Dave and I eat a lot of oatmeal - so much so that I buy it in 50 lb. bags at the Rising Tide Natural Grocery. We eat it for any meal morning, noon or night. It’s quick, easy and not as ‘much’ as eating a regular meal.

Never, ever, ever eat that instant microwave stuff- tastes and looks like wallpaper paste! The one minute stuff isn’t much better.  We prefer the 5 minute, old-fashioned, rolled oats. The trick is in cooking it correctly. You need to keep an eye on it.

Salt 2-1/2 cups of water in a 1 quart pan and bring to a boil. Do not put oats in water that is not boiling. Add 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 cups of rolled oats and return to a boil. Turn down to simmer and stir frequently. After about 3 minutes you’ll notice that the oats plump up and the water gets starchy and thick. Cook and stir until the water is mostly absorbed. Be careful not to scorch. That’s it!

Now comes the fun part- adding stuff.

  • Fresh fruit- chopped apples, applesauce, sliced bananas or peaches, any sort of berries added to the bowl.
  • Dried fruit- raisins, cranberries, dates, apricots, cherries, added to the pot for the last minute or so to soften them up. Coconut can be added to the bowl.
  • Nuts and seeds- walnuts, almonds, pecans, peanuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds etc.
  • Sweetner- sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, maple sugar, molasses
  • Flavorings- cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla, almond extract, butter
  • Liquids- milk, cream, cider, juice, coconut milk added to the bowl or cook your oatmeal in milk, cider or juice

This is what we usually do: Make a pot of tea and start oatmeal cooking. Peel an apple and chop it into two bowls. Add a pinch of nutmeg and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon plus a tblsp of brown sugar and some chopped walnuts. Top with cooked oatmeal and a drizzle of maple syrup plus milk.
Instead of apples, slice a banana and add coconut flakes, brown sugar and cinnamon plus almonds or walnuts. Either way it is a satisfying, keep you happy until lunch, breakfast!

The purest will tell you to go for the real thing, steel cut groats (Irish or Scotch oatmeal). They may be right. Supposedly you can cook it in a crockpot overnight, but I haven’t had much luck with it. I think my pot runs hot, and I overcooked my groats. People say it is really creamy but I’d describe it as gelatinous. I’ll have to give it another try sometime. Meanwhile we are just as happy with our rolled oats!