If you cooked oatmeal this morning only to be disappointed with a watery, unappetizing mush, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, I’m sharing ingredients and tips on how to thicken oatmeal and doctor it up into a heartier, better-tasting breakfast with great texture.
Oatmeal has a ton of health benefits, and you can enjoy it in so many ways: overnight oats, protein oats, and even savory oatmeal. No wonder it’s a favorite ingredient for healthy and delicious breakfasts.
If the idea of oatmeal recalls memories of gluey mush you had to force down for breakfast, let me assure you it doesn’t have to be that way.
Keep scrolling and you’ll find some great ways to doctor up gloopy or watery oatmeal and turn it into something you’ll wake up excited to eat.
Is Oatmeal Supposed to Be Watery?
When cooked correctly, oatmeal should have a hearty, slightly chewy texture and creamy consistency. It should never be watery or ‘gluey’.
If the pot of oats you just made didn’t turn out, try adding one of the ingredients listed below to help absorb excess liquid, enhance the texture, and improve flavor.
Plus, each option adds a nutritional benefit to make your bowl of oats more satiating and nutritious.
1. Protein Powder
Protein powder can add up to 20 grams of protein and does a terrific job of absorbing excess liquid quickly. You’ll want to stir in the protein powder once the oatmeal is cooked and removed from heat; otherwise, it will clump and give them a grainy texture.
Make sure to add a flavor of protein powder you enjoy, chocolate, vanilla, birthday cake- I’ll let you decide. Go here to learn more about the benefits of protein powder and my top choices for recipes like this.
2. Coconut Flour
Coconut flour contains a lot of fiber, making it highly absorbent. To thicken your oatmeal with coconut flour, add a tablespoon of flour per serving of oats and let it sit for a minute. Check back, and you’ll notice the improvement in consistency and increase in volume.
3. Egg Whites
Egg whites enhance oatmeal with a fluffier texture and up to 7 grams of protein (if using the recommended 2 egg whites per serving of oats).
To do this, remove the cooked oatmeal from heat and add the whisked raw egg whites. Stir for 2 minutes or until everything is combined. You should not see any specks of white. The oatmeal will be smooth, and the eggs whites undetectable.
No worries, this is safe. The whites cook in the hot oatmeal without ‘scrambling’. You can also do this with egg whites from a carton, you’ll need about ⅓ cup.
4. Nut Butter
This one is a favorite of mine! Nut butter has a super thick texture which carries over when you add it to oatmeal. You can use any of your favorite options such as peanut butter (my favorite!), almond butter, or a nut butter alternative.
5. Flax Meal
Flax meal is a natural thickening agent made from ground flaxseeds. They are an excellent source of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and are sure to doctor up watery oats. Stir them into cooked oatmeal, let it rest a minute or 2, and check back- the oats should be more cohesive.
You can also use any of these ingredients, with the exception of egg whites, to thicken oatmeal made in the microwave or with quick oats. Just stir them into the bowl, give it a minute or two, and check on the texture. You may need to microwave the oats for an additional minute.
The reason for not using egg white on microwaved oatmeal is for texture purposes. If they aren’t stirred properly into the oatmeal, you could end up with bits of scrambled egg. It’s easier to do correctly on the stove-top.
How to Make Thick Oatmeal
If you haven’t started cooking and are browsing for easy ways to thicken oatmeal, I’ve got more delicious ingredients you can add while cooking to increase volume and achieve that desired texture.
For less than 50 calories, ⅓ cup of pumpkin pureé will stretch the oats and gives you another excuse to bring out the pumpkin pie spice.
Another healthier way to add volume without excess calories. You only need about ½ a banana. Save the other half to slice and top the oats. While you are at it, add a dash of cinnamon and brown sugar, to enhance the banana flavor.
Choose your oats
Use steel-cut or old-fashioned oats. Quick oats tend to be mushier. I go with old-fashioned oats for most mornings, which turn out super creamy.
If you prefer heartier oatmeal with a little more ‘bite’, steel-cut oats are the best option, but they take longer to cook.