Can You Reheat Oatmeal?


Oatmeal can make for a delicious and very nutritional breakfast. In the morning do you also find yourself in a rush, not having enough time to cook something for yourself? So many times we opt for quick fixes in breakfast which might not be a very healthy option. I sometimes skip breakfast simply because in the morning when there is already a time constrain and stress for the workday ahead, making breakfast seems like too much of a hassle. Have you tried making oatmeal in advance and reheating it later?

Can you reheat oatmeal?

Yes, you can. It is perfectly safe to reheat oatmeal. You can have a nutritional and delicious breakfast in the morning if you simply make oatmeal the night before. Simply cook the oatmeal and reheat it whenever you feel neccessary in a microwave or the stove top.

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Can you prepare oatmeal in advance?

Yes, you can. There are a couple of ways to prepare your oatmeal in advance and reheat it later on. Whether you have quick fix oatmeal or the old fashioned porridge, you can make it ahead of time.

Take your desired amount of oatmeal and soak it in a liquid such as milk (if you intend to eat it the next morning) or water. You can put this in the refrigerator overnight and take it out in the morning and reheat it in the microwave or the stove. Soaking reduces the cooking time.

You can also prepare it in its entirety and put it in the refrigerator. You can make a huge batch for the entire week and divide it into portions or keep it in one container together, whichever option seems more feasible for you.

Remember to allow your oatmeal to cool down before you put it in the refrigerator. If you are making it in advance for the entire week, it is better to refrain from soaking it. Cook it completely. Another thing to keep in mind is to never leave it out on the countertop overnight because that will increase the risk of bacterial contamination. Even if you have a very early morning, keep it in the refrigerator. 

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How can you reheat oatmeal?

If it is soaked or cooked completely, you can reheat it in the microwave or on the stove.

Microwave: Take the container with oatmeal out of the refrigerator and if it is microwave-friendly put it directly in the microwave or transfer it to a microwave-friendly container. Heat it for a few minutes depending on your microwave. It should be piping hot. Stir well. Add a little water or milk to fix its texture because the oatmeal overnight in the fridge absorbs the liquid and becomes very soggy. Add toppings of your choice.

Stove: Put the precooked or fully prepared oatmeal in a saucepan and heat it gradually while stirring. Add liquid such as water or milk to keep it from getting soggy and make it fresh again. Bring this to a boil.

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How can you make reheated oatmeal interesting? 

There are a number of ways you can make your oats interesting. If you are preparing them ahead of the week and you have oatmeal every day for the entire week it can become a little monotonous. To make them interesting you can add a number of things while reheating.

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You can add a banana while it is on the stove and mash it in the oatmeal. It will give it a nice sticky sweet texture and taste. You can also add nuts of your choice such as almonds, walnuts, raisins, cashews. You can add peanut butter, almond butter. You can also add Nutella if you love chocolate and that delicious hazelnut flavor. It will give it a unique edge to your ordinary boring oatmeal. Other than that you can add yogurt, Greek yogurt, maple syrup, flaxseeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds. Add fruits of your choice. You can also add a fried egg on top if you love eggs in breakfast like me. 

Oatmeal can give you a lot of nutritional benefits. It is a rich and healthy meal that can give you the energy that you need. With so many healthy options to top it with, reheated oatmeal can give you just as much satisfaction as a fresh one.

How can you store cooked oatmeal?

If you have some leftover cooked oatmeal or you prepared it in advance, to keep it fresh and edible you must store it properly.

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Refrigerator: Cooked oatmeal in the refrigerator can last for up to five days. Cover it well or put it in an airtight container. Make sure that your oatmeal has cooled down before you place it in the fridge.

Freezer: If you do not think you will be able to consume your oatmeal in the next few days, you should opt for freeing it instead of throwing it out. Avoid wasting food as much as you possibly can. Cooked oatmeal in the freezer can last for up to three months. Keep it in an airtight container or a freezer plastic zip lock bag. If you are freezing your pre-prepared oatmeal, avoid putting in the add-ons such as fruits, yogurts, etc. as that will reduce its life. In addition to that, when you are reheating, these add-ons will taste and feel soggy. To revive frozen cooked oatmeal, it is best to add your favorite toppings when you are reheating.

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Dehydrator: If the option of a refrigerator or freezer is not available, you can also put it in a dehydrator. Once your oatmeal is dehydrated, store it in a dry, cool place with minimum light. It will last for two or more months.

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Can oatmeal go bad?

Yes, it most certainly can. Oatmeal essentially lasts for years (one to ten years depending on different types of oatmeal) in an airtight sealed container. Rolled oats can last for about seven or more months. Cooked oatmeal lasts for four or more days in the fridge and three months in the freezer, after which it can go bad.

How can you tell if oatmeal has gone bad?

You can tell that your oatmeal has gone bad by its smell, the way it looks, or by its texture. If it has a strange foul smell, it means it is time to discard it. See for any signs of discoloration or mold growing. That is a clear indicator that it is time you throw it out.

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Can you eat oatmeal that was out on the countertop overnight?

You should not. If you are not going to be consuming it at the moment, put it in the refrigerator or the freezer. Do not leave it out overnight as bacteria can grow in it as it is a moist environment. Eating such a porridge can give you food poisoning.

Here is an in-depth article regarding the health benefits of oatmeal!

Can you eat cooked oatmeal cold?

You can consume oatmeal warm or cold. Oatmeal as cereal soaked in milk is often eaten in breakfast. Especially in the summer you can get oatmeal flakes and have a delicious breakfast by soaking these in milk. You can also consume them cold and raw in milkshakes and smoothies. Nothing beats a warm bowl of porridge with your favorite toppings as a healthy and nutritional breakfast. It depends on your choice, whether you want them hot or cold.

How long should you soak oats before eating?

Oats are difficult to digest. This is why we soak them in water or milk. It is best to soak them for more than eleven hours or leave them soaked overnight. Quick or instant oatmeal does not need to be soaked for that long but it is not a healthy option. If you are planning to make them ahead of time, might as well go for the healthier option. Just put in the mixture you want to soak your oats in, cover it, and put it in the refrigerator. Soaking them also reduces the cooking time so it’s a win-win.

Do oatmeal change texture when reheated?

Yes, oatmeal absorbs the liquid it is placed in be it water or milk. As it absorbs the moisture, it changes its texture as well. Precooked oatmeal soaked in water or milk keeps on absorbing the liquid for as long as it is placed in it. This is why it becomes soggy and mushy. This is why, while reheating you should add milk or water while you bring your porridge to boil.

Is the daily in-take of oatmeal healthy? Read this article and find out!

Wrapping up!

Now that you know you can reheat oatmeal, you can have a nutritional delicious breakfast even on those busy mornings when it seems like you will not have enough time. Plan for the entire week ahead of time and prepare your oatmeal for the entire week. It will not be boring. Trust me. With different add-ons every day, you will enjoy this healthy breakfast a lot. No more skipped breakfasts and on the run unhealthy meals.

I hope you find this article helpful and it makes you incorporate healthier breakfast options with reheated oatmeal that you can still make interesting and taste fresh.

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