Hearty Oatmeal

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Photo by Lena Robertson

I ate oatmeal almost every morning for many years growing up. So much so, that I avoided eating it for a good 20 years as an adult just to get it out of my system and because I thought it was bland and boring. It wasn’t until the last few years that I have gone back to eating oatmeal again in the mornings. The biggest reasons being: Oatmeal is quick and easy to make and I like to avoid the excessive amounts of added sugars that are found in most cereals on the market. Another reason is because I have been adding all these delicious toppings to it that add a lot more flavor, color, and variety.

Some things to think about when buying oatmeal: I like to get the thick, stone ground oatmeal that is not labeled “instant or quick”. I also try to avoid using the packaged oatmeal that has already been sweetened since I prefer to control how much sweetener I add to it.

Preparation time: 10-15 minutes

Servings: About 2 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup raw oatmeal

2 1/2 to 3 cups water

Pinch of salt

Additional ingredients to use as toppings:

  • Maple syrup (100% pure maple syrup)

  • Honey

  • Shredded coconut

  • nuts

  • Seeds (ie: pumpkin, sunflower)

  • Raisins

  • fresh or dried fruit (ie: apples, berries)

  • Ground flax seed

  • Milks (soy, almond, coconut, dairy)

Preparation:

Combine the oatmeal and water in a saucepan and cook on medium heat until the water starts to boil. When the water begins to boil, turn the heat down to low and let it cook until the oatmeal absorbs most of the water and the consistency becomes thicker. Usually about 7-10 minutes. While the oatmeal is cooking, stir occasionally to keep the bottom from burning. For a thicker oatmeal use less water and for a thinner oatmeal use more water. You may need to cook it for less or more time depending on how much water you add. So, try it out a few different ways and see how you prefer to eat your oatmeal. I like mine to be a medium consistency (not too thick and not too runny). While the oatmeal is cooking, prepare your toppings. For a list of topping ideas see above.

Toppings used in the above picture for one bowel of oatmeal:

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1/2 apple cubed

4 blackberries

1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes