How To Reheat Oatmeal For The Creamiest Leftovers

Summer is over and the temperatures are continuing to drop, which means that most of you are switching from your usual cold, yet convenient, overnight oats to hot — if anything, just for the warmth and comfort they provide. This means that rather than simply grabbing your leftovers or whatever you meal prepped from the fridge and going straight in with a spoon, you either will have to make your oats fresh every day or figure out a way to reheat them — and, unfortunately, it's not a simple as just popping them in the microwave.

If you've recently made the switch from cold oats to hot, you've likely run into this issue. Maybe you have leftovers from the morning before, or you simply can't be bothered to make your oats from scratch every single day, whatever the case may be — on a cold morning, you want warm oats. Only, when you put your oats over the stove or in the microwave as they are, the texture all too often comes out gummy, gloopy, and, overall, not as creamy as you expect. The good news is that the solution is simple, and all you need is a couple of tablespoons of milk.

It may sound self-explanatory, but adding a bit of milk to your oatmeal before you reheat it makes a world of a difference. Just like water, the milk will help keep your oatmeal from drying out as it reheats while also giving it the creamiest flavors.

More tips for creamier oats

If you want your leftover oatmeal to be creamy, both before and after reheating it, you have to start with how you prepare it in the first place. This, of course, begins with the type of oats you use. Instant or quick oats break down the most and ultimately provide the creamiest texture. However, by blending them with rolled or steel-cut oats, you'll also get that nice chew. That, of course, leads to how you cook them. For the creamiest results, it's not only recommended that you cook your oats with more liquid, following as much as a 4:1 ratio of liquid to oats, but also that you cook them longer. Generally, that means cooking them for at least 8 minutes.

Beyond what oats you use and how you cook them, you can also add other ingredients to make your oats even creamier. Milk, of course, is one of those ingredients, and it's not uncommon to find oats cooked in both milk and water to get an overall creamier texture. If you don't eat dairy, your go-to alternative milk will work just as well, too — but the options don't stop there. To get even creamier oats, some people like to mix in nut butter as the oatmeal is cooking, and any type will do. Personally, I like to add in a mashed banana, Greek yogurt, or pumpkin puree for a similar effect, while savory oats could benefit from anything from miso paste to hummus.