for a nice addition. The oats have a really great taste when they are toasted and are definitely chewier than normal (although I do like the mushy kind from microwaving it). Loved trying this! Your site is so sleek and beautiful.

    Reply
  10. Grace

    Love it! Oatmeal is one of my all-time favorite foods but I’m ready for a shake up in my routine. Love the photos, especially the third one.

    Reply
  11. Hailey

    I made this recipe this morning for my husband and I. Even with reading the warnings that it wasn’t much like “normal” oat meal I still expected it to be somewhat like “normal” oat meal but I was wrong. The flavor was very very nutty. I did add toasted walnuts which might have contributed to the overpowering nutty flavor and I did not use maple syrup to sweeten the oat meal. I think the maple is a necessity in this recipe to cut through the nutty flavor. I also think fresh fruit would be a lovely addition too. I’m not sure if I will make the recipe again. I like my “normal” oatmeal better :)

    Reply
  12. Sarah

    Why do people always comment that it “looks good”. Of course it does or it wouldn’t be on the blog! Well I did make it this morning and my two kids and I devoured it. (Ages 1 and 4). We added our normal amount of brown sugar and roasted slivered almonds. Making it again tomorrow for the hubby to enjoy.

    Reply
  13. Courtney

    I’m always looking for new breakfast ideas, and I can’t wait to try this one. Clara is a big fan of oatmeal, so I’m sure she’ll love this, and it will give me something new since I tend to get bored with the same recipes after a while.

    Reply
  14. Christina

    Absolutely yummy!!

    I’ve been eating/experimenting with different versions of oatmeal every single morning for breakfast (and sometimes at lunch, too) for well over a year now, but somehow I’d never tried toasted oats before. As a huge fan of non-mushy oatmeal, I was very excited to see how this recipe would come out.

    To the finished product I added a bit of peanut butter, some honey + sugar in the raw, chopped peanuts, and dried cranberries, and I will def. be making this recipe again because it was DELICIOUS. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Reply
  15. Molly

    This IS the best toasted oatmeal! My only problem is I’m embarrassed by how quickly I’m going through my maple syrup now that I’ve got this on repeat.

    Reply
  16. Sheelagh

    Made this with almond milk and walnuts… INCREDIBLE! Just as you described — chewy texture, nutty flavour — kicked my regular oatmeal’s butt! Thank you!!

    Reply

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