How to Make Oatmeal Taste Better (Easiest Classic Scottish Recipe) (2024)

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Want to know how to make oatmeal and have it taste better than any you’ve ever tasted? Use this classic Scottish recipe for the best results, and you’ll understand why you may have never liked oatmeal before!

How to Make Oatmeal Taste Better (Easiest Classic Scottish Recipe) (1)

Originally published May 1, 2013

Oatmeal, or porridge, as it’s called in Scotland, is so incredibly delicious when it’s made properly.

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If you don’t already know, I was born in Scotland. A few years ago, I went back to my homeland to compete in the World Porridge Making Championships for The Golden Spurtle. (I’ll tell you what a spurtle is below.) I had intended on entering my sticky toffee porridge recipe, but it wasn’t until I was in Scotland that I learned I would have to make regular oatmeal, too.

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The only requirements were that pinhead (steel cut) oatmeal, water and salt were the only ingredients to be used. What I’ve discovered is that most people who don’t like oatmeal never use salt. I’ve tasted oatmeal at so many breakfast buffets and it never fails to disappoint. I mean, it’s bad, really bad, and mostly because it lacks salt.

I have heard so many people say they cannot stand oatmeal (I’m thinking, “no bloody wonder”), and I ponder how many of them have only tried it without any salt? Even if it’s just a pinch as is usually recommended, it really doesn’t have enough of an impact on the flavor.

May I entice you with a raw rolled oats muesli? This is an Alpen copycat recipe!

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Oatmeal (or porridge) without salt, is like pasta without salt, or bread without salt; and although I know there are people who may like unsalted foods, I’d have to hazard a guess that they’re in the minority. It’s easy to make better tasting oatmeal.

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Better tasting oatmeal is just a little salt away! Take it from a Scot, whether you eat your porridge sweet or savory, you need salt (and more than a pinch).

Of course, using good quality oatmeal is important, too. My favorite is Hamlyn’s from Scotland, it used to be hard to find in the US except that it’s now carried by The Scottish Grocer USA (use code: CHRISTINASCUCINA for 10% off!) I now prefer steel cut oats, which has a nuttier texture, but you’ll have to see which you like better.

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Why Should I eat Oatmeal?

If you haven’t heard, oatmeal is one of the healthiest grains you can have. They have so many health benefits and nutritional properties, it truly is a great breakfast option. Oats contain many vitamins and minerals, lots of fiber and even antioxidants.

However, I don’t want you to trust me. Here’s an article from Time magazine, but go ahead and do your own research.

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What is a Spurtle?

Maybe you’ve never heard of a spurtle, but it’s a long stirring stick used to make porridge, mostly used in Scotland. If you don’t have one, turn your favorite wooden spoon upside down and use the handle! Or you can be very Scottish and buy a spurtle to use for your breakfast oatmeal!

A little Scottish folklore: in Scotland they say you must keep stirring clockwise when you stir your porridge with your spurtle. If you happen to stir counter-clockwise, it is said to bring bad luck, or maybe even the devil! 👺

My Favorite way to eat Porridge

The traditional Scottish way to eat oatmeal is savory: made with steel cut oats, water and salt, and served with milk and/or cream. I love the nutty texture from the steel cut oats.

Now, things have changed and even in Scotland, fruity and sweet porridge can be found on many breakfast tables, but for me, I still love it served the original way.

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Do you know how you feel when you’re looking forward to eating one of the tastiest things you love? That’s how I feel about eating my oatmeal! I just love it! No, it’s not a beautiful dish, but the flavor more than makes up for it.

Let me clarify, I’m talking about cooking basic oatmeal, so this doesn’t change how you serve it; so I’m not suggesting you change any part of your topping of fruits, syrups, honey, sugar, seeds, etc. Whether sweet or savory, starting with salted water makes a massive difference in the end result; a little salt goes a long way in improving oatmeal’s flavor.

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How to Make Oatmeal (Taste Better)
Easiest Classic Scottish Recipe

FULL PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW makes 2 servings

  • water
  • sea salt (use a little less if making it sweet, a little more if you like it savory)
  • oats (good quality, pinhead/steel cut)*see below for rolled oats

Put the salt, oats and water in a small pot, and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring often.

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Pour into bowls.

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Serve as desired.

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*If using rolled oats, use 1/3 cup to 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring the water and salt to a boil, then add the oats. Depending on if you use quick-cooking or regular rolled oats and the brand you use, the cooking time will range from 1 minute to 15 minutes.

Please let me know if you take my suggestion on adding salt and if it changes your mind on eating oats! I’d love to hear any success stories!

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How to Make Oatmeal (Taste Better)

Yield: 2 servings

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Better tasting oatmeal/porridge, no matter how you serve it.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp Crystal Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats

Instructions

    1. Put the salt, oats and water in a small pot, and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring often.
    2. Pour into bowls.
    3. Serve as desired, with added fruit, honey, syrup, milk, cream, seeds, sugar, etc.

Notes

  • *If using rolled oats, use 1/3 cup to 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring the water and salt to a boil, then add the oats.
  • Depending on if you use quick-cooking or regular rolled oats and the brand you use, the cooking time will range from 1 minute to 15 minutes.
Nutrition Information:

Yield: 2Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 152Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 174mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 4gSugar: 0gProtein: 5g

Nutrition info is estimated.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a review by clicking on the 5 stars above, in the purple header (a form will appear) or tag me on Instagram! 😍

My friend Janice in Scotland is a recent convert to eating porridge, but she makes hers with milk. To be honest, I have never tried it this way. However, you may like this better than using water, and as long as you’re eating it, it’s a good thing!

Farmersgirl Kitchen Porridge Recipe Using Milk

Bircher Muesli Overnight Oats from What a Girl Eats

Christina’s Cucinais a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking toAmazon.com.

How to Make Oatmeal Taste Better (Easiest Classic Scottish Recipe) (2024)
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