Oatmeal is a pantry staple that we use almost daily — steel-cut oats or Old Fashioned for morning oatmeal, and quick-cooking or instant rolled oats for baking (cookies, pancakes, crumble toppings). Oatmeal is family-friendly because it’s so easy to prepare and because of the fun variety of toppings that serve all tastes. Oatmeal can be cooked and topped with any number of fruits, sweeteners, and spices. The toppings can be changed seasonally (heavier and spicier in the fall and winter, lighter with fresh fruit in the spring and summer).
Ideas for Oatmeal Pairings (Fruit + Sweetener + Spice):
- Fresh or frozen berries + Brown sugar + Cinnamon
- Small dried fruits (raisins, cranberries, dried cherries) + Raw sugar + Nutmeg
- Canned peaches + Honey + Cloves
- Sliced bananas + Molasses + Ginger
- Applesauce or diced apples + Maple syrup + Real vanilla extract
- We love the Bob’s Red Mill brand because of the high quality and variety of preparations (gluten-free, steel cut, instant, etc.). Check their website for great recipes, too.
- McCann’s Irish Oatmeal is another favorite. Visit their site for information about different methods of preparation, health & wellness, and more recipes.
- The best way to store oatmeal is in an airtight container in the freezer (this keeps out bugs and lengthens shelf life).
- Add toasted flax seeds, wheat germ or other nutritional toppings for an added health benefit.
- Nuts are also wonderful additions to oatmeal if you don’t have a nut allergy in your household (toast them lightly to enhance the flavor).
Try This Recipe Using the basics365 Item of the Week:
Oatmeal is a perennial favorite way to start the day – it’s healthy, warm, and hearty. This version, a recipe from much loved “Auntie” Kimberly, makes the whole kitchen smell inviting with cinnamon and vanilla. This variation has become our breakfast standard…enjoy!
Tia Kimberly’s Oatmeal
6 cups water
2 cups Old Fashioned oatmeal
Pinch of salt
2/3 cup raisins
4 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Bring the water and salt to a boil then add the oatmeal and reduce heat to simmer for at least 10 minutes. Add the raisins and cook for two minutes more so the raisins can soften and plump. Turn off the heat. Stir in the brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Serve topped with your milk of choice (cow, rice, soy, almond, hemp).
Super Speedy: Substitute quick cooking oatmeal for Old Fashioned and the cooking time will decrease from 10 minutes to 3 minutes.
Can’t Cook Today: Better Oats brand has some good instant oatmeal packets – we’re partial to the RAW line. Available at Amazon.com and Whole Foods.