Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hungry Girl's Expanding Oatmeal Trick

I like to eat.  I guess that’s not really a surprise since this blog is about my weight loss journey.  I also like to eat a lot of food.  At my Weight Watchers meetings, this is called being a "volume eater."  I feel conflicted about this sometimes.  Sometimes I think that this is a big part of my eating issues.  If I would learn to cut myself off and just be satisfied with smaller amounts of food, then I wouldn’t struggle so much with my weight.  But then another part of me feels like I can still eat a lot of food, just a lot of healthier foods.  Fruits and vegetables bulk foods up so much and are so healthy.  It’s kind of a win-win situation.  I am getting so many more vitamins, nutrients, fiber, etc. by “bulking” up almost every meal with a lot of fruits and veggies.  I guess the point of all of that is Hungry Girl also seems to be on the same page about getting a lot of food for the number of calories you are taking in.  I get the Hungry Girl newsletters everyday.  Although Hungry Girl is not a vegan (not even vegetarian) site and they often have recipes that use quite a few processed ingredients, I have also discovered a lot of great foods, tips and recipes from their site. 

Hungry Girl had sent out a few different e-mails mentioned the “expanding oatmeal” trick.  I kept reading about it thinking that I would have to give it a try.  I finally did last weekend and I have been hooked every since!  The idea is that you double the amount of liquid you use and double your cooking time.  That’s it.  So instead of using 2 cups of almond milk, I use 1 cup of almond milk and 1 cup of water.  I use the same amount of oats but just cook it twice as long. 

Also, if you are following the Weight Watchers new Points Plus program, oats have gone up in points.  Oats used to be 2 points for 1/2 cup but now they are 4 points.  However, someone on the vegetarian message board, mentioned that the Country Choice organic oats/grains blend is only 3 points for 1/2 cup.  I was finally able to find this last weekend at Trader Joe’s.  I am sure they sell it other places, but that’s where I found it.  I am sure there are other brands and grain blends out there that would work, but for this recipe, Country Choice brand is what I used. 

Gigantic Bowl of Expanding Oatmeal Recipe

-1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or other nondairy milk of your choice)
-1 cup water
-1/2 cup oats or oat/grain blend
-1 tsp vanilla
-2 packets Truvia (or other sweetener of your choice)
-pinch of salt (optional)
-blueberries and banana (or any other fruit of your choice)

In a small to medium sized pan, bring the water and almond milk to a boil.  When it comes to a boil, add the oats.  Stir in well and keep at a medium heat.  Set your timer to 10-12 minutes.  (I cook mine for about 12-14 minutes.)  Every few minutes give the oats a stir.  Keep an eye to make sure they don’t boil over.  During the last 3-4 minutes of cooking, add in 1 packet of Truvia and the vanilla.  Stir in well.  When the liquid is mostly absorbed, your oats will be finished.  Add in your fruit and sprinkle the other packet of Truvia over your oats.  Enjoy your gigantic bowl of oatmeal! 


  1. Thanks for the tip! I'm a volume eater, too. It's something that I struggle with, and have a love-hate relationship with.

    WW talks about working on stopping eating when "satisfied". Me, I'm hardly ever truly satisfied unless I'm "full". So I bulk up my meals with veggies!

  2. This was the MOST amazing oatmeal! Thank you for sharing! I topped it with canned peaches in pear juice. I could have been at a bed and breakfast in the country! DELICIOUS!

  3. That's a good idea. Sometimes I like to make oatmeal in my rice cooker. There is a porridge setting and I think that with that setting, it will kind of do the same thing.

  4. Yay! I am glad you liked it!

  5. I like to make this oatmeal when I am getting my lunch ready for work in the morning. I just do everything I need to do in the kitchen while it's cooking so I can stir it occasionally. It takes me about 10-12 minutes to get my lunch ready for the day so it's perfect!

  6. there's a great recipe from the "vegan eating for carnivores book," featured on the ellen degenerous show, for banana oatmeal pancakes. so friggin easy and delicious.

    just throw a banana, 1/2 cup of that multi-grain oatmeal, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 cup flour, and 3/4 cup almond milk into a food processor or blender for a few good minutes. Fry up in a nonstick pan. way more interesting than oatmeal and bananas in their normal form, and the same amount of calories!