One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

ASK RONI Q&A

Ask Roni: Help me LOVE Oatmeal!

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Dear Roni

I am a newbie to WW and while I’m eating whole grain cereal I would love to find a way to love oatmeal :) I think it would keep my full longer however I just can’t get myself to like it! I feel I’ve tried it a couple of different ways and it seems to be a texture/consistency issue. Is there a way I haven’t tried that will make ME love oatmeal? I know it would be a better choice for me… HELP!

-Katie

Hi Katie!

I love this question! You’re enthusiasm to try something new and like it despite not liking it is hysterical to me. I can tell you are trying so hard to make better choices and that’s SO AWESOME!

I’m a recent oatmeal lover. It wasn’t until I started making oatmeal for the toddler (when he was a baby) that I even had an interest in it. For some reason when I was feeding him his baby oatmeal the smell just seemed appetizing. I’m not sure why. It never did before. So I purchased some Quaker Weight Control Instant Oatmeal Cinnamon. I’ve always been a cinnamon girl, so why not?

Well, I found it to be alright. If I made it thicker by using less water it was better. I’m definitely NOT a fan of soupy oatmeal. Then one day I put apple sauce in it and fell in love. I called it Apple Pie Oatmeal and it was my gateway oatmeal dish. :)

At that time it was really the only way I ate oatmeal. Then I bought one of these canisters of "Quick Oats". Funny thing was I really didn’t know what to do with it. So I made things with the oatmeal instead of making oatmeal, like

It became my filler over traditional white breadcrumbs. I found that using it with ground turkey especially helped the lean meat stay moist.

All this is probably not helping you Katie. Sorry, sometimes I get side track. :) I did start experimenting with others way to use oatmeal for a more traditional breakfast. Especially because I didn’t want to be dependent on the packets that were more expensive and choc full of stuff my body didn’t really need. So I made up my owned flavored options like…

Recently I decided to move up the oatmeal latter to "Rolled Oats" also known as "Old Fashioned" oats. Making… Old Fashioned Blueberry Oatmeal and my new Homemade Apple Pie Oatmeal to replace the kind made with instant.

Now, if you just can’t get past the oatmeal texture in the traditional sense, there’s always muffin form! Try Berry Oatmeal Cups or my personal favorite, Banana Oatmeal Cups with Chocolate Chips.

My next step is brave the world of Steel Cut Oats. In case you are wonder about the different types of oatmeal this is taken from WHFoods

  • Steel-cut oats: featuring a dense and chewy texture, they are produced by running the grain through steel blades that thinly slices them.
  • Old-fashioned oats: have a flatter shape that is the result of their being steamed and then rolled.
  • Quick-cooking oats: processed like old-fashioned oats, except they are cut finely before rolling
  • Instant oatmeal: produced by partially cooking the grains and then rolling them very thin. Oftentimes, sugar, salt and other ingredients are added to make the finished product.

Popular belief is the Steel Cuts are the "best" as it is the least processed. I say you just need to start somewhere and it sounds like you’re trying!

In case none of my oatmeal ideas sounds appetizing check out these awesome ideas from around the blogosphere…

I hope that gives you some ideas Katie. Thanks so much for your question!

-Roni

OK, who’s got other ideas for Katie?




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Discussion

There are 38 comments so far.

    Mara @ What's For Dinner?

    March 27, 2009

    I was in the SAME boat when I first started WW. I felt like SO MANY of the things that people put in oatmeal made it so Point®-y and it just wouldn’t hold me over.
    First of all, the longer the oats take to cook, the more satisfying they are.
    *Steel cut oats made in a crockpot with cinnamon and peaches are amazing!
    *Rolled oats mixed with a mashed banana, a touch of cocoa powder, splenda, and some PB2 is satisfying, and tastes super decadent!

