Breakfast Recipe

Sweetened Oats with Dried Cranberries and Whole Pistachios

There’s one thing which I look forward to when I wake up every day – plain old oatmeal! No matter which part of the world you live in, you’d have heard of oatmeal, either as breakfast or as snacks. It’s a staple for everyone, including me! There are cold overnight oats and warm oatmeal that just can’t help but warm your soul.

I’m all about warm oatmeal, but rather than showing you how i make my everyday plain oats, I thought of showing you how i make a simple yet nutritious variant of this – sweetened oats with dried cranberries and pistachios.

This oatmeal twist has everything you ever ask for in a breakfast diet – fast, simple and satiating! After all, breakfast shouldn’t be something which you want to avoid due to various reasons such as being troublesome, time-consuming or boring.

So here’s how to make an interesting twist to the plain old oatmeal, turning it into part of your healthy breakfast which you’d look forward to every morning!

Table of Content

How to Make Oatmeal: The Base

Just remember this ratio 1:2. It means for every portion of oats, you need double the amount of liquid. For a single serving with 1/2 cup of oats, that means you’ll need 1 cup of liquid.

There are 2 methods to cook oatmeal – on the stove or in the microwave.

On the Stove

Whether you’re making a single portion or 10 portions for a crowd, It’s easy to make perfect oatmeal on the stove. Here’s the process:

  • Boil water – Depending on your oats serving portion, pour the required amount of liquid into a small pot then bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Cook the oats – Stir in the oats then reduce the heat to medium-low. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes to let the oats absorb the liquid, while stirring occasionally.
In the Microwave

This method is best for small portions. here’s the process:

  • Combine: Mix the water, oats and dash of salt in a bowl. Give it a quick stir.
  • Heat: Microwave the bowl (uncovered) for 1.5 minutes to 2 minutes. It’s best to use a larger bowl as the oats might bubble over.

Here’s What You Need to Make Sweetened Oatmeal with Dried Cranberries & Pistachios

What I love about this oatmeal variant is that it’s really quick and easy to make, using just old fashioned oats or rolled oats, cocoa powder, banana, dried cranberries, whole pistachios and a dash of sea salt. These are the only 6 ingredients you need to make this oatmeal variant!

There are 3 types of oats out there:

1. Instant Oats: These are more fine oats that can be cooked really quickly. All they require is a 3-5 mins of cooking. You can certainly use these, but i don’t recommend them as they are more processed in general.

2. Steel Cut Oats: This is the whole oat, unrolled and unprocessed type. This type takes the longest time to cook and need at least 20 minutes on the stovetop.

3. Old Fashioned Oats or Rolled Oats: This type of oats get caught in the middle of instant oats and steel cut oats. Rolled oats are slightly pressed, which makes them more processed than the classic steel cut oats. They are thicker than instant oats, so they require more time to cook.

Aside from the star ingredient, we will be using banana to make a puree, which will be added to the cooked oats. This not only sweetens the oat mix but also balances the bitter notes from the cocoa powder.

The next ingredient would be cocoa powder. Not only is it rich in taste and antioxidants, they also add great color to the palate. This adds more anticipation leading to the consumption period!

Using dried cranberries and pistachios as garnish, decorate the mixed oats by dotting with these.

Here’s a Summary of Making Sweetened-Oats with Dried Cranberries and Pistachios!

  1. Soak your oats in a bowl of water overnight if possible, then strain oats with a strainer the next day to remove the starchy water
  2. Fill your bowl of preferred oats with water and cook your them on the stovetop. Cooking duration depends on the type of oats used.
  3. Make banana puree while waiting
  4. Mix banana puree with cooked oats
  5. Add cocoa powder into the oats mix and stir well
  6. Season the oats with a dash of sea salt
  7. Garnish the sweetened oats with dried cranberries and pistachios

Here are more oats recipes which you may like:

  • Sweetened Oats with Sliced Banana and Nuts
  • Oats with Melted Blueberries
  • Cocoa Oats with Orange Marmalade
  • Strawberry and Coconut Cream Oats


This recipe needs no introduction when it comes to simplicity. But to keep it even simpler, I’ve opted for the rolled oats option. They require slightly longer time to cook compared to instant oats, but are less processed. Here are the full ingredients list and steps to follow through for this wonderful recipe:

Ingredients for Sweetened Oats with dried Cranberries and Pistachios
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 whole medium sized banana
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 6 dried cranberries (depending on your preference)
  • 6 whole pistachios (depending on your preference)
  1. If possible, soak the oats overnight to remove the starch and phytic acid locked inside the oats. Fill a bowl with 1 cup oats, then add water in till the oats are fully covered.
  2. After soaking, strain the oats with a strainer to remove the starchy water.
  3. If you’re cooking the oats on the stovetop, transfer the oats over to a saucepan, then pour in 1 cup of water till all oats are fully submerged in water. (same ratio of old fashioned oats to liquid)
  4. Bring the saucepan over to the stovetop, then start cooking the oats. Season the mixture with a dash of sea salt. Bring the liquid to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Allow the oats to cook until they thicken and absorb all the liquid, stirring frequently. This process will take 5-7 minutes.
  5. On the other hand, if your preferred cooking method is using the microwave, simply transfer the soaked oats to a large bowl then fill the bowl with water double the portion of oats. Season the mix with a dash of sea salt, then microwave the bowl on high for 1.5 minutes to 2 minutes.
  6. While waiting for the oats to cook, proceed to make banana puree out of the whole banana. Simply cut whole banana into bite-sizes pieces then transfer to a small bowl. Using the back of a fork, mash the banana till it disintegrates. Set aside.
  7. Once the oats are cooked, transfer to a bowl. Mix the oats with the banana puree till well-incorporated.
  8. Add 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder to the oat mix and stir well.
  9. Garnish the mixture by placing dried cranberries and pistachios on top. Enjoy!


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