Dear Oatmeal, I Love You.

Photo found here, via weheartit.

You guys, I have a new love (sorry Marcus). It’s oatmeal! I don’t know about you, but I feel like oatmeal has gotten kind of a bad rap. It’s somehow become synonymous with all that is bland in this world. And truthfully, oats on their own are a bit bland (M likes them dry. He says they make him feel like a horse). I actually think that oatmeal is becoming trendy lately; Starbucks and Jamba Juice both have their own designer oatmeals. Oatmeal is not only delicious, but it’s super healthy: it is a great source of soluble fiber which has been shown to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Yay for oatmeal!

Lately I’ve been packing oatmeal as a mid-morning snack for work. It may seem a little strange, but it’s super easy. I put my oats with all my add-ins into a (microwave-safe) plastic container and add the water and pop it in the microwave when it’s time. It’s a great meal, especially for standing outside in the chilly (read: 60 degrees) LA weather we’ve had lately. And half a cup of oatmeal with toppings is really filling!

But how do you make bland oatmeal delicious? I usually add dried fruit (like cranberries, cherries, apricots, or raising), nuts (like walnuts or almonds), flax seeds or meal (for omega 3s), and a little sweetness (cane sugar, agave, or honey). Here are some more  ideas of delish oatmeal add-ins:

  • fresh fruit (mashed banana, sliced peaches, berries)
  • jelly or jam
  • peanut butter (one of my favorites!)
  • a few chocolate or peanut butter chips
  • flavored almond or soy milk (like vanilla.. yum!)

One time I even poured the last few sips of my vanilla latte in.. Delicious!! I eat the Quaker Quick Oats variety, but I’ve heard some great things about the Steel Cut variety when slow-cooked on the stove. I’m not sure it can compare to the convenience of the instant kind, but I’ll give them a try!

Have I convinced you to give oats a chance? What’s your favorite oatmeal topping?


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10 Responses to Dear Oatmeal, I Love You.

  1. joanne says:

    yes, i too, am a oatmealaholic!!
    i like mine with craisins or dried apricots and with any kind of nuts i have on hand. but i like to add brown sugar and a bit of cinnamon too…YUMMMM!
    thanks for reminding us of a simple pleasure, kir!

  2. greg says:

    hurray for oatmeal! i started eating it for breakfast right after getting the “Starbucks mix” a couple of years ago. i copied it, but also improved on their’s. two kinds of raisins, dried cranberries, walnuts and almonds (my fave). mix it in with brown sugar and milk on top and it’s a great start to the day. i probably have it at least 5 morning each week.

  3. Marcus says:

    Omnomnom dry oats…

  4. Franjessica says:

    I love oatmeal too! It’s so yummy, especially with maple syrup. I’ll have to try it with dried fruit but I was never a fan of prepackaged apples and cinnamon flavor. We shall see you’ve inspired me to try it with some new things. Also I’ve recently become obsessed with black bean soup. I’d never really liked it before but I made it a few weeks ago with taco leftovers and it was so delicious, I made it again this week. 🙂

  5. Joe says:

    You need to try Trader Joe’s frozen steel cut. Single serving pouches that heat up in 2-3 minutes in the microwave. Delicious without toppings.

  6. Suz says:

    Funny you should mention oatmeal… I am a very bad no breakfast person. I just don’t feel hungry in the morning for anything more than my glass of iced coffee.
    But just today I was thinking that surely I could down a small bowl of oatmeal. Thanks to you, tomorrow is the day! 🙂

  7. Lexley says:

    Growing up in Scotland, oatmeal was the staple breakfast food. I’ve gotten out of the habit, but as you point out, its heart-healthy, so I should return to it now I’m “middle-aged.” By the way, Marcus, ever since Katy was a wee girl, she has loved eating dry oatmeal. I’ll have to ask her if she feels horse-like when doing so!

    Hope all is well in rainy California. Although almost 60 degrees today here on the east coast, we still have piles of snow somehow!

  8. kelly says:

    i saw this article today and it made me think of you and our common fondness for REAL oatmeal with assorted toppings.

    p.s. the new kitchen looks GREAT!


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