    Michelle

    March 27, 2009

    Here’s a recipe I’ve used for oatmeal pancakes!

    http://eatingjourney.wordpress.com/2009/01/15/oatmeal-pancakes/

    Michelle

    Sally

    March 27, 2009

    Im just getting started on oatmeal also. Ive never really liked it because the texture just grossed me out. I now use the instant cinnamon roll and instead of adding 3/4 cup of water i use a 1/2 cup. After i microwave it it reminds me of paste.. I know it sounds terrible but it tastes delicious! lol

    Dana

    March 28, 2009

    I think you need to experiment like Roni does. Since I typically eat breakfast and sometimes lunch at my desk while at work, the pre-packaged oatmeal is easy to fix at work for either of those meals. I put cinnamon applesauce (it’s sweetened with splenda) in my oatmeal. That way I get a fruit in without really noticing it, it changes the oatmeal texture a little bit.

    I have found the oatmeal to be very filling. I prefer the peaches and cream flavored oatmeal, the regular or the higher fiber ones. I like bananas but don’t like banana oatmeal or the cinnamon roll flavor. Yes, I’ve wasted alot of oatmeal to figure out which one I like but sometimes that’s the only way! I’ve heard people talk about putting yogurt it in too but I haven’t tried that.

    Courtney

    March 28, 2009

    My absolute 100% favorite is to make quick cooking oats in the microwave with skim milk. I add in a tiny bit of brown sugar and the about 3/4 a cup of frozen blueberries. It is creamy, the perfect temperature and truly delicious!

    LeeAnn

    March 28, 2009

    Make oatmeal muffins with brown sugar, applesauce, and whole wheat flour! They are wonderful!!!! You can find a recipe on Allrecipes.com. Just substitute whole wheat for white flour, brown sugar for white, and applesauce for the oil! You can also add any extras in there. I like to put some cinnamon in mine!

    Annalisa

    March 28, 2009

    Oatmeal – my fav 2-3 times a week brekky!!! :) I loathe the instant quaker crap. I buy the generic rolled oats. I always keep a bag of frozen berries in my freezer. I cook the oats using 1/2 milk and 1/2 water, more milk if you don’t like oatmeal. I’ve weaned myself down. Then in your bowl, add about 1/3 -1/2 cup berries, frozen. Simmer the oatmeal as directed on package, then poor over frozen berries – they’ll cool down the hot oatmeal quick so you can eat it sooner. Add sweetener – I use honey, but sub sweetener works too – and I like chopped almonds for texture, protein, and healthy omega3 fat, but that’s optional too. Cinnamon if you wish. Good luck!

    Laura

    March 28, 2009

    I think it comes down to toppings/mix-ins when it comes to delicious oatmeal! I only use the old-fashioned oats and I only make them on the stove, not in the microwave – I don’t think the texture in the microwave is appealing at all! The other tip I have is to use 1/2 water and 1/2 milk. I think the texture of just water is not great, so I add 1/2 cup of milk and it makes a HUGE difference My favorite toppings/mix-in combo right now is the universally-loved chocolate and peanut butter. 1 TBSP of cocoa powder is only 20 calories and goes a long way in the chocolate flavor department. I also add frozen raspberries, orange zest, flax and top with a scoop of peanut butter – Delicious!!!!

    Stacey

    March 28, 2009

    my MIL eats oatmeal EVERYDAY for breakfast, and the way she makes it is really good! She uses the (non instant) Large Flake Quaker Oats. She follows their microwave directions from the package, then adds her own fat free/sugar free yogurt (she uses peach, but you can use whatever flavour you like!) and all bran buds to the oats once they are cooked. I was never a big fan of oatmeal before I tried her oatmeal, and it was CREAMY and delicious!!! I am now doing this myself because of the amazing health benefits…

    Stacey

    March 28, 2009

    I find that there are many foods that I dont like not because of how they taste but due to their texture. But I realized that there are many foods that are good for me that I would like to like, such as oatmeal. So I decided to attach each food one by one.

    They say it takes 21 days to make a habit. I took this idea and forced myself to eat the item every single day for at least 21 days. I did this with oatmeal and I must say it was quite difficult. And I was not able to finish the entire bowl at first. However, as I kept eating it, it kind of grew on me. By the end of 2 weeks I’d say, I was in love with it. And I was amazed with this result. I began to crave it and had to eat it everyday because I craved it. What a change!

    I have also done this with bananas and cottage cheese. These foods are now staples of my diet. I highly recommend this approach. If you have the desire to like the food, let that carry you through.

