There are probably some smart mathematicians somewhere who can come up with a logarithm that explains just how cold it must be for that box of plain old oats to look more enticing than sugary cereal in the average household cupboard.
But while we’re waiting for the specifics, let’s go out on a limb and say as the morning temperatures dip below 50 degrees, the average breakfast eater is probably a little more excited about the idea of a hot bowl of oats first thing in the morning.
And it’s safe to say plain old oats are pretty boring to most people. Much more exciting are the pre-flavored packets with names like “strawberries and cream” and “cinnamon roll.” But those packets are also much more expensive than a canister of no-frills oats and generally packed with more sugar and less fiber than is desirable.
But have no fear, just like a great pair of jeans, oatmeal is easy to dress up or dress down. The right amount of berries, yogurt, maple syrup or spice can make oatmeal a platinum superstar without sacrificing price or nutrition.
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 pinch black pepper, ground
1 pinch sea salt
1 cup raw rolled oats (thick or “old-fashioned” style)
1/4 cup salted butter
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons flax seed, ground
Raisins to taste (optional)
1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup (optional)
Low-fat milk (optional)
In a medium-sized heavy saucepan over moderate heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the spices and reduce heat slightly.
Add the oatmeal, sea salt and butter. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add a small bit of water (or milk) if needed, during the cooking process.
Remove from the heat and stir in the cream, flax and any of the sweet options. Pour on a bit of lowfat milk if you prefer oatmeal with a moat (“moatmeal”).
— Recipe from organicvalley.coop
Blueberry-Walnut Oatmeal Made Over
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup blueberries
3/4 cup water
2 tablespoons no-calorie sweetener (granulated)
1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek-style yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped, toasted walnuts
Combine first four ingredients in microwaveable bowl.
Microwave on high 1 minute; stir.
Top with yogurt and nuts.
— Recipe from kraftrecipes.com
Apple-Berry Baked Oatmeal
Canola oil cooking spray
2 cups frozen mixed berries
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 apple, peeled, cored and grated (about 1 cup)
1 cup reduced-fat milk
1/2 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray; set aside. In a large bowl, stir together berries, oats, pecans, baking powder, salt and apple. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, yogurt, syrup, vanilla, egg and yolk; stir into oat mixture. Transfer to prepared pan and bake until firm and golden brown on top, about 50 minutes. Cut into slices and serve.
— Recipe from wholefoodsmarket.com