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The Best Sweetened Homemade Oatmeal

My husband and I swear by this sweetened homemade oatmeal as soon as the weather starts getting cold outside. This easy stovetop oatmeal is the perfect comfort food for cold winter days! 

We always add some cooked apples on top with a little maple syrup, but I’ll go over plenty of other topping options as well. Plus this recipe is gluten free, dairy free, vegan and refined sugar free. So it’s the perfect healthy breakfast.

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What makes this oatmeal super easy is requires only three ingredients and can be done in under 10 minutes. A quick breakfast for those who have to get out the door and get to work on time. 

Sweetened Homemade Oatmeal Ingredients

All you need for the oatmeal is certified gluten free traditional rolled oats, plant based milk or water, and a banana. 

Did you know that if you don’t buy gluten free oats, there is actually a small amount of flour in the oats to keep them from sticking to each other? So make sure they say gluten free on the label.

If You Want the Creamiest Best Oatmeal Ever Try These Brands...

As for brands, I absolutely love Bob’s Red Mill. I’ll buy big bags of their oats in bulk because I use them so much in my baking. They are a very reputable brand that isn’t too expensive. 

For plant based milks, we’ve recently switched over to the Malk brand. They are an excellent plant based milk company that has no additives in their milk whatsoever. No gums, no oils, none of that crap that will cause digestive upset. I have noticed a huge difference in the creaminess of my oatmeal after switching to this brand. So a big thumbs up for Malk milk! I’ve tried both almond and oat milk in my oatmeal and they both work great.

sweetened homemade oatmeal

Vegan Homemade Oatmeal

For vegan homemade oatmeal, you just have to use a plant based milk for the liquid portion. Sometimes if I’m low on milk, I’ll do half milk and half water which works fine too.

You can try any plant based milk you want. I’ve had much success with Malk’s oat and almond milks.

Gluten Free Homemade Oatmeal

To make sure your oatmeal is gluten free, you have to buy oats that have a certified gluten free label.

If you buy regular oats that are not certified gluten free they will have flour in them. It will not say it in the ingredients, but a small amount of flour is mixed up in the oats to prevent them from sticking. The amount if small enough that regulations do not require it to be in the ingredients. If you are sensitive to gluten or have celiac’s, make sure you buy the ceritified gluten free.

Sweetened vs Unsweetened Oatmeal

The main sweetener here if you didn’t figure it out yet is the banana. I’ve tried this oatmeal with and without and the banana cuts that bland oat flavor just enough to make this oatmeal absolutely delicious. 

I will never go back to a banana-less oatmeal existence ever again. 

sweetened homemade oatmeal

Sweetened Homemade Oatmeal Directions

These will be the shortest set of directions you ever read! Chop up the banana and put in a pan with the oats and milk on low heat. 

Cook for about 5-10 minutes until the oatmeal is at a consistency you like. I prefer it a little drier so I wait to take it off the heat until I scrape the pan with a spoon and you see no liquid. 

Put toppings on your oatmeal and enjoy!

Homemade Oatmeal Toppings

So for toppings, you can go for what I think is a classic: cooked apples. That’s how I eat it. When the oats are cooking I will usually have a separate small pan on the stove with one apple cut up and a little maple syrup. I’ll let them saute as the oatmeal is cooking and take both off at the same time.

Sometimes the apples are cooked all the way through and sometimes they still have a little crunch. Either way I don’t mind. 

Here are some other topping ideas:

  • Chopped Berries: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, currants, cherries, blackberries
  • Cooked Berries (sauteed with a little honey or maple syrup!)
  • Jam
  • Fruit of any kind: bananas, apples, peaches, mango, apricots, pears, plums
  • Nuts: walnuts, pecans, almonds…etc
  • Seeds: sunflower, pumpkin…etc.
  • Granola for an extra crunch
  • Shredded coconut
  • A drizzle of honey or maple syrup
  • Cinnamon
  • Nut butter like almond or peanut 
  • Dates
  • Cacao nibs or powder

Go for combos too like bananas and walnuts with a sprinkle or cinnamon or some cacao nibs. You can have an endless amount of combinations just from this list.

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sweetened homemade oatmeal

Sweetened Homemade Oatmeal

This easy stovetop oatmeal is ready in under 10 minutes and it's gluten, dairy and refined sugar free!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Breakfast
Servings 2


  • 1 Cup Gluten Free Rolled Oats
  • 2 Cups Plant Based Milk*
  • 1 Banana, chopped

Apple Topping (optional)

  • 1 Apple, chopped
  • 2-3 Tbsp Maple Syrup


  • In a medium saucepan on low heat, place chopped banana, milk and oats. In a minute or two it will start bubbling. Mix it frequently. It will be done in about 5 mintues when you can push your spoon across and see the bottom of the pan with little or no liquid.
    If you like yours a little wetter, take it off the heat earlier.
  • To make the apple topping, in a small saucepan on medium heat, place the apples and maple syrup. Try to get this on the stove before your oats, as they take a little longer. Saute them with the maple syrup until the oats are ready.
    They may need to saute for about 10 minutes if you want them to be fork tender.
  • Place your toppings on top of your oatmeal and enjoy hot!


*I've had success with oat and almond milk, but you can try any plant based milk you like. 
If you are running low on milk, you can always do half water, half milk or all water. The milk adds some creaminess to the oatmeal though so I recommend at least half and half.
Keyword Alternative Baking, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Refined Sugar-Free, Vegan

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