    Nicole

    March 28, 2009

    I love oatmeal, all kinds. As I’ve started eating the less processed kinds, the pre-sweetened instant varieties are less appealing, but that’s where I started.

    DH will only eat steel cut oatmeal. The texture is quite different from ‘regular’ oatmeal–I encourage you to give it a try. You can get about a cup from a bulk bin at Whole Foods for less than 50 cents, so if you hate it you haven’t wasted much. Make it on the stovetop the first time around as I have heard mixed results on crockpot recipes.

    Mix in whatever you think sounds good! I always add splenda/stevia and cinnamon, and dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, blueberries, peaches, apricots, etc.) or frozen (peaches, berries) and sometimes fresh (overripe banana and peanut butter or almond butter is awesome but can be pointy).

    I will second the banana oatmeal cups :) I made mine with 4 smaller bananas and added 1/4 cup of splenda since they weren’t as overripe as I would have wanted them to be. Best muffin cups ever, and I’ve been making them since Roni first posted them!

    Tammy

    March 28, 2009

    I like oatmeal in cookies! Just kidding. Well, I do, but that’s not the issue here.

    Annette

    March 28, 2009

    I LOVE oatmeal……even uncooked……..I am hooked~

    Liesl

    March 28, 2009

    Hi Katie!
    I love oatmeal…always have, and my Mom didn’t even let us kids put brown sugar on it…I must be weird.
    But anyways, I pretty much love anything made with oatmeal too. But recently I found a fabulous recipe for a really healthy chewy oatmeal bar that is baked with dried fruit and natural sweetners…it is fabulous!!
    I made them, and my husband at them like they were going out of style.

    They are great snacks but at just 115 calories and 1.5g fat per square you could easily eat two of them heated for a short time in the microwave with a little skim milk poured over the top! Yum!!
    Also, each square packs 4g of protein and 2.5g of fiber.

    I would be glad to email you the recipe if you would like, just email me at lmcm_4@yahoo.com

    I encourage you, keep trying things with your oatmeal, it’s really a fabulous food and so versatile.
    Have a great weekend!!!

    anna

    March 28, 2009

    i like plain instant oatmeal made with 2/3cup milk in microwave. after its done i add 1tsp of peanut butter and 2 regular chocolate hershey kisses, for yummy PB-chocolate oatmeal. satisfies my sweet tooth and keeps me feeling full for hours!

    Nathalie

    March 28, 2009

    Have you tried uncooked oatmeal as cereal?

    Despite trying again and again different ways of preparing the oatmeal over the last year or so, with different toppings and spices and textures, I just can’t get myself to eat cooked oatmeal. I just don’t like the mushy texture (I’m a crunchy kind of girl). I love oatmeal in baking, such as oatmeal bread or Roni’s banana oatmeal cups (you have to try them!!), but when it comes to plain oatmeal for breakfast the only way I can eat it is uncooked.

    You can mix it with other cereals to make a homemade muesli that you can top with fresh or dried fruits and nuts like almond slivers (my grandmother used to do this all the time, maybe that’s why I like it this way) or you can try it my favourite way:

    Top 1/2 cup plain or vanilla non-fat yogurt with 1/4-1/3 cup raw oatmeal and a ton of berries! You can add a drizzle of honey or sweetner if you use plain yogurt since it’s less sweet than vanilla. You get your oatmeal, a portion or more of fruits, protein and calcium all in one bowl! You can use any kind of plain oatmeal you like (I use Quaker old fashion), but I’d recommend not to use the oatmeal packets for this since they are packed with salt and other stuff.

    Lisa H

    March 28, 2009

    Uncooked is the way to go. I use instant oats, and add slices of banana – I used to add raisins – a few almonds, cinnamon, and soy milk. It is sooooo good and fills you up. And you don’t need sugar.

    Krista S.

    March 28, 2009

    I have a love-hate relationship with oats. The texture bothers me almost always, even the steel cut, but sometimes I can get over it and just eat it. What really grosses me out is when it gets too “creamy”. Yuck. And honestly, it doesn’t really keep me full like a breakfast with egg whites does. I say, if you don’t like something, don’t freaking force yourself to eat it especially after multiple tries of it. Move on to something you DO like and enjoy every bite of it. That’s my two cents.

