Oatmeal is a staple for college students for many reasons. Besides the fact that it tastes great, oatmeal keeps you full for a long time, which is perfect for those days where you can't seem to catch a break from classes. Oatmeal is also packed with essential nutrients like fiber, magnesium, zinc, and a good amount of protein for energy. There are so many different ways to make an awesome bowl of oats. With the endless amount of toppings that can be added, it's just about the perfect meal for any occasion! Here are some tips on how to make that perfect oatmeal recipe right in your dorm room.  

1. The Oats

Madison Campbell

The first step to mastering your go-to oatmeal recipe is, obviously, choosing the oats. There are many different types of oats to choose from, but the most practical for college students are rolled oats (also instant oats or old-fashioned oats). These oats are flattened to make it easier to microwave, and they cook in a few minutes or less which makes them perfect for a quick meal!

2. Texture and Cooking

Madison Campbell

It's important to get the right texture when it comes to oatmeal. You don't want the oatmeal to be runny, but you also don't want the oatmeal to be too thick. If you add double the amount of water or milk compared to the amount of oats you add, the consistency will be just right. This means that for every 1/2 cup of oats, add 1 cup of water or milk.

You can add water or milk to the oats, it really just depends on your own preference. Using water usually makes the oats less thick and less flavorful, but it's still an easy (dorm approved) way to make a delicious bowl of oats! Milk is another option, and there are many kinds to choose from. Milk adds more flavor and makes the oats more creamy. Adding milk also boosts the protein content. In my opinion, almond milk and cashew milk take oatmeal to a whole different level.

#spoontip: The cooking time depends on the microwave, but I have found that microwaving the oats for about 1 minute yields the best results. When you don't see any more liquid in the bowl, the oats are done!

3. Sweeteners & Spices

Madison Campbell

Adding a sweetener isn't necessary to make a good bowl of oats, but it will enhance the flavor by a lot! I like to use agave nectar, because it has a light taste, but other options include maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, and date syrup. 

Adding spices can also make your oatmeal taste great. Try adding cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin pie spice!

4. Toppings

Madison Campbell

The toppings are definitely the most important part of a bowl of oatmeal. This is the part where you can really get creative and add what you like. 

First, I usually like to add some fruit. In my opinion, bananas, blueberries, and raspberries are the best oatmeal toppings!

Adding some type of nut butter can also elevate your oatmeal to the next level. Almond butter, peanut butter, and cashew butter are all perfect toppings to add. They taste great and can be an easy way to increase the protein content in your bowl. 

Madison Campbell

Living in a dorm room, you don't always have access to fresh fruit. Some other great topping options that are probably in your dorm room right now include raisins, dried fruit, nuts/seeds, chocolate chips, yogurt, coconut shavings, fruit preserves, and whatever else you think would taste amazing! 

My favorite bowls:

Heres a list of my easy go-to bowls:

1. Oats, cinnamon, blueberries, walnuts, maple syrup

2. Oats, melted chocolate, peanut butter, coconut flakes

3. Oats, blackberries, raspberries, almond butter, agave

4. Oats, cinnamon, caramelized bananas, almond butter, agave

5. Oats, brown sugar, raisins

6. Oats, raspberries, chocolate, agave

7. Oats, cinnamon, baked apples, pecans, agave

8. Oats, cinnamon, agave (the easiest oatmeal combo out there!)

The best thing about oatmeal is that it's super versatile, so grab some oats, some friends, and whatever toppings you can find and get creative!