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Powerful Oats: My Favorite Warm and Cold Oatmeal Recipes

I am a traveling opera singer, musician, nanny, and writer trying to lead the healthiest life possible.

Discover tasty ways to prepare oats, including both warm and cold (overnight) preparations.

Discover tasty ways to prepare oats, including both warm and cold (overnight) preparations.

3 Classic Porridge (Oatmeal) Recipes

This is my favorite for the fall and winter months. It is a warm, slightly luxurious beginning to the day and can be modified in hundreds of ways depending on what your tastes are. My favorite recipes are as follows:

  1. Berry and Nut Porridge
  2. Apple Pie Porridge
  3. Banana Peanut Butter Porridge

A quick note: Not everyone likes or wants chia and flax seeds in their diet. I always do and am a huge fan of their health benefits and textures in these recipes, but you can carry on with these recipes omitting them if you prefer.

Berry Porridge with Bananas and Super Fruits

Berry Porridge with Bananas and Super Fruits

1. Berry and Nut Porridge

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of oats, whatever your preference of oats may be. My favorite when in the USA is Quaker Instant Oats. They cook quickly, and I am an impatient breakfast chef.
  • Dash of salt (I like pink Himalayan sea salt, but regular cooking/ iodized salt is completely fine).
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • Any berries you have on hand. Frozen berries are also okay for this.
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Mix of seeds and dried raisins, cranberries, goji berries. Often, there is a mix sold in grocery stores or supermarkets called "Superfruit/Seed mix." Go for this.
  • 1 tablespoon coconut shavings.
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1/4 cup honey

Instructions

  1. Combine the oats, berries, salt, spices, chia and flax seeds, coconut and seeds all in one saucepan.
  2. Add the almond milk, stir together, and let sit for about 3-5 minutes without any heat, to allow the chia seeds to plump up.
  3. Cook for about 5-10 minutes on med-low heat, stirring frequently. Do not let the porridge boil.
  4. Add honey and stir thoroughly.
  5. Serve in bowls, top with additional berries (not frozen ones. Anything you have on hand in the fridge). Top with a dash of cinnamon and extra seeds if you wish.

This serves 2 people, max, but the recipe can, of course, be easily doubled for more.

Apple Pie Porridge with Super Fruits and Seeds.

Apple Pie Porridge with Super Fruits and Seeds.

2. Apple Pie Porridge

Mmm my favorite for fall, of course.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 to 2 red apples, diced
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Dash of pie spices if you have these on hand. In the Netherlands, I just use a Koek and Speculoos spice powder. Yummy.
  • Dash salt (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • Crushed walnuts or other nuts (to taste)
  • 1 to 2 dates, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Combine oats and all ingredients except for Maple Syrup and Almond Milk. Mix in a saucepan.
  2. Pour in Almond milk and let sit for 3-5 minutes with heat off to allow the chia seeds to plump up.
  3. Add Maple Syrup and begin stirring the porridge over med-low heat for about 10 minutes. Apple cubes should soften slightly, but not completely.
  4. Serve in bowls, add some remaining nuts to the top if preferred, with a dash of cinnamon.
  5. Less healthy option: Sprinkle brown sugar on top.

Serves 2 people; recipe easily doubled.

3. Banana Peanut Butter Porridge

This is my go-to for any time of year, especially when I am working out harder or have very busy mornings ahead of me. The banana and peanut butter combine beautifully to make a very sweet, healthy breakfast that keeps you full/energized for the whole morning. It requires very little additional sweetener and can even be blended together as a smoothie if you prefer that.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 whole banana, sliced
  • Dash of salt
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Nuts—any you have on hand, chopped finely
  • 1 to 2 dates, chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients except for almond milk and peanut butter in a saucepan.
  2. Pour in almond milk and mix, letting sit with heat off for about 3-5 minutes until chia seeds are plump.
  3. Add 1 TBSP peanut butter and mix on med-low heat for about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Pour into bowls and top with remaining chopped nuts.
  5. Less healthy option: Add another TBSP of honey or brown sugar.