    Laura

    March 28, 2009

    Steel Cut Oatmeal was my answer. I dont like the texture of all the others. The steel cut even once cooked has a great texture for me. Plus I can flavor it any way I want.

    kristisummer

    March 28, 2009

    I was never a huge fan, but I have always loved Cream of Wheat. Just recently, my new love is Irish oatmeal yum. But now I got to try that pumpkin recipe of yours. thanks.

    Cara

    March 28, 2009

    I used to love oatmeal but I got sick of it eating it morning after morning. It got so that I almost couldn’t swallow. It was mushy, gooey and just stuck in my mouth like glue.

    So I tried something I read on a fellow blogger’s site a while back and it TOTALLY changed the way I look at oatmeal. I will never eat it any other way, now. Here is it…

    Soak quick oats in vanilla almond milk (Almond Breeze) for about 10-15 minutes then eat.

    It’s that easy.

    It’s not gooey, clumpy, or anything. It’s light a refreshing. It’s cool. It’s sweet. You don’t need to add sweetener, honey, berries, or any kind of flavorings to try and hide the oatmeal flavor. The sweet almond milk brings out it’s best potential.

    I’ve tried it with vanilla soy milk and with skim milk and it’s okay. You’ll probably have to add some honey or sweetener to it because it won’t be as sweet as the vanilla almond milk.

    The best thing is, for 1 cup of oats and 1 cup of almond milk, it’s only 3 points!! :D

    Linda

    March 28, 2009

    I love oatmeal (especially the flavored kinds) mixed in with lowfat vanilla yougart. Yum! Depending on the flavor, it can be good mixed with strawberry yougart too. Enjoy!

    Farah

    March 28, 2009

    Everyone had such amazing ideas! Katie’s probably got so many ideas now she doesn’t even know where to start! I skimmed through them all to try and make sure I wasn’t repeating anyone’s idea, but I didn’t see it here.

    I do well when on a high-protein diet, something I figured out through trial and error. :) Well, I’ve always liked oatmeal but a few years ago when I did Body For Life for a while there was an idea to put cottage cheese (very high in protein) in the oatmeal. And I’ve been eating it that way ever since! I love the extra texture it gives the oatmeal. So I make it with about 1/3 cup of oatmeal (quick-cooking) and then after it is cooked I add about a 1/3 cup of cottage cheese, some sugar, a little milk if it is still too thick, and some cinnamon. I also love it with some fruit added in.

    I guess this only works if you like cottage cheese, but I’ve never really liked cottage cheese plain. But I love it in my oatmeal! Everyone I’ve ever told thought it sounded gross, but it isn’t!

    Anyway, good luck finding something that works for you, Katie!

    Jennifer

    March 28, 2009

    I forced myself to love oatmeal, too, and now I’m glad I did! My favorite combo is “plain old fashioned” oats cooked on the stovetop with 1/2 water, 1/2 skim milk. I add a pinch of brown sugar, some vanilla extract, generous sprinkles of cinnamon… and then toppings :) Usually it’s some nuts (sliced almonds or walnuts), fruit (blueberries are my favorites!), and a couple Tbs of homemade granola. So yummy :)

    My new favorite way to eat oatmeal is Baked Oatmeal. After seeing several recipes and wondering about what it would be like, I had it served to me at a friend’s house for brunch. It was DELICIOUS! I use this Cooking Light recipe which makes about 6 servings rather than the suggested 5. Each serving is 5 WW points. You can eat it warm with some milk overtop with fruit… or it’s delicious as is. Try it! )
    http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=549848

    TheSkinnyPlate

    March 28, 2009

    Oatmeal is really a blank canvas and you add ingredients and toppings to your liking. Everyone’s taste is different, so just so a little trial and error. I personally LOVE oatmeal and I could eat it everyday!! So many different possibilities!!

