Oatmeal for Breakfast

Oatmeal with Blueberries

Oatmeal with Blueberries

My son went on a camping trip as part of a counselor-training course. He was amused that some children refused to eat cornflakes because no sugar was available. My son showed them that sugar was the second ingredient, but his friends said you can’t taste it.

Corn is a simple sugar and affects you in the same way that cane sugar does. Israeli researchers recently measured the immediate effect of different foods on heart function, and found only a slight difference between pure sugar and corn flakes.

You can get good quality dried cereals, but they are relatively expensive. Most contain added sugar and other additives. Know what you are paying for, and compare brands.

I rarely buy dried cereal anymore, which is why my son decided to bring home the leftover cornflakes. :) Prepared cereal just not economical for a large family, when a box of cereal makes a tempting snack andcan disappear overnight. And let’s not talk about the milk, much of which ends up down the drain.

Instead, I buy instant and “whole” oatmeal a kilogram at a time.

Instant oatmeal isn’t precooked, it is just chopped more finely so it cooks faster. Instant oatmeal can be mixed with milk or yogurt and eaten cold with fruit.  My favorite combination, in the early fall, is pomegranate and mango. In the winter we have pears, apples or bananas, and in the summer, peaches, nectarines or apricots. Spring is for strawberries.

If you prefer warm oatmeal, add an equal amount of boiling water. Or add cold water and heat in the microwave for one minute.

Whole oatmeal doesn’t need to be cooked, either. Soak it overnight in orange juice or water and call it muesli. Then add nuts, cinnamon, fruit or sugar in the morning.

Whole oats can be cooked in the microwave, with an equal amount of water or milk, on HIGH for five minutes. Use a large bowl so it won’t boil over, and make enough for two or three meals. You can also prepare oatmeal overnight in the crockpot.

I’ll give more breakfast ideas in another post.

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Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhruzek/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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Comments

  1. I totally agree with you about the worthlessness of corn flakes. And i love oats. Now if I could get my husband and daughter to eat oats, too… I’ve tried 3 or 4 ways to seduce them into oats but it hasn’t worked so far.

  2. I don’t love oatmeal, but boxed cereals are a wicked money drain. I LOVE “solet” – cream of wheat. I know it’s junk, but it’s delicious and inexpensive. The only problem is that you have to clean the dishes right away.

    And I want those blueberries!

  3. Leah Peretz says:

    Strawberries are problematic. Bug infested. Soaking them in water and soap and cutting off the crown isn’t enough any longer. The bugs are on the fruit itself too and are as tiny as the green spots. It calls for careful inspection. Beware!

  4. Leah P: I’ve been trying, to no avail, to find out if this is true of the strawberries grown with the “bio bee” since I was told that the bio bee is bred to eat the problematic insects.

  5. Where can buy the Solet? And is it’s nutritional value as good as oats?

  6. Absolute Rakeback says:

    With regards the overnight soaking in OJ, we call that Bircher muesli. Cant beat that refreshing citrussy crunch!

  7. Oats really are a super food, they have found in studies that have shown oats to help lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol.
    I actually make whole oats with salt and serve them with savory items and techina dressing when i want something different.
    And when i get sick of oats i have been turning to polenta which makes an excellent breakfast food as well.

  8. I love oatmeal for breakfast! I make mine with milk and add raisins and walnuts. The raisins are so sweet that I don’t even need to add sugar. The fiber in oatmeal keeps me full so I’m not snacking all morning.

  9. Faye Levy says:

    We also love oatmeal for breakfast. We start it with water and finish it with nonfat milk or soy milk. The oats have a natural sweetness and so does the milk, and so we don’t add sugar. We usually add fruit too, most often diced apples that I microwave with cinnamon or raisins or other dried fruit; I make enough for a few days. When we have very ripe bananas, we stir in diced banana at the last minute. Strawberries seem good only with the cold-soaked muesli that you described; we don’t like them in hot oatmeal. Lately we have been sprinkling almonds or other nuts on top at the last minute; toasted sesame seeds are good too.
    By whole oatmeal do you mean rolled oats? And by whole oats, do you mean “steel-cut” or uncut? I find microwaving the steel-cut oats inconvenient; it tends to boil over and so you have to keep stopping and stirring. Instead I cook enough for a few meals on the stovetop – mine takes 15-20 minutes.

    • Faye, I don’t think I can get steel cut oats here. I guess I mean rolled oats.

      I don’t have any problem with oats boiling over in the microwave. I fill a ceramic dish about half full. I add barely half an inch of water above the level of the oats.

  10. Faye Levy says:

    First, I apologize for my last comment. I forgot that it’s supposed to be pithy!
    Rolled oats work fine in the microwave for us too; it’s the steel-cut (it looks sort of like bulgur wheat) that boils over.
    I’ve seen lots of savory oatmeal ideas in a blog written by someone from India. She substituted oatmeal in all sorts of savory Indian dishes. Here it is:
    http://evolvingtastes.blogspot.com/2007/07/oats-la-pongal.html

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