Saturday, January 07, 2017

Quick Solution for a Hearty Breakfast: Oatmeal!

On frigid mornings like we've been having lately, the best thing I can think of—besides buckets of coffee, that is—is a warm, comforting breakfast. The problem is, most of the time those hearty breakfasts entail at least an hour of prep and cooking even if I've got the ingredients handy.

Then, the other morning, Dave said, "How about oatmeal for breakfast?"

What? Oatmeal? I haven't had oatmeal for at least a year…the last time I made it was when my 6-year-old nephew was here for a sleepover while his folks made a quick escape to Seattle. And I don't think Dave has ever made it in the (mumble mumble) years we've been together.

Fortunately I usually have rolled oats in the pantry left over from making granola, along with milk, currants and brown sugar, and ten minutes later we were tucking into warm, fragrant bowls of creamy cooked oats. And honestly, when you think about it, those instant packets of oatmeal? They take just as long if you consider boiling the water, mixing it and waiting at least a couple of minutes for the mass of processed oats to congeal. Plus the flavor doesn't even come close to cooking rolled or steel-cut oats from scratch.

So next time you're at the store, get some organic rolled oats from the bulk department. They'll come in handy for a warm, hearty breakfast (with maybe enough left over for a batch of oatmeal cookies).

Oatmeal for Two

2 c. water
1 c. rolled oats
Pinch salt

In a small to medium-sized saucepan, combine water, oats and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to simmer. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking, and in 3 to 5 minutes you'll have oatmeal. Serve with milk and brown sugar or syrup, and feel free to add butter, chopped fruit or other condiments as desired.

Want to make more, or even cook up enough for a few breakfasts? Keep the ratio of water to oats at 2 to 1 and you're good to go.

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