Steamy bowls of oatmeal were not part of my food repertoire as I was growing up. Words like "porridge" or "mush" were associated with the bubbling pot, and for me the oats were simply not appealing. Then I stumbled upon the realization that perhaps the issue was not the oats, but me who didn't know how to cook them correctly and I set to researching the subject. I even began a thread on my favorite foodie message board asking how to make oatmeal, and after receiving a few chuckles along with the some basic tips I started anew and have been a converted oatmeal fan ever since.
Today, oatmeal is nearly a daily occurrence in our household no matter the season. For the most part we serve it plain, simply adorned with a few raisins, walnuts and a sprinkle of cinnamon, however on occasion branching out and mixing things in brings a spiced or flavored bowl to the table.
Each time I've posted an oatmeal recipe I've been surprised at the number of enthusiastic responses. From the comments it seems many people only eat oatmeal in the colder, winter months. Many people, (like me) never thought to add different spices and toppings, and a good number of people view Irish Oats as either too difficult or too time consuming to make.
With cooler weather on the horizon and a good amount of oatmeal searches showing up, a round-up of our favorite Oatmeal recipes seems to be in order. Whether it be a simple unadorned bowl or a Baked and Spiced Pumpkin concoction, these oats are good for you. Oats, via their high fiber content, are known to help remove cholesterol from the digestive system that would otherwise end up in the bloodstream. So break out those heart healthy oats, warm yourself up with a steaming bowl, add a few mix ins and enjoy!
|Vanilla Oatmeal with Spices|
Basic rolled oats stirred with a touch of brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg received just the flavor boost they needed with a simple sprinkle of floral vanilla powder. Regular vanilla extract would indeed work the same magic, bringing a boring bowl of oatmeal up to a new level and sending a tropical feel to your chilly morning.
Before you go to bed heat 4 cups of water in a sauce pan. When the water reaches a boil, add the steel cut oatmeal and turn off the heat. Cover, and go to bed.
When you wake in the morning the oatmeal simply needs a quick heating and maybe a few minutes of cooking, but your prep time will be cut down considerably making this healthy bowl of goodness an easier and much quicker start to your morning.
Spicing it up, we topped our oatmeal with ginger and orange enhanced cashews, finding the orange permeating nearly the entire bowl and giving lending a lovely fresh flavor. Finishing off with diced banana and mango (just what we had on hand, any fresh or dried fruit will do) the kids started their St. Patrick's Day morning with a nutritious and somewhat Irish breakfast.
|Left over steel cut oats? Try this Irish Oatmeal Bread!|
Marrion Cunningham's, The Breakfast Book, provided us this wonderful recipe. However, Ms. Cunningham's version was a bit too rich for our tastes with a 1/2 cup of sugar, 3 eggs and butter, but by simply reducing the sugar and butter and replacing an egg with egg whites we produced a healthier yet still tasty soufflé, perfect for our weekend morning.
This stove-top version gives a nice steaming bowl of hearty goodness in about 10 minutes. Flavored with pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices, studded with plumped raisins and dried cranberries and topped with a generous scoop of walnut pieces, this steaming bowl is sure to warm you from head to toe.
|Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal with Walnut Streusel Topping|
Mixed and baked the evening prior, this baked version is stored in the fridge overnight and reheated in the microwave for a quick, flavorful and heart healthy start to your day. The Walnut Streusel gives a nice crunch and an welcomed autumnal flavor boost
These are a few of our favorites... what are yours? Feel free to leave links below, we love hearing what everyone is making.