3 Overnight (Cold) Oats Recipes

Overnight oats are always cold, and they can be changed up and altered just like porridge to involve as many or as few super foods to get your day started as you want. Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. Fruit and Yogurt Parfait Oats
  2. Basic Overnight Oats
  3. Chocolate Mousse Oats

1. Fruit and Yogurt Parfait Oats

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • Fruit of choice, sliced: Peaches, bananas or berries are usually best.
  • 1/2 cup or less (depending on your creation) Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon coconut shavings
  • Nuts and dates, finely chopped
  • Almond milk or coconut milk to fill oats
  • Honey or brown sugar to taste

Instructions

  1. Repeat the same instructions as the basic overnight oats—dry ingredients first, and then add the milk as described above. Leave out the nuts and dates, the yogurt, and the fruit for now. Let mixture sit in the milk until oats and chia seeds, etc, have fully absorbed it and plumped up.
  2. Take the oat mixture and dump into a small bowl temporarily.
  3. Sprinkle the slices of fruit with either honey or sugar.
  4. Layer oat mixture in the bottom of the jam jar or mason jar (whatever you use for your overnight oats). should be less than an inch thick.
  5. One layer of the fruit + honey mix on top of the oats. Top with nuts and dates mixture.
  6. One layer of greek yogurt.
  7. Repeat layers until ingredients are gone - ending with one final layer of the fruit and a sprinkle of the nuts and dates, drizzle honey on top.
  8. Let sit in the refrigerator overnight or for 20 minutes before consuming.

2. Basic Overnight Oats

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • Dash of salt
  • Almond or coconut milk (to absorb oats and chia/flax seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • Fruit of choice (bananas, berries, etc.)
  • Seeds/nuts of choice.
  • 1 date finely chopped, if you like.
  • Super powder of choice (spirulina, maca powder, etc. My personal choice is maca).
  • Raw honey (optional)

Instructions

This recipe works best if you have a few empty jam jars, mason jars, or something along those lines. It helps to measure out your portions and compact the oats and milk together well.

  1. I use an empty jam jar, and usually fill it a little more than halfway with the oats (1/2 cup, approximately). I add in all dry ingredients, including the chia and flax seeds and super powders, but leaving out the berries and nuts, milk, or peanut butter/ honey.
  2. Fill the jar up to just where the oats and dry ingredients top up (there should not be too much extra milk to oatmeal ratio). Oats should begin immediately soaking up the almond or coconut milk. Let sit about 5 minutes so that chia seeds will be plump.
  3. Add in Peanut Butter and honey if you are adding that in as well. Mix thoroughly with oats. Add milk if this makes mixture too clumpy. This
  4. Top with fruit, nuts and dates.
  5. Refrigerate overnight, or for 20 minutes before eating if you make the morning of.
  6. Serves 1 person.

3. Chocolate Mousse Oats

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened chocolate powder
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa nibs (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • Walnuts and dates, finely chopped

Instructions

It is easiest to mix everything in a bigger bowl for this recipe, and then divide into mason jars or jam jars overnight.

  1. Mix dry ingredients, flax and chia seeds, chocolate powder, and walnuts and dates together in bowl. Add the milk, and let sit for 5 minutes until chia seeds are plumped.
  2. Add greek yogurt, peanut butter, honey or maple syrup, extract and cocoa nibs. Mix thoroughly. Mix will be very thick.
  3. Divide into jars and sprinkle top with extra cocoa nibs, or add some blueberries and/or bananas if you want. Store in refrigerator overnight.

This recipe really is best when consumed after sitting overnight. The yogurt and milk and oats work together to give it a very smooth, satisfying flavour and texture.

This is a great one to get little kids to eat something a little healthier for dessert after dinner.