Healthy Oatmeal that’s super creamy, perfectly sweet, and totally customizable with absolutely no added sugars!
I’ve had many readers (and friends) tell me their kids will only eat oatmeal if they dump in a bunch of sugar. Because oats are so good for us, they are all wondering what is the secret to getting my kids to not only eat it, but to love it.
I’m here to tell you, it is SO EASY! There are a few key tips that will take your breakfast bowl from good to great. And you can customize it however you like!
I have a few oatmeal recipes on the blog already (like my Strawberry Peanut Butter Oatmeal, Chunky Monkey Oatmeal, and Creamy Cranberry Oatmeal), but I wanted to give you a BASIC recipe that you could then add whatever flavors and toppings to that YOU like!
I’ll let you in on a little fact – my kids like SWEET oatmeal, too! But, guess what? There is NO sugar in this recipe…not even pure maple syrup. Yet, it is totally sweet and delicious.
Here’s another fact – they like CREAMY oatmeal. But, guess what? There is NO dairy or even plant milk in this recipe. You’ve probably never had oatmeal this creamy before.
So what IS in this base recipe for healthy oatmeal? Rolled oats, banana, cinnamon, and salt. That’s it!
Nutrition of oats
Oats are a whole grain food that offer a good source of carbs, fiber, protein, iron, zinc, folate, and healthy fats. They are one of the most nutrient dense foods available. [source]
Oats have been said to provide digestive support, stabilize blood sugars, and decrease risk of cardiovascular problems. [source]
Are oats gluten free?
Oats are naturally gluten free, however, they are often harvested and processed using the same equipment as other gluten-containing grains. For this reason, if you have Celiac disease or are gluten-intolerant, it is important to look for oats that are certified gluten free.
What kind of oats should I use?
Browsing the oats section of the grocery store can be a bit confusing if you’re new to using them. There you’ll find oat groats, steel cut oats, Scottish oatmeal, old fashioned rolled oats, quick oats, instant oats, and even oat flour.
For this recipe, you’ll want to grab the old-fashioned rolled oats, not quick or instant. They cook quicker than steel cut, but still retain some texture, unlike quick or instant.
You smash those bananas up on a plate or cutting board until they’re basically pureed. Then you whisk the smashed banana into the water. I wish I could take credit for this brilliant idea, but I learned this tip from the Whole Banana Oatmeal recipe in Rip Esselstyn’s Engine 2 Diet.
ADD YOUR OATS TO COLD WATER!
What? I know! When I first figured out this trick, I couldn’t believe it. I thought you were always supposed to bring the water to a boil and then add the oats. And you can certainly make oatmeal that way, but not super creamy dreamy oatmeal. After your water, smashed banana and oats are in the pan, THEN turn on the heat and bring to a simmer.
Voila! That’s it. Super duper easy. Bananas and cold water are your ticket to sweet creamy oatmeal.
If you are a banana lover, you can stop right here if you want. But the best part of making a big batch of oatmeal like this is that every family member can top their individual bowls any way they like (without NEEDING sugar!).
Fresh fruits, dried fruits, nut butters, chopped nuts and/or seeds, pure maple syrup, spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, whatever your heart desires!
If you are NOT a banana lover (what?) stirring in some nut butter and sprinkling with cinnamon or cocoa should mask the banana flavor, but leave the sweetness! If you are really worried about the banana flavor coming through, use just one banana, instead of two.
Here are some of our favorite combinations for healthy oatmeal bowls:
Fresh berries, hemp hearts and almond butter – my fave!
Peanut butter and chopped apples – my son’s fave!
Nut butter, fresh banana slices, walnuts, and chocolate chips – my daughters’ fave!
More easy breakfast recipes
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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For even more easy family recipes, be sure to check out my cookbook, The Meatless Monday Family Cookbook!
For the Oatmeal
- 3 ¼ cups water
- 2 medium bananas (smashed really well) (use just one if you are not a banana lover)
- 2 cups old fashioned oats, (be sure to use certified gluten free oats for gluten free)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
For the Toppings
- Nut butter
- Chopped nuts or seeds
- Fresh fruit
- Dried fruit
- Spices like more cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger
- Cocoa powder
- Chocolate chips
- Plant milk
- Pure maple syrup
- or whatever else you can think of!
- Smash the bananas until they resemble puree.
- Add the water to a pot on the stove and whisk in the banana until well incorporated.
- Add the oats to the water and THEN turn on the stove to medium-high. As soon as the oatmeal comes to a simmer, turn down the heat to low, add the cinnamon and salt, and cook until desired consistency, stirring occasionally, This takes less than 10 minutes.
- Spoon into individual bowls and top with (or stir in) ingredients of choice.
~This amount is intended to serve 4 adults, but my kids love this so much, it usually only feeds the 3 of them!
~Nutrition facts calculated without toppings.
Serving Size:4 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 246Saturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 7gSugar: 9gProtein: 8g