The Many Flavors of Oats

[Written September 3, 2023; updated September 8, 2023]

It turns out, oats are a pretty neutral flavor, and can take on a variety of seasonings.  Besides the popular flavors of sugar, or fruit and cream, they can also be quite good when savory.


Base Recipe

Bring to a boil.  Unless directed otherwise, add flavorings.  Simmer for 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Oatmeal will thicken somewhat as it cools to a proper temperature for eating.

(Without flavoring, it tastes most like “toasted oat cereal,” which is logical, I guess.)

The flavoring amounts quoted are intended to give a moderate amount of flavor.  It should fall between subtle and overwhelming.  That said, anything and everything can be adjusted to taste; the final power lies with you.

Sapphire Cat’s Favorite Thick Oatmeal

Unfortunately, there’s no substitute for time:

  1. Make oatmeal, per the chosen recipe
  2. Allow to cool
  3. Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight
  4. Reheat and enjoy

Honestly, as a kid, I hated the texture of oatmeal.  It took me going on hunger strike to get the message across that I was serious about not liking them.  As an adult, I finally discovered the recipe above, which makes a truly thick oatmeal, and fixes the texture problem.

This recipe differs from “overnight oats” recipes, because it cooks the oats first.  Overnight oats, by comparison, don’t absorb enough liquid to reach the difficult texture.  But I don't always want “cinnamon-raisin oats in milk.”

Savory Flavors

Garlic and Onion
Add 3/16 tsp of garlic powder, and ¼ tsp onion powder.
Garlic, Onion, and Celery Seed
Use ¼ tsp garlic powder and ⅜ tsp onion powder.  Add one pinch of celery seed.
About 1/16 tsp salt, ¼ tsp rubbed sage, and a pinch of marjoram.  Adding ½ teaspoon of bacon grease, if available, will really round this out.
Taco (Tacoats)
Use a pat of butter (about 1 tsp), and ¼ tsp taco seasoning blend, to taste. Note that the strength of taco seasonings may vary; I tested this recipe with some from a bulk store, and we used to make our own before that.
Peanut Butter
After removing from heat, stir in 3 tablespoons of peanut butter.  Cooked peanut butter does not taste good here.
Macaroni and Cheese (Maca-roats)
After removing from heat, stir in 1 tsp butter, 1½ oz extra sharp cheddar, and ½ oz of a melting cheese, like Monterey Jack, Colby, or mozzarella. Optional: add ⅛ tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1/16 tsp salt, and a pinch each of garlic and onion powder (to taste.)