    Sara

    March 29, 2009

    I have a baked oatmeal recipe on my site that I make that is wonderful! Check it out if you would like :)

    Jessica

    March 29, 2009

    I love straight oatmeal with just a dash of salt. I would probably eat wallpaper paste too! Sometimes bland is just fine with me. I actually craved it that way when I was nursing. (somewhere I read about oatmeal affecting milk production…Ok TMI! lol) Off topic, I clicked on the Best Ever Oatmeal Bread link, I discovered a whole new world!! I’m now subscribing to Alana’s recipes. I just love her site! Not as much as yours of course ;p, Thank you so much!!!!!!!!

    Susan

    March 29, 2009

    I have oatmeal almost every week day morning. I put a tbsp of peabutter and 1 tsp of jam into my cooked (not soupy) oatmeal. Yum – it is a great way to start my day and it really tides me over until lunch.

    Sheila

    March 29, 2009

    I stir in a packet of WW vanilla shake and a small box of raisins to 1/2 cup of oatmeal. Add water and microwave for 90 seconds. This is 4 points and you get a full milk and fruit serving.

    Lyn

    March 29, 2009

    If you haven’t tried Scottish Oats, they are to die for! I got the kind in a bag, called Bob’s Red Mill Stone Ground Scottish Oats. The texture is to die for! It is not rolled, it is the same as steel cut but is stone ground. Soooo good, and cooks on the stove in 10 minutes.

    Lola Fierce

    March 30, 2009

    Katie – you must check out the Tribute to Oatmeal on KathEats.com. She has oatmeal almost everyday and has made me a lover of it. I was not all about it until I started seeing her eat it so delicious. Seriously, check it out.

    sara p

    March 30, 2009

    I love the steel cut oats. The texture is VERY different from regular gummy oats. You can make a batch (since they take time to cook) and then just put them in your fridge and measure it out when you need it. I just reheat in the microwave and put traditional brown sugar, milk and cinnamon. I have been known to throw in a few blackberries, walnuts, craisins or other fruit when I have it.

    Rachel

    March 30, 2009

    A lot of really good ideas here! I personally love a creamier texture to my oatmeal but if you like the crunch of multigrain cereal, maybe you should try a half serving of oatmeal and top it with a half serving of crunchy multigrain cereal (and some fruit!) as a way to “transition” to eating oatmeal. I also recommend a visit to KathEats.com, she has a lot of ideas for oatmeal.

    Adi (oatonomy.com)

    March 30, 2009

    Katie, I *adore* oatmeal. It’s truly my favourite food! I hope that you can come to love it too!

    Oat bran is another great breakfast to try and I find it keeps me fuller even longer than oatmeal. It’s a creamier texture but just as fun to add toppings to.

    You can swing by my blog if you want and maybe that will give you some more oats inspiration? Good luck with pursuing your oatmeal passion! :)

    Katie

    April 1, 2009

    Hi Everyone… I’m the Oatmeal Katie :) and just wanted to say how much I appreciate Roni’s post and all of your comments. I printed out everything and I’ll be systematically trying them out. Like Roni I like cinnamon so I tried the instant route this week as a gateway :) I haven’t tried it yet but I’ll be posting my oatmeal exploration on my blog so feel free to follow along. Thanks again to all of you for sharing your thoughts and suggestions. I appreciate it!!

    Annalisa

    April 3, 2009

    Just don’t microwave!

    Paula

    October 2, 2009

    I, too, loathe oatmeal. However, I’ve been trying to eat it for a long time because I just couldn’t ignore the health benefits. This is my version of a recipe I found in a women’s magazine. I have it every morning of my life for breakfast, and it feels like I’m indulging in a milkshake. In my smoothie maker (a blender will work), I put 10 oz skim milk, a cup of frozen fruit (usually peaches, strawberries, blueberries–whatever I have on hand), 2 T Splenda, and one pkg. of plain instant oatmeal). It is delicious! You do need to swirl it around in your cup every few minutes to keep the oatmeal from settling on the bottom. So easy, inexpensive, nutritious, filling and DELICIOUS!

    Teresa

    January 2, 2010

    OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIE OATMEAL

    If you love the cookies, this is a great one. A dash of vanilla extract, plenty of cinnamon, bit of stevia or honey– a small handful of raisins sweetens this up so that you really don’t need much sweetener. I like to add milled flax seed to mine for a nice texture/color and of course the benefits of the flax.