If you’re like me, a bowl of oatmeal is a delicious and nutritious way to start the day. Preparing oatmeal can take anywhere from 5 to 25 minutes depending on the oats you use, but there isn’t always enough time in the morning. Many people, like me, prefer old-fashioned oats to quick oats, and that means about 25 minutes of cook time. What if you could make the oatmeal ahead of time and just reheat it in the morning? That would be a lifesaver, wouldn’t it? And that’s it.
Oatmeal is one of the dishes I make regularly. They will easily keep for 5 days in the fridge and you can freeze the rest for later. Freezing requires no extra effort aside from transferring the oatmeal to containers and tossing it in the freezer. That means you can try it with your next batch of oatmeal and see how you like the result.
How do you freeze oatmeal?
- Cook the oatmeal. Follow the recipe you usually use. I cook mine in a slow cooker with some chopped apples, but the recipe isn’t that important. If you like to add fresh fruit to your oatmeal during cooking, don’t add it right away. If you freeze the fruit, its texture will change and the flavor will suffer. Instead, add the fruit as you reheat.
- cooldown. Let the oatmeal cool to room temperature. If the freezer container you intend to use can hold hot food, you can transfer the oatmeal into the containers immediately. In small containers, the temperature of oatmeal drops faster than in a large pot.
- Portion oatmeal into containers. Since you can’t thaw half a container, make sure each container contains a flour-sized amount of rolled oats. The easiest way to divide the oatmeal into servings is to multiply your recipe by X and then divide the cooked oatmeal into X containers. Leave some headroom in each container in case the oatmeal expands as it freezes. Add a name and date label to each container if needed.
- Throw the containers in the freezer.
That’s it. The procedure is really simple and takes little extra time. Now let’s look at how to defrost and reheat the oatmeal.
How do you defrost oatmeal?
Here are some options for defrosting frozen oatmeal:
- Overnight in the fridge. The standard food thawing method also works well with oatmeal. Put the container out of the freezer and into the fridge in the evening. In the morning, the porridge is completely thawed. Place it on a plate so you don’t have to wipe the thawed water off the shelf.
- On the counter. If you forgot to put the oatmeal in the fridge in the evening, all is not lost. If you have about an hour, depending on the amount of oatmeal and the shape of the container, you can let the container thaw at room temperature. To speed up the process even more, you can immerse the container in cold or lukewarm water. Reheat the thawed gruel immediately after defrosting.
- Microwave. Microwave defrosting is always an option, although not the healthiest. Use the defrost setting and defrost in small time increments. Put a glass of water in the microwave to keep the oatmeal from drying out.
Read Also: Can you freeze Brussels sprouts?
How do you heat oatmeal?
Reheating oatmeal on the stovetop takes a few minutes, and there’s no point in rushing it. Attempting to rush the process will only result in burnt oatmeal.
- Start over low heat and add a few teaspoons of water or milk. We start on low heat, so if the porridge is not completely thawed, it still has some time to finish the process. Some liquid in the form of water or milk is needed to keep the oatmeal from burning. Add the rolled oats and mash them with a fork and mix with the water or milk you added. Make sure it’s mixed well. Add more water or milk as needed to get the consistency you want, but make sure to add it in small increments, about 1 to 2 teaspoons at a time. If you add too much, you’ll end up with either runny oatmeal or a longer cook time.
- Turn the heat to medium and warm the oatmeal to the desired temperature. Be sure to stir it as often as possible to avoid burning. There’s no need to bring the oatmeal to a boil, just make sure it’s warm enough to eat.
- Enjoy your oatmeal.