Oat To Have Known

So I recently decided to try 'Old Fashioned Oats'. I had never had them before. Originally my plan was to try 'Steel Cut Oats', but they were of limited availability and very pricey. So I settled on a classic Quaker canister.

As a child my mother fed me instant oats for breakfast on many, many mornings. The soupy, sugary mess never sit right with me, even as a child. It kinda soured me on the whole concept of eating oats for a long, long time.

But it was the Internet and Alton Brown that finally convinced me all these years later to give oats another chance. I saw an article for refrigerator oatmeal and was intrigued. I've always loved the show 'Good Eats' and he certainly made them sound delicious and nutritious. The fact that so much protein might be obtained from a grain struck a particular chord.

When I read the nutrition labels I was pretty amazed. A serving of instant oats has only 2 grams of protein. While a single serving of old fashioned boasts 5 grams. On top of that instant oats are laden with sugar, while the simple kind have hardly any at all. You can control the sugar content.

I grew up under the misapprehension that anything other than instant oats were a labor and time intensive task.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Old fashioned oats take about 5 minutes to cook on the stove top. They taste infinitely better and have a supremely more appealing texture.

Now I do have an issue with the instructions on the package. It says 1 cup water or milk to 1/2 cup oats. I prefer an almost equal ratio of liquid to oat. For the liquid I like half and half of almond milk and water. It's just the right amount of sweetness. When it's done cooking and has sit out to cool for a while and has thickened some more, then I add some more milk and let it sit the fridge for at least 3 hours. This produces the best texture.

If it's still too thick you can add more milk before serving and let sit and room temp for about 10 minutes.

You can always add more moisture, but it's hard to remove excess liquid.

Don't forget to salt your oatmeal. It will enhance the way your tongue senses the sweetness. A little bit of salt goes a long way. Just a pinch or two.

I find oatmeal to be much better chilled than warm. Drizzle with maple syrup if you like it sweet. Sprinkle with cinnamon and/or nutmeg. It's pretty much the only healthy dessert you'll ever eat.

I found the whole experience to be quite a revelation. I had no idea that something so healthy could be so easy, inexpensive and scrumptious.

Some fun variations I've tried are stirring in some no sugar added apple sauce. That was divine. Also mixing equal parts oatmeal and store bought rice pudding was one of the best desserts I've ever eaten.

I'm a little embarrassed it's taken me this long to realize the majesty of the oat. But better late than never as they say.

It's also really good if you add some oats after the cooking is already done. Just stir a few spoonfuls into the finished oatmeal and let sit 5-10 minutes. You'll get a duality of textures that's most interesting.

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