Oatmeal is a wonder of the breakfast world- one of those foods you appreciate-and love-more as you grow older than when you first eat it as a child. It is healthy, cheap, relatively easy to make, and if prepared right, unique in that you don't grow tired of eating it every day.
Oatmeal is a product made by processing oats-oat groats are coarsely ground,or cut into small pieces to make steel-cut oats, or first steamed and then flattened to make rolled oats.
The American Cancer Society and other health groups have cited for years the health benefits of eating oatmeal every day-the FDA in the late 1990s began allowing the advertisement of oat products as foods that help reduce the risk of health disease when combined with a low-fat diet. Oats are a great source of both soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble fibers can reduce LDL cholesterol without lowering HDL cholesterol and slows down the digestion of starch, which for diabetics is important because it avoids sharp rises in their blood sugar level after a meal. From a cancer prevention point of view, the insoluble fibers found in oats are said to attack certain bile acids, reducing their toxicity to the body. Oats are also a source of protein and contain many important nutrients including vitamin E, zinc, selenium, copper, iron, manganese and magnesium.
Eaten "straight", oatmeal is a very bland, tasteless food, even for bears. To really enjoy it, oatmeal needs to be seriously jazzed up with several additional ingredients. I was introduced to oatmeal, and hot cereals in general, growing up- they were usually served before going to school in the winter months. My mother made them plain-they tasted gross and I detested all of them. I still wince if I see a box of Farina in the grocery store. I started eating oatmeal only as an adult in diners, where they were served with milk, raisins, and brown sugar-adding those ingredients, I found the dish good and filling-but I was not hooked yet.
So, oatmeal was only a once in a while thing until recently. In an attempt to improve both Jodi's and my diet (you do that as a rule when you hit your 50s), we decided to start eating oatmeal almost every morning. I started making it from scratch, experimenting with adding various ingredients like various fruits, nuts and spices-and came up with a recipe that tastes great.
When shopping, you will find in the average grocery store a huge selection of instant oatmeal, but stay away from those if you can-they are full of sugar-any taste that they replicate can be easily made from scratch. Any kind of original oats are fine-I prefer Quaker Oats Old Fashioned Oats (if you stare at the Quaker guy on the container for a little, he looks a little high). One big difference between preparing my oatmeal and others is that I add the ingredients such as fruit, dried fruit and nuts while the oatmeal is cooking instead of topping the oatmeal with them right before you are ready to eat it. The sweetness of those ingredients makes the oatmeal taste great without having to add any sugar (although brown sugar mixed in is amazingly sweet) or sugar substitute.
In cooking, make sure not to use high heat. The key to great oatmeal is slow cooking it with not too hot an element or flame. Also, I found that using milk instead of water makes a big difference in the taste-we use almond milk because it is less fattening.
Jodi and I have both found this a recipe we both look forward to it every day. Hope you enjoy it!
First, add milk into medium sauce pan and start to heat pan on low setting . Sprinkle Cinnamon into milk. Add cup of oats and mix. Peel and section small apple into slices. Cut each slice into several pieces into pot. Peel banana and slice very thin sections into pot. Add dried fruits and blueberries and nuts. Increase heat to medium setting, stirring ingredients every two or three minutes. Cook for about 7-10 minutes (I usually start the coffee at this point), then reduce heat back to low for another 2-3 minutes. If cooking with Almond Soy Milk, reduce liquid for a minute or two more. Make sure to keep stirring and scrapping bottom of pot with spoon to prevent burning. When most of liquid is reduced, spoon out into mugs or bowls and let sit for a minute or two-it should be very hot when taken out of the pan.
It should be naturally sweet without adding brown sugar, but go for it if you want a tasty sugar high to start your day.
Contact Kurly and provide feedback about this Kurly's Kommentary by clicking HERE