Simplest Oatmeal (Dreena Burton)

We are delighted to feature a recipe from Dreena Burton, the cookbook author of Plant-Powered Families. Dreena shares over 100 delicious, whole foods, plant-based recipes that have all been taste-tested by her 3 children. Dreena has also written 4 bestselling cookbooks and is a recipe contributor for well-known plant-based websites including Forks Over Knives,, and PCRM.

Serve with fresh fruit (e.g. orange, berries, banana, melon)

Serves 2-3

1 cup rolled oats
1/4–1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch sea salt (optional)
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup plain or vanilla nondairy milk (plus more to thin as desired)
Pure maple syrup or coconut sugar (as desired, for serving)


Place the oats, cinnamon, sea salt, water, milk, and maple syrup in a pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer gently for 7–10 minutes, or longer, until softened to desired texture. Remove from heat and let stand for a few minutes. It will thicken more as it sits, and also the longer the oatmeal cooks, the more liquid it will absorb. So, add extra milk/water if needed to loosen. Milk will give a creamier texture. Serve with add-ins, a drizzle of pure maple syrup, or a sprinkle of coconut sugar if desired.

Optional Add-Ins: · fresh fruit, like chopped apples and pears, in the fall/winter; berries, chopped plums, peaches, or nectarines in the summer; sliced bananas · dried fruit · seeds (hemp are especially great) · chopped nuts

Idea: While the oatmeal is still warm/hot, try stirring in a dollop of nut butter. It will melt through the oatmeal as you stir. It’s a great way to give kiddos an extra nutrient boost in the morning, especially if they aren’t fond of the texture of nut butter.

Chocolate Option: For a chocolaty oatmeal, omit the cinnamon, and stir in 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder after cooking, along with a few pinches of nutmeg and 2 tablespoons of shredded coconut if desired. Since cocoa is bitter, you will need to add sweetener, and 2–3 tablespoons of maple syrup works nicely. Top off with fresh berries or sliced bananas and a couple of chocolate chips for good measure!


Dreena Burton has been vegan for almost 20 years, in that time writing five bestselling cookbooks charting her journey as a plant-powered cook and at-home mother of three. Always passionate about creating nutritious recipes, she is an advocate of using the “vegan basics” to create healthy, delicious food for the whole family. Dreena is one of the pioneering vegan cookbook authors, with a loyal following and reputation for reliable, wholesome recipes.

Dreena has appeared on television and radio, and is a recipe contributor for well-known sites including Forks Over Knives,, and PCRM. She has written for Yoga Journal, Today’s Parent, VegNews, and has been featured in other publications including First magazine.

Get Dreena’s newest book, Plant-Powered Families, now!


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