Oatmeal: hot or cold

In trying to eat healthy and provide a good example for my kids, I recently returned to an old breakfast staple of mine: oatmeal.

Since my childhood, oatmeal has figured highly in my life. It’s a comfort food to many. There’s just something about it’s warm, creamy texture lightly sweetened with honey, maple syrup or brown sugar that helps start any day off on a good foot. But I’m especially fond of the hot cereal because of my mom.

Every morning, before my sisters and I would wake up, she would get up and start breakfast. She only cooked breakfast ever other day. The in-between days we would have cold cereal like Cheerios or Rice Krispies. I remember coming into the kitchen on hot cereal mornings and hoping she had made oatmeal. She makes the best oatmeal. I don’t know how she does it, but to this day I can’t get my oatmeal as creamy as hers.

Now, everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But I’ve been known to eat oatmeal for breakfast, lunch and dinner (not all on the same day). It’s healthy. It fills me up. And it’s got that stick-to-your-ribs quality that keeps you feeling full so you don’t snack on unhealthy, unneeded foods later.

One thing about eating a lot of oatmeal though is I get tired of cooking it. And who wants to eat hot oatmeal in the hot summer months? Plus, eating it hot when you’re in a rush is not a good idea lest you burn your mouth. (That has happened to me more times than I care to admit.)

So I was thrilled to receive some cold oatmeal recipes by Maria Zoitas, creator of Westside Market NYC’s “Maria’s Homemade” line of prepared foods.

I started with Maria’s Homemade Cinnamon Apple Banana Cold Oatmeal.


  • 6 oz plain applesauce
  • Cinnamon
  • 4 slices of banana
  • 1 oz honey
  • 24 oz Silk Very Vanilla*
  • 4 oz granola
  • 11 oz Quaker oats

Preparation (Serves 4)

  1. Pour the granola and Quaker oats into the bowl, then add the milk and mix together.
  2. Add in the applesauce and cinnamon into the bowl, along with the honey and mix together.
  3. Pour the mixture into 12 oz cups, then sprinkle with cinnamon and top with sliced bananas.

*I didn’t have any vanilla soy milk on hand, so I used plain soy milk and added a tiny splash of vanilla extract. Still very good, although I suspect with vanilla soy milk, it would have been a bit sweeter.

Beyond breakfast, this made an excellent mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack. Filling, healthy and delicious.

Next on my list to try is Maria’s Homemade Coconut Raisin cold Granola Oatmeal.


  • 4 oz golden raisins
  • 7 oz coconut milk
  • 2 oz coconut sweetened
  • 4 oz granola
  • 11 oz Quaker oat
  • 24 oz Silk Very Vanilla

Preparation (Serves 4)

  1. Pour the granola and Quaker oats into the bowl, then add the Very Vanilla milk and mix together.
  2. Add in the raisins, coconut milk and coconut sweetened into the bowl, along with the honey and mix together.
  3. Pour the mixture into 12 oz cups, and then top with raisins and coconut flakes.

Sounds yummy. I can’t wait for breakfast tomorrow.

And guess what? My son really liked the cold oatmeal, too. I made his with cinnamon, dried apricots and 1/2 a teaspoon of brown sugar.

I didn’t get fancy with the way I served my cold oatmeal dishes. But these pictures, provided with the recipes, are stunning representations of a cold oatmeal morning. Maybe I’ll fancy up my presentation for breakfast next weekend. Like my daughter’s favourite book character, Fancy Nancy, would say, “Oatmeal doesn’t have to be plain. It can be fancy, too.”

Nuts and berries with cold oatmeal

Nuts and berries with cold oatmeal

Raspberries and cold oatmeal in a wine glass

18 thoughts on “Oatmeal: hot or cold

  1. Sis

    Those look really good, we just got a rice cooker and I’ve been using it to make oatmeal in. I can make it the night before and it is hot and ready in the morning.

  2. memyselfandkids

    I go through phases with oatmeal. However, for me, I make the instant. I’m sure it is not as good as the ones you have written about which look great.
    However, for this impatient non-cook, instant will have to do.

    1. Nancy Post author

      Yeah, I hear ya. If I could stomach the taste of the instant, that’s the way I would probably go too. I don’t have a lot of time and the quicker something cooks, the better. But growing up with my mom’s oatmeal, I just can’t get that instant oatmeal down. And I’ve done it to my kids too. They won’t instant when we go visiting family out of town and that’s all that is offered.

  3. Isabel

    Nancy: I can get you a recipe for slow cooker oatmeal made with steel cut oats if you’d like it. I haven’t tried it but have heard rave reviews on it. Let me know.

    1. Nancy Post author

      And it turns out, with the right seasonings, it’s good cold, too. Which makes it much easier for me to cart to work for that mid-morning snack.

  4. Pingback: Oat Milk | Life Takes Over

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