I always knew oatmeal was an unsung hero and I could probably write pages extolling its health benefits like lowering blood cholesterol, reducing heart disease, and stabilizing blood glucose levels. For optimal health benefits, you should aim to eat roughly 1 cooked cup of oatmeal each morning.
However, people tend to turn their nose up at oatmeal and liken it to gruel, but I think that mostly comes from oats that just weren’t cooked properly. I have to admit that I have had oatmeal that was so thick and solid, you could build a house with it. I’ve also had oatmeal that was so thin and runny, you could just drink a glass of water and call it good. Don’t neglect it while cooking. Be careful not to overcook or undercook it.
I would also recommend avoiding the quick-cooking oats and go for the whole oats. The quick-cooking oats are fast because they have been ground pretty fine, but you sacrifice texture and I think that contributes to oatmeal’s mushy reputation.
I like to use Snoqualmie Falls Lodge Oatmeal because they cut their oats extra thick for a heartier, whole oat texture, which makes for better flavor. I cook it uncovered for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, and then remove it from heat, cover it and let it rest 3-5 minutes.
And while you could just serve it with brown sugar, butter and cream or milk, I like to treat it like the base for a trail mix and really load it up. Options include, but should not be limited to:
Cream, milk, almond milk, coconut milk, etc.
Dried fruits such as raisins, craisins and apricots
Fresh fruit (if you don’t have any fresh fruit on hand, add a spoonful of jam)
Spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg
Flavored morsels such as chocolate or butterscotch (What?! You know you want to!)
Yogurt or yogurt chips
Bacon bits (I mean, bacon makes everything better, right?)
Oatmeal makes a great, hearty breakfast for either home or camp. It is simple and quick (on the table in about 20 minutes).
Tomorrow is Oatmeal Monday. How about a nice hot bowl for breakfast? What will you put on it?