Mexican Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal
With fall fast approaching, I’m getting excited about all of my autumnal favorites. The classic fruit and spice pairing in my Mexican Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal (a.k.a. Avena con Canela y Manzana) is an ideal flavor combo to help start the morning. Sweet, tart, warm, and made with delicious whole-grain goodness, this simple recipe is great for meal prep and is super budget-friendly!
Why I Love This Recipe
When I think of Avena (Old-Fashioned Mexican Oatmeal), I feel like a kid again. Slow-cooked, old-fashioned, creamy oatmeal is just so comforting and has always been one of my favorite back-to-school breakfast options. This apple cinnamon oatmeal is made with tasty goodness to help start the morning!
I adore summer, but I am also a huge fan of fall. Driving and seeing all the leaves turn to crimson red, golden yellow, and vibrant orange is breathtaking. Crispness fills the air, the trees offer a stunning palate of colors, and this dish brings the iconic flavors of the season home with apples, canela (cinnamon), and cloves.
This deliciously fall-inspired bowl of apple cinnamon oatmeal is one of my absolute favorite ways to eat whole grains. Aside from being nearly as delicious as a slice of apple pie, this recipe is also:
- Made with a handful of ingredients. In fact, I’d bet you already have most of them on hand. Who doesn’t love a great pantry recipe?!?
- Wholesome & Nutritious. Whole grains, fresh fruit, and milk join forces to give you a breakfast option. A 1/2 cup serving of oats is a good source of fiber with 2 grams of soluble fiber, and a good source of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B1 (thiamin), magnesium, phosphorus and manganese.
- Comforting & Hearty. Oatmeal is a warm and cozy way to help start the morning!
- Good for Meal Prep. Make a batch at the beginning of the week to streamline your mornings for up to 4 days; all you’ll have to do is heat and eat.
Ingredients & Substitutions
As promised, you don’t need much to make a sweet and spicy bowl of my cinnamon oatmeal with apples. Here’s your list:
- Cinnamon Sticks & Whole Cloves – I typically make a tea of cinnamon and cloves to cook my oats in, which saturates them with tons of flavor.
- Salt – Just a pinch to wake up the flavors!
- Oats – When it comes to oats, I love choosing Quaker old fashioned rolled oats. Feel free to use your favorite brand.
- Milk – I usually have full fat milk in my fridge, but feel free to use low-fat or any dairy or plant-based milk you prefer.
- Apples – I lean toward crisp, sweet apples. Feel free to use any apple you prefer.
- Ground Cinnamon – I double down on the spice with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon to serve.
- Maple Syrup & Golden Raisins (optional, for serving) – These are totally optional additions, but add a lot of flavor. Maple syrup brings sweetness, while the golden raisins provide juicy pops of texture throughout. Feel free to swap in your favorite sweetener and any dried fruit or nuts your heart desires.
How To Make Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
My apple oatmeal with cinnamon is a snap to pull off. Read the steps below and watch this video:
Step 1: Make Cinnamon Tea. Bring water, cinnamon sticks, and cloves to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 30 minutes. Discard the cinnamon sticks and cloves.
Step 2: Cook Oats. Add salt and oats to the cinnamon tea and bring to a boil, uncovered. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.
Step 3: Add Milk. Add 1 cup milk and simmer for an additional 15 minutes until creamy.
Step 4: Add Apples. When the oatmeal is ready, using the large holes of a box grater or shredder, shred the apples directly into the pan and stir well.
Step 5: Serve in individual bowls, adding more milk or a drizzle of cream if a thinner consistency is desired. Sprinkle with cinnamon, then sweeten with a drizzle of maple syrup and a scattering of golden raisins if you’d like. Enjoy!
Make-Ahead Tip: Refrigerate any leftovers for up to 4 days. To reheat, either microwave in bursts or cook on the stovetop until heated through. Feel free to add more milk or water as needed to get the right consistency.
I happen to LOVE oatmeal with apples and cinnamon, and this is my favorite way to make it. That said, there’s always room for customization here in the Muy Bueno kitchen! Here are some of my favorite variations:
- Gluten-Free – While oats themselves are free of gluten, many facilities also process wheat products. For a gluten-free breakfast option, make sure to choose Quaker gluten-free oat products. Look for specially marked packages.
- Vegan – Swap out milk for your favorite non-dairy option. I suggest reaching for unsweetened milk to allow for greater control over how much added sugar you get.
- Different Spices – Cinnamon and cloves make my whole kitchen smell like fall, but you have plenty of options here. Try ginger, cardamom, allspice, star anise, and/or nutmeg to add your own spin on this classic autumn pairing.
- Use Apple Butter – Don’t have fresh apples on hand? Try adding a spoonful of apple butter to your avena instead. If you do, feel free to skip out on the maple syrup; it’ll be plenty sweet!
- Add Texture. Toasted nuts and seeds and/or dried fruits add lots of interest.
I love how simple avena is to prepare, but there are a few things I’ve learned along the way:
- Meal-prep for easier mornings. This apple cinnamon oatmeal will last in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also make the cinnamon-clove tea a few days in advance.
- Store in individual microwaveable containers for a simple grab-and-go breakfast option.
- Make sure to reach for gluten-free oats if you have a gluten sensitivity. Look for specially marked gluten-free packaging.
Frequently Asked Questions
A serving of oatmeal is a nutritious and versatile breakfast option. Shredded apple, creamy milk, and a dash of cinnamon complement the wonderfully earthy flavor of the grain. This homemade oatmeal recipe is delicious.
I generally like using crispy, sweet apple varieties because they’re my favorite to eat out of hand. Feel free to swap in any variety that you and your family likes!
Nope! The peels have lots of nutrients in them, and since we’re grating the apples, they disappear into the mix without leaving a strange consistency. Easy, peasy!
More Yummy Breakfast Ideas
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Mexican Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal
- 8 cups water
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 2 whole cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
- 1 cup whole milk, reduced fat or unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 2 to 3 large crisp sweet apples, such as Fuji or Pink Lady, halved and cored
- ground cinnamon, pinch per serving
- pure maple syrup, optional
- golden raisins, optional
- Bring water, cinnamon sticks, and cloves to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 30 minutes. Discard the cinnamon sticks and cloves.
- Add salt and oats to the water and bring to a boil, uncovered. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Add 1 cup milk and simmer for an additional 15 minutes until creamy.
- When the oatmeal is ready, using the large holes of a box grater or shredder, shred the apples directly into the pan and stir well.
- Serve into individual bowls and add more milk if a thinner consistency is desired. Sprinkle with cinnamon
- Sweeten with maple syrup (optional).
- Serve garnished with golden raisins, if desired and serve with remaining 8-ounce glass of milk.
- Refrigerate leftovers for up to 4 days.
- If you wish to enrich the oatmeal, add a drizzle of maple syrup and golden raisins to individual servings.
- If you have a gluten sensitivity, be sure to reach for specially marked gluten-free packaging.
Photography by Jenna Sparks
Originally published: September 2022.