If you think oatmeal comes in a packet, think again.

They know about oatmeal in Ireland and Scotland, where whole-grain, steel-cut oats are popular. Yes, these slightly chewy oats take longer to cook than old-fashioned rolled oats (and way longer than instant oats in a packet), but the results are so much better.

To shorten the usual half-hour cooking time, start the process at night and then finish up in the morning. Follow this recipe with your kids.

OVERNIGHT OATMEAL WITH RAISINS AND BROWN SUGAR

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 10 minutes, plus overnight resting time

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Prepare Ingredients:

3 cups plus 1 cup water, measured separately

1 cup steel-cut oats

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup raisins

3 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Gather Cooking Equipment:

Large saucepan with lid

Wooden spoon or rubber spatula

Start Cooking!

In large saucepan, bring 3 cups water to boil over high heat. Turn off heat and slide saucepan to cool burner. Stir in oats and salt. Cover saucepan with lid and let sit overnight.

In morning, stir remaining 1 cup water into saucepan with oats and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is creamy and oats are tender but chewy, 4 to 6 minutes.

Turn off heat and slide saucepan to cool burner. Stir in raisins, sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve.

Make It Your Way

If you don't like raisins and cinnamon, try these fun flavor combinations.

— Banana and Brown Sugar Oatmeal: Use 2 chopped ripe bananas instead of raisins. Leave out cinnamon.

— Blueberry and Almond Oatmeal: Use 1/2 cup blueberries instead of raisins. Use 2 tablespoons almond butter instead of butter and cinnamon. Add 1/2 cup sliced almonds to oatmeal along with blueberries.

— Toasted Coconut Oatmeal: Use 1 cup canned coconut milk instead of water. Use 1/2 cup toasted unsweetened flaked coconut instead of raisins. Leave out butter and cinnamon.

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Nutrition information per serving: 270 calories; 48 calories from fat; 5 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 8 mg cholesterol; 154 mg sodium; 53 g carbohydrate; 5 g fiber; 25 g sugar; 7 g protein.

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For more recipes, cooking tips and ingredient and product reviews, visit https://www.americastestkitchen.com. Find more recipes like Overnight Oatmeal in "Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs ."

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America's Test Kitchen provided this article to The Associated Press.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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