Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How To Make the Best Oatmeal.

Yes, oatmeal: that warm morning cereal you probably eat because you can put it in the microwave for a minute and half and be done.  Oatmeal, whose popularity is due to a convergence of convenience and health.

You might add brown sugar or honey to taste.  Maybe you're even a bit fancier with a sprinkle of cinnamon or a dash of vanilla.  But you probably haven't spent countless mornings varying your oatmeal routine in search of the Very Best Oatmeal*.

I learned fairly quickly Old Fashion Oats, also called Rolled Oats are best for breakfast and left quick oats for breads and steel cut oats for soups or pilafs. Thus, my experimentation centered on these oats.  I learned:
 - To increase creaminess, stir more often!  Use 1 part milk for 2 parts water!
- To decrease creaminess, toast oats before adding any water
- To avoid adding sugar & to start the morning with a serving of fruit, add diced apple as water is boiling; don't wait until you add the oats
- Wheat germ!  Just a tablespoon lends the whole thing nutty flavor
- Speaking of nuts... add some!  Whatever you have on hand: pecans, walnuts, sliced almonds, etc.
- A splash of coconut milk just before serving makes the whole thing seem more decadent
- For even more decadence: nutella.  Yes.  

Currently, I make two or three servings of oatmeal every morning- though it looks unappetizing and glob-like leftover, it is actually quite good reheated with a sprinkle of water.  And then I don't have to clean a pot everyday.  Since I'm not eating dairy (the baby doesn't like it when I do!), this is how I make my oatemal:

1. Resign myself to the fact that the baby will be up for the day within the next half hour.  Decide to make breakfast while I can
2. Measure just under 3 cups of water and set on high heat to boil.  As its coming to a boil, I dice an apple as fast as I can, throwing the apple bits into the pot as the section is done. 
3. Add a shake or two of cinnamon and a few raisins
4. When its boiling, furiously measure out 1 1/2 cups of oats, using only the 1/2 measuring cup to minimize dishes
5. Reduce heat to medium, stirring often
6. When it begins to stick, take off heat, pouring the day's serving into a bowl and the leftovers in pyrex
7. Add nuts and coconut milk if on hand.  Hear the baby crying
8. Shovel the oatmeal into my mouth as my husband changes her diaper, before feeding time. 

*if you have, please tell me!  I'd love to meet a kindred oatmeal-loving spirit.


  1. I had steel-cut oatmeal this morning. Love it!

  2. Okay. I HAVE to comment on this because my father is the oatmeal KING! :) Here's how he makes his (with a few tricks of my own): Soak overnight in water with a squeeze of lemon juice (makes it easier to digest?), then cook it adding banana - like you do the apple - if you want it sweet. Toast walnuts or pecans while the oatmeal cooks (med high heat on an un-oiled pan). Add frozen blueberries, toasted nuts, cinnamon, and banana if you didn't add it earlier. I could eat this every day.