Add ingredients to a pot: Add oats, water or milk, salt, cinnamon and vanilla (if using) to a pot or saucepan over medium/high heat.
Cook: Bring mixture to a low boil, reduce heat to a low simmer and continue to cook for about 5-7 minutes; stirring occasionally. Oatmeal is ready when the oats have soaked up most of the liquid and are creamy.
Serve with toppings: Transfer to a bowl and add toppings of choice. See flavor ideas below for maple brown sugar, apple cinnamon, banana nut and berry almond.
Maple Brown Sugar
Top oats with maple syrup and brown sugar. Stir into the oats and add a splash of milk (if using).
Top oats with chopped apples and a sprinkle of cinnamon. You can also add some chopped apples to the oats while they're cooking for even more apple flavor or make cooked cinnamon apples like I do for my apple overnight oats.
Top oats with banana slices, toasted walnuts, peanut butter and chia seeds. You can also add the banana slices during the cooking process. The banana will add a ton of flavor and a bit of sweetness to the oatmeal.
Top cooked oatmeal with fresh berries, chopped roasted almonds and chocolate chips, if using. You can also add berries to the oats while they're cooking if you'd like.
Add to a bowl and microwave: Add 1/2 cup oats and 1 cup water or milk into a large microwave-safe bowl and stir to combine. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir and continue to microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each, until the oatmeal is the consistency you like. I usually cook them for a total of 3 minutes, but you’ll know it’s done when most the liquid is absorbed and oats are hot.
Serve with toppings: Carefully remove from microwave (bowl will be hot) and top with your favorite oatmeal toppings. See topping ideas above for maple brown sugar, apple cinnamon, banana nut and berry almond.
Serving: 1bowl made with water (no toppings) | Calories: 153kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 157mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g