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Make Oatmeal With Your Keurig For A One-And-Done Breakfast

While microwaves, ovens, and even tea kettles are multipurpose pieces of kitchen equipment, a coffee maker like a Keurig is probably not thought of for more than just a hot cup of java. Unlike drip coffee makers that come with pots big enough to boil hot dogs and prepare rice, or espresso machines that have steaming wands to scramble eggs Martha Stewart-style, what could one expect from a specifically designed pod-based machine like Keurig? If you aren't into brewing Budweiser from a Keurig, you can always make a quick bowl of oatmeal.

At its simplest, all that it takes to make oatmeal is oats and hot water. And, if you've ever used a Keurig, you know it has an instant supply of the latter. Rather than going through the trouble of waiting for a pot of water to boil to make breakfast (especially if you are in a rush), all you have to do with a Keurig is empty a pack of instant oatmeal into a mug or bowl and run a cycle of Keurig without a K-Cup inside. As the hot water pours into the bowl, you'll have oatmeal ready in less than a minute.

Tips to make oatmeal with a Keurig

Using a Keurig for its hot water capabilities not only ensures a quick bowl of oatmeal on a busy weekday or a lazy Sunday morning, it also means that you can make several individual-sized bowls in a row — just as you can do using the machine to make coffee. The method to make Keurig oatmeal is so straightforward that the only tricky bit to know is how to pull hot water (and not hot brew) from the machine. While some Keurig models have a dedicated button that dispenses just hot water, for others, you'll need to take a couple quick steps. First, turn on the Keurig, ensuring there aren't any K-Cups inside, and press the button to prepare either a small or large cup, depending on how much hot water you want.

Although Keurig offers faster access to hot water, one downside to it is that you don't have much control over the quantity that pours out. Pressing the button for a small mug may not provide enough and leave the oatmeal too dry whereas the large button may turn the oatmeal into a watered-down mess. One way to control the proportions, however, is to use a separate cup for just the hot water and then pour it gradually in small quantities into a separate bowl of oats. This will ensure that you can still get the ideal texture.

More ways to upgrade Keurig oatmeal

So ingenious is this breakfast idea that even General Mills has backed it, launching dedicated Keurig-ready oatmeal packs in 2014 that have since been available on Amazon and Walmart. These Nature Valley Oatmeal Bistro Cups are available in two flavors — apple cinnamon almond and brown sugar pecan — and have three pieces. The first is a pack of instant oats, the second contains mix-ins like fruits and nuts, and the third is a pod that pours flavored water on top, resulting in upgraded instant Keurig oatmeal. 

Keurig wasn't officially a part of the launch, but the dedicated pods seem to work well with the machines to deepen the flavor of homemade oatmeal. That being said, you don't have to splurge on these packs to do so. You could also just place a regular K-Cup pod into the machine and pour your favorite coffee over the oats instead of plain water for a java-flavored option. You'll have both breakfast and your morning shot of caffeine in one! Or, make the oatmeal with herbal and caffeinated teas, with Keurig offering plenty of pods for those, too.