Want Breakfast or Suhur That Keeps You Full Longer? Make This 10-Minute Oatmeal

Looking for something that will keep you full longer to eat for suhur in Ramadan, or just a better breakfast alternative? Consider oatmeal with whatever else you’re having. It’s healthy, fills you up, and when made right can actually taste really good. And with my recipe, you can make it in under 10 minutes. Sounds like the breakfast of champions to me.

Why oatmeal is such a good choice

I know. You are immediately uninterested and plan to close this article unless it mentions steak or a burger. But consider this. Oatmeal can help you eat more steaks and burgers, because of what it does for your health.

And on top of all that, oatmeal is delicious when done right. And its very nature is that it’s a base. The classic mix-ins are maple syrup or honey and toasted nuts. But you can add whatever you want that makes it taste good, and we’ve got some excellent variations you can try out that won’t add any time to the cooking process.

Plus, oatmeal can be made fast and easy. My version uses a few ingredients in a simple proportion and takes only 10 minutes from start to finish. Since time is a huge commodity in everyone’s mornings, especially for people eating suhur before fasting, this is huge.

This is what sealed the deal for incorporating oatmeal into my breakfast and much as I can as well as into my suhur when I fast in Ramadan: Healthy, filling, delicious, and quick? Sounds like the breakfast of champions, to me. Here’s how it’s done.

Choose the right oat: Rolled (Old Fashioned)

[Photography: Saqib Shafi]

For this recipe, we’ll go with good ol’ fashioned or rolled oats. In the world of oats, they are the most balanced and versatile oat out there. While steel-cut is popular choice nowadays, they take 30 minutes to fully cook. Rolled oats, on the other hand, require only 5 minutes of cooking time, making this 10-minute recipe work. A few minutes of prep, 5 minutes of cooking, a few more minutes to flavor and rest. 10 minutes total start to finish.

To all the health nuts: don’t worry. You’re not getting any less nutrition by using rolled oats instead of steel-cut. According to Harold McGee in his book On Food and Cooking, all varieties of oats provide the same amount of nutritional value. You can use the new quick-cooking steel-cut oats found in stores if you want. I like having rolled oats on hand because they can easily be added into other recipes like cookies.

Now, on to cooking.

Step 1: Bring the oats to a boil (3 mins)


Into a pot goes equal parts oats, water, and milk. This combo has provided me the best texture and flavor, and is so easy to remember, too. In our house, we prefer whole milk, but anything you got is fine. Turn the heat down to cook the oats to a steady simmer, bubbling well, but not crazy.

Step 2: Cook until thick (5 mins)


Stirring the mixture occasionally, cook the oatmeal until the it thickens to a consistency that’s thick but still creamy. You’ve reached this point when a rubber spatula dragged across the bottom leaves a trail that fills back in slowly.

Step 3: Add salt and mix-ins, cover and let rest (2 mins)


Take the pan off heat and add stir in salt for flavor as well as the sweeteners and mix-ins that you like.


Then just cover, and let sit for a couple minutes to let things settle down and thicken up just a little more. If you plan to add nuts, you can toast them in the microwave for just about a minute while the oatmeal rests, adding no extra time.

See how fast and easy that was? 10 minutes total. It make take a bit longer on your first try, but I’m sure after a bit you’ll get it down.


Now for the fun part: flavor your oatmeal however you like. This is the selling point for those packets of instant oatmeal you can buy. Only with my recipe, you take the flavor into your own hands.

Maple syrup and brown sugar


It’s a classic for a reason. The combination of the molassesy brown sugar (I use dark) and maple syrup were almost made for oatmeal. And if you add salt like in my recipe, the flavor is even better. Best when topped with toasted nuts and dried fruit, walnuts and dried cherries being one of my favorite combos. Just make sure to use real maple syrup, not pancake syrup which is high-fructose corn syrup with artificial flavors.

Orange-cranberry and cardamom oatmeal


What better way to improve heart healthy oatmeal than with Vitamin C? Forget the health, this actually tastes amazing. Simple replace the water with orange juice (I use freshly squeezed from my grocery store) in your oatmeal, throw in a healthy handful of cranberries and, to make things fun and fragrant, one cardamom pod (ilychi), into the mixture as it boils. The cranberries will quick-steep in the boiling liquid, absorbing both the oat and orange juice flavor while the cardamom flavor infuses throughout the entire mix. Cook’s Illustrated recommends adding sliced almonds, making sure to toast them before you do.

NUTELLA oatmeal


Okay, who doesn’t like Nutella? And do you really need an excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast? Instead of the brown sugar or maple syrup, add in Nutella with your salt. If you want some crunch, microwave-toast some crushed hazlenuts. The result is screaming out Pinterest in the most delicious way.

Ramadan tip: cook your oatmeal the night before

Want to make eating oatmeal for suhur even easier? Make your oatmeal after iftar or when you return from tarawih prayer and store it in your fridge. When you wake up for suhur, simply warm it up on the stovetop or in the microwave. It’ll be just as good.

With oats for you can finally have something in the morning that will fill you up, preventing you from snacking on treats by the printer station at the office or eating that unnecessary doughnut on your way to class.

And while you will inevitably feel hungry by the time you start your day while fasting in Ramadan, it wont be as soon and will give your body good nutrition to boot. Just be sure to have some fruit and protein via eggs or lean meat for a complete suhur for a long day of fasting.

So, if you love steaks and burgers, make and eat this 10-minute oatmeal regularly to continue eating what you love longer in life. At least that’s my plan.

Happy Ramadan!

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