Everyone’s Favorite Oatmeal
Oatmeal is such a wonderfully quick, cozy, tasty, and filling way to start your day, and you'd think everyone would be doing it! When people say they don't like oatmeal, I usually assume they haven't found "their oatmeal" yet. I was not too fond of oatmeal until I discovered that if I added syrup, cinnamon, and raisins at the age of twenty-seven, it was actually pretty dang great. Then I had oatmeal for breakfast almost every day for seven years. I suggest adding more variety than that to your breakfast, but once you play around with these twists on the basics, everyone is bound to join the oatmeal club. If you want to share, this recipe can easily be multiplied to serve a crowd.
- 1½ cup water
- 1 cup rolled oats (certified gluten-free if necessary)
- ¼ cup nondairy milk (nut-free and/or soy-free if necessary)
- 1-2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- salt to taste
- Combine the water and oats in a small saucepan or pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, untouched, for 3 to 4 minutes, until slightly thick and sticky.
- Add the milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, until it’s heated through and has reached your desired thickness. Remove from the heat and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve immediately with your choice of toppings.
- Simple Fruit and Nut Oatmeal: Once cooked, top oatmeal with ⅓ cup fresh fruit (sliced banana, chopped strawberries, sliced nectarine or peach, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries) and/or 2 tablespoons chopped dried fruit (peaches, apricots, apple, cherries, raisins) and/or 1 tablespoon chopped nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, macadamia nuts). If desired, drizzle with a little more maple syrup.
- Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal: Increase the amount of cinnamon to 1½ teaspoons and add 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses and ¼ cup raisins to the oatmeal when you add the milk. Top with an additional 1 tablespoon raisins, a drizzle of maple syrup, and/or 1 tablespoon chopped nuts.
- Peanut Butter and Banana Oatmeal: When adding the milk, add ⅓ cup sliced bananas and 1 tablespoon peanut butter. Top with a few more banana slices, 1 tablespoon chopped peanuts, and drizzles of peanut butter and maple syrup. You could also add a couple of tablespoons of chocolate chips to take it over the top.
- Double Chocolate Oatmeal: Stir in 2 tablespoons cocoa powder when you add the milk. After removing from the heat, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons chocolate chips. Top with chopped nuts and/or cacao nibs.
- Fruit Pie Oatmeal: Add ⅓ cup chopped fruit of your choice (apple, pear, strawberries, bananas, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, peach, pear, persimmon) to the pot when adding the oats. Top with ¼ cup of the same fruit and/or 1 tablespoon chopped nuts.