Creamy vegan oatmeal made with nutty steel cut oats is a healthy and hearty way to start your day!
Is breakfast still the most important meal of the day? When I was nine that was certainly true, but now that we’re all a little more woke…well honestly it’s confusing. If the internet is to be believed (and who in their right mind wouldn’t take info posted online as 100% truth?) then skipping breakfast will stunt your growth, slow down your metabolism, mar your concentration, and make all the puppies cry and at least 80% of the babies sad. But then you turn to social media and everyone insists that waiting until midday to chow down is the utmost in healthy living and #wellnessgoals.
Either way, I find I go back and forth on the issue. At times I’ve skipped eating until around lunchtime, usually because I was busy and the prospect of waking up just a little bit earlier to put together a healthy breakfast seemed unappealing at best. But lately I’ve been back in the habit and although I can’t say I really notice any real difference in my health, happiness, or general well being, I am on board with all the delicious breakfast foods I had been neglecting for a hot minute.
So what’s been gracing my early morning table? Well eggs are always a solid option, and on weekends pancakes or waffles will definitely make an appearance. But lately I’ve been leaning more towards the ease and dependability of oatmeal.
I know, oatmeal is kind of ‘meh’. It can conjure up images of grey gruel being unceremoniously slopped into bowls, Oliver Twist style. But if you know a couple of secrets you can make creamy, luxurious, hearty, and healthy oats for yourself as soon as, well…how’s right now for you? Bonus – once you know how to make this super simple base recipe you can use it as a blank canvas for my all time favorite thing about oatmeal – toppings.
How to make creamy vegan oatmeal
But before we get all twitterpated about the endless possibilities, let’s get a little more info on how to make the creamiest, dreamiest, vegan-est (not a word, don’t care) oatmeal you’ve ever had.
Start with steel cut oats
First of all, what are steel cut oats? Well they’re just oats that have been cut down into small pieces. They’re occasionally referred to as pin head oats. And are pretty much the least processed version of oats that you will find at your neighborhood supermarket. Also (hot take) they’re the best. Not that I’m hating on rolled oats (which, for context are just steel cut oats that are literally rolled into flakes), but for traditional style oatmeal steel cut is the way to go. Oh and for anyone who was like “what about instant?” it’s a no go for me always – end of discussion.
Add some fat
In this case, we’re cooking our oats in a mixture of full fat coconut milk and plain old H20. This gives us enough liquid to get everything properly cooked (I like a 4 to 1, liquid to oats ratio), and enough fat to keep things delicious. You can substitute light coconut milk if you must, but the end result will not be nearly as unctuous or delightful.
Sweeten things up
I know it’s more traditional to add all the sweet stuff on top, but I personally prefer to sugar the whole batch as it cooks. It means that the entire pot tastes just the way I want it, instead of just the first few bites. Any sweetener is totally fine. I reach for dark brown sugar because I always have it around and love the subtle caramel nuance it adds. But maple, agave, coconut sugar, honey, or whatever you love is oh so cool.
Don’t forget the salt
No, we’re not making salty oatmeal (although savory oatmeal is GREAT). But anything sweet should always have a little bit of salt. Salt brings out flavors. Yeah it makes chicken taste more chicken-y, but it also makes oatmeal taste oatier and sweet stuff really sing. If you’ve ever had a dessert that just seemed one note and a little too sweet, it’s probably because there wasn’t enough salt to balance out all the sugar. The more you know.
Give it time
So this is not the breakfast to make when you’re already 30 minutes late and still need to stop for gas. But it does reheat beautifully, so if you have one morning (or afternoon) where you can devote a half an hour (of mostly hands off time) to prepping breakfast for the week, make a big batch! It takes the same amount of effort as a small one, and will make you feel all sorts of virtuous at least through Thursday when you cave and eat all of the donuts.
Gussy it up
Ok, NOW is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Scoop out a creamy, fragrant, lightly sweetened, bowl of oats and pile it high with all the very best things. You really can’t go wrong here (but please let me know if you do). Berries, jams, jellies, nut butters, chocolate, seeds, granola, bananas, apples, spices, dried fruit, matcha, coconut, nuts of all sorts, you literally can add whatever you want. And while I’m happy to make suggestions, I’ll never stop you from living your best oatmeal dreams. So treat it like freshman year of college and get experimental!
So whether you’re a die hard breakfast person, or if you would never dream of anything beyond water and coffee before noon, give some beautifully dressed, perfectly creamy, totally vegan steel cut oatmeal a try sometime – maybe even for dinner. You won’t be disappointed.
And for other breakfasty delights
- Blueberry Almond Yogurt Smoothie
- Brown Butter Toasted Oat Waffles
- Apple Cheddar Dutch Baby Pancake
- Sausage and Peppers Breakfast Hash
Creamy Vegan Oatmeal
Creamy vegan steel cut oats are a hearty, healthy, and delicious way to start your day. Learn how to make this naturally creamy oatmeal and garnish any way you’d like!
- Prep Time: 5 Minutes
- Cook Time: 30 Minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4 Servings 1x
- Category: Breakfast
- Cuisine: American
1 14 oz can regular coconut milk
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 C dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 C steel cut oats (not quick cooking or instant)
mini chocolate chips
In a medium sauce pan, combine coconut milk with one can of water, salt, brown sugar, and oats. Bring to a boil and lower heat to maintain a bare simmer. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture becomes thick and creamy – it will continue to thicken as it cools. Garnish as desired.
You can also make this recipe with rolled oats (but not quick cooking), but the cook time will be closer to 15 minutes.
Leftovers oats can easily be reheated on the stove or in the microwave. Just add a splash of water to your cold oats, bring up to a simmer and whisk until smooth.
Keywords: creamy vegan oatmeal, steel cut oats, vegan oats, how to cook steel cut oats
Yesssss girl! We are oatmeal soul sistah’s! Haha. The coconut milk, the salt, the fruity toppings! I could eat this everyday. I also love savory oatmeal with an egg on top. Beautiful post. Gorgeous photos. Love it all! – xo Anita
Thanks lady, and yes the salt is KEY!
Great reminder of how much I love steel cut oats, so chewy and hearty. I love how you cook them in coconut and water, I’ll be trying it your way next time! Thanks!
I always forget how good they are until I take the time to make them again. Hope you enjoy!
This is literally my favorite oatmeal recipe EVER! I think the coconut milk puts it over the top. So many options for add-ins to make it your own!