Overnight Oats vs. Microwave Cook, Which is Good?

In the previous post, I explained what oatmeal is, what types are available, and how to make overnight oats and whether they need to be heated.
What Is Oatmeal? Types of Oatmeal Sold in Finland
Oatmeal is getting a lot of attention as a healthy food. What is oatmeal anyway? What kinds are there?
How to Make Overnight Oats Does It Need to be Heated?
Overnight oats are a hot topic right now, how do I make them? Do they need to be heated before eating?

In this post, I will compare overnight oats and microwave cooked oats using two different types of oatmeal.

Overnight and Microwave Comparison

Ingredients and Cooking Method

  • Ingredients

30g oatmeal
100g water

I decided on this based on the box of oatmeal, the amount for heating in the microwave, and the water being 3-4 times the amount of oatmeal.

  • Overnight Oats

Place oatmeal and water in a container, cover with plastic wrap, and let absorb overnight in the refrigerator.
Heat in the microwave for 2-3 minutes before eating.

I tasted a little bit of both overnight oats before heating them. They were powdery and not tasty, so I heated them in the microwave.

  • Microwave Cooking

Put oatmeal and water in a container and heat in the microwave for 2-3 minutes.

For Small Oatmeal with Crushed Oats

Overnight oats on the left and microwave cooking on the right.
Right after removing from microwave.

After mixing.

Overnight oats

You can feel that there are individual grains when you eat them. However, the popping texture of each grain is weak, and the whole oatmeal absorbs water well.
You can feel the grains, although the overall consistency is sticky.
As it cools, it becomes much stickier, but still falls apart when mixed.

Microwave cooked oats

The grains are stuck together and have a sticky texture when eaten. But you can still feel the popping texture of each grain. I always cook in the microwave, so I feel like this is oatmeal.
The whole thing is quite sticky, and the grains stick to each other quite tightly and don’t come apart much when mixed.
As it cooled down, it became much stickier and formed into large chunks.

For Large Grain Oatmeal

Overnight oats on the left, microwaved on the right.
Just after removing from the microwave.

After mixing.

Overnight oats

There was still some water left when I took it out of the refrigerator, but after heating it in the microwave for two minutes, water disappeared and the whole thing became fluffy. Each grain felt firm and the consistency was not too strong, almost like soft rice.

Microwave cooked oats

It was sticky and the grains stuck to each other, but the consistency was a little weaker than the small oatmeal with crushed grains. There was a popping texture to each grain.

What we learned from our experimen

I found that when cooked in the microwave, the oatmeal became stickier in texture. This was more pronounced for instant oatmeal, which contains smaller grains and crushed oatmeal.

Overnight oats, which were allowed to absorb water slowly overnight, gave the impression that each grain had separated into pieces, similar to rice. Of course, the whole thing has a glue-like stickiness. However, when the grains were larger and uncrushed, the stickiness was much weaker and more similar to soft rice.

The Texture Changes with Cooking Method

I found that the texture of oatmeal varies greatly depending on whether you let it absorb water overnight or heat it in the microwave.
My personal recommendation is to use large, uncrushed oatmeal that has been absorbed overnight. I like my oatmeal to be salty like a meal rather than sweet, so I eat this oatmeal with dashi soy sauce.
How to Make Dashi Soy Sauce with Dashi Powder
Dashi soy sauce is perfect for rice with raw egg and boiled rice. If you run out, or can't find it overseas, this recipe is a good substitute.

However, this is because I consider it as a substitute for rice. If you like sweet flavoring and want to add berries or chocolate, I think the crushed grains would suit you better.


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