Monday, March 21, 2011

Our version of oatmeal

So oatmeal is one of the other quick breakfasts I mentioned, when we don't have time to make a green smoothie for breakfast.  (You'd think I'd actually post about our main breakfast food first, but instead I seem to be going in reverse order.  I'll get to a green smoothie post eventually.)

We do oatmeal a little different in our house.  First is the fact that I really have a strong dislike of oatmeal texture.  Never have liked it.  But I stumbled upon the idea of oatmeal porridge somewhere, tried it and totally loved it!  All oatmeal porridge is, is ground up oats (in your blender or food processor), prepared as you normally would for more of a porridge consistency.  I loved that, but husband did not so much, to put it mildly.  So we compromise and do half regular rolled oats and half ground up oats (or essentially oat flour).  It works for us.  He'd still prefer regular and I'd still prefer porridge, but we compromise to keep the peace. :)

So here's the recipe:  (no picture as I tried and tried, but oatmeal does not seem to take a remotely good picture)

Oatmeal Porridge Compromise (Serves 2)

1/2c regular rolled oats
1/2c oat flour
1 1/4c water
1 cup non-dairy milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon (more or less depending on your cinnamon love)
a sprinkling of nutmeg, ginger, or some other similar spice

Stir all ingredients well, bring to a boil on the stove, and cut the heat back to let it simmer about 5 minutes or until cooked.  Be sure to stir frequently.  Because it's a half and half mix, you have to kind of watch it and stir a lot because the porridge part can stick.  If you do this with all ground up oats the cooking time is much less and you have to stir it constantly.  If you do it with all regular oatmeal, the cooking time will be longer, but you don't have to keep as diligent an eye on it.

You'll notice there is no sweetener in the oats as prepared (unless your non-dairy milk includes some).  We purposefully leave it out but add a lot of flavor with the cinnamon and vanilla.  The more flavor you have, the easier it is (I think) to do with less sweetener.  We generally chop up an apple to put on top of the oatmeal, and then my husband will do a little swirl of honey.  Sometimes I add a bit of stevia to mine, or sometimes if the apple is nice and sweet I just stick with that.  That keeps the oatmeal nice and healthy and low in sugar instead of sweetening it up like crazy.

Is it a big taste adjustment without the really sweet flavor?  Sort of.  I'd like to pile lots of brown sugar on my oatmeal, but I recognize that just shouldn't happen for both my waist and my health, so I made my taste buds adjust.  And yes I do really like it now the way we fix it.

For a good article on how NOT to make oatmeal, check out this post by the New York Times Opinionater.

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