Memories of Oatmeal
I remember making oatmeal as a child. It involved opening up a little package of flavoured Quaker instant oats, putting it in a bowl and pouring boiling water over them. Not the best way to make oatmeal. I think the flavours were maple and brown sugar, peaches and cream, apple cinnamon and something with raisins. Not what I call a healthy breakfast. I used to love my flavoured Quaker instant oats when I was 8 years old.
I also have great memories of eating oatmeal at my grandmother’s house. I would wake up in the morning and it would already be ready since she would wake up at 5 am or something like that. I would park myself in front of the TV for cartoons and oatmeal. I loved it. however I remember covering my bowl of oatmeal with refined white sugar, dairy milk and some tasty raisins.
I think I went years without eating any oatmeal/porridge. Until I discovered Jamaican porridge. I used to eat lunch at this Jamaican Food spot called Mitch’s island grill. Tiny authentic amazing jamaican place. More of a food counter than a restaurant. Mitch used to make a different kind of porridge every morning. Cornmeal, banana etc. You had the choice of getting fried dumplings to dip in it. Also probably not the healthiest breakfast but good.
Needless to say I don’t eat the same way I used to. I no longer east instant pre-flavored packaged oats, I no longer cover my oatmeal in white sugar, and unfortunately no longer dip fried dumplings in my oatmeal. Although to be honest if Mitch hadn’t gone back to Jamaica I would probably be dipping some dumplings in his porridge oct in a while.
Some things change and some things stay the same. I don’t eat my oatmeal the way I used to, but I still love oatmeal. Probably a lot more than I used to.
I use steel cut oats now. Sometimes mixing in some quinoa, millet, spelt or kamut flakes or even some amaranth. Lot of options, all good.
If you haven’t had oatmeal in a while maybe it’s time you give it another try. It’s easy, delicious and healthy.
So many options for toppings. All different kinds of fruits and berries, nuts, seeds, spices. You can use no milk or your milk of choice. Some things of my favourites are walnuts and hazelnuts, ground flax seeds, mixed berries, bananas, maple syrup, raisins.
Recently I have been using currants, which are smaller than your typical raisin, combined with cinnamon and nutmeg.
What are your favourite oatmeal toppings?
Cinnamon Nutmeg Oatmeal
1 cup oats (+ water for cooking)
1/4 cup currants
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 ground nutmeg (i like to grind mine fresh