At best, I tolerate warm oatmeal in the winter (although baked oatmeal is a different story). No matter how I make it, it turns into a thick gummy paste better suited as an adhesive agent than an edible meal. It absorbs brown sugar faster than the leading paper towel. And its curb appeal is far from slam-on-your-breaks. I hate the last bite or every bite for that matter. It’s only out of obligation to my heart and hips that I eat it.
Until now. Megan, from A Sweet Spoonful and Marge Granola, saved my oat-eating life once again. (Here’s how she saved it the first time.) Four recipes into her beautiful new book, Whole-Grain Mornings, sits an unassuming recipe with a bold proclamation—The Very Best Oatmeal.
In all my years of eating oatmeal, the words very and best never came to mind when thinking about this casualty of a dish. I had to try it. Though, my expectations were extremely low.
Let me tell you—this is the very, very best [insert expletive] oatmeal. It’s not the best just because it’s better than all the subpar bowls of oatmeal out there. It’s the outlier, sitting far-outside-the-norm best. I’m madly in love. It even rivals my daily craving for scones, waffles, or biscuits. That’s serious.
The method is two part—toasting and steaming. It takes a bit longer than my normal 2-minute run in the microwave. But that usually ends in an overflowed mess followed by a 10-minute clean-up. You have to dirty up a pan and a bowl, but trust me, it’s worth it. In the steaming process, most of the liquid is absorbed making an easy, paste-free pan clean-up.
Loving your hips and your heart doesn’t have to taste like cardboard. In fact, it can be bowl-licking good. Is it bad to go back for seconds on oatmeal?
Thanks to Megan and Whole-Grain Mornings, I didn't know a basic bowl of oatmeal could be enjoyable until now. It's a two part process—toasting then steaming. Individual oat structures are still in tact by the end of the cooking process resembling anything but the typical oatmeal paste.
- In a large saucepan (one large enough for the oats to make a thin even layer on the bottom) melt butter, swirling the pan to evenly distribute.
- Add in oats and toast until fragrant, 3-5 minutes. Swirl occasionally to allow for even toasting.
- Remove oats from pan into your serving bowl.
- Allow pan to cool a second before adding in the liquid (3/4 c. water and 1/4 c. milk; I like to use the same 1 cup measuring utensil to keep dishes to a minimum.) Add in salt and cinnamon.
- Bring to a simmer. Pour in oats. Swirl to combine. Cover and remove from heat. Allow to steam for 8 minutes. Don't touch.
- Meanwhile prep your toppings. Make coffee. Put on your mascara. You know what to do. I don't need to tell you how to spend your FREE time.
- Add oats to serving bowl. Finish off with a touch of half and half and enjoy. Somehow a sprinkling of granola always ends up on top of mine.
• If a pat of butter isn't your thing, try olive oil or coconut butter.
• Leftover oats can be reheat just until warm in the microwave. Add a bit of liquid when reheating as oats may dry out in the fridge.
Whole-Grain Mornings, by Megan Gordon