Oatmeal may be a yawner for some breakfast afficionados but, for me, it is far from boring – even without accoutrements. I have another confession: I’ve eaten steel cut oatmeal every morning at home for at least 8 of the past 9 years. Years. (When I strayed, it was for a whole-wheat english muffin. To be more exact, the herbed cheese or peanut butter slathered atop the muffin. But then I discovered you could mix those toppings into oatmeal….) My stomach churns for oatmeal and my brain cries for it the second after my
alarm Rice Kernal sounds. Part of my addiction? A heaping teaspoon of cinnamon and nutmeg and a spash of agave nectar added to the oatmeal. The result is a spicy, sense-awakening, warming, creamy, rich and satisfying, healthy start to my day.
I ate oatmeal every day of my pregnancy. Do children take on the eating habits of their mothers while in utero? I don’t know. Irrespective, Rice Kernal clearly loves oatmeal. He loves it in cookie form (duh), he loves old fashioned oatmeal, and he loves the steel cut variety. (“I’ll dent-tay,” he once said. I’m guessing he was concurring that steel cuts are chewy and a bit crunchy. Al dente.) He loves oats so much he (gasp) eats old fashioned oats raw!
Steel cut oatmeal is satisfying in a way that no other food is. It stands totally on its own unadorned. But more is more, and while my choice of flavorings probably fails to intrigue anyone, oatmeal is a canvass for any mix-in(s). For Rice Kernal, milk, berries and agave nectar are all wonderful. Still too pedestrian? I’ve seen cheddar cheese-green onion-bacon, pumpkin pie, peanut butter chocolate banana, and soy sauce oatmeal. I even came across one with sprinkles! So make yourself a bowl – or a batch. You’ll never buy pre-packaged, processed, flavored single-serve oatmeal packs again.
Steel Cut Oatmeal
- 1 cup steel cut oats, rinsed
4 cups of water
- Bring water to a boil.
- Add oats. Bring the oats and water to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-high. (Be careful of overflow at the second boil. I’ve cleaned my share of crusty oatmeal messes from the stovetop. You’ll need a helping of elbow grease. )
- Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Spoon into bowls and top with desired pairings.
Storage Note: Cooked oats can last up to a week in the fridge. The oats turn fairly solid when refrigerated so take it as an invitation to infuse some liquid sweetness in the form of soymilk, milk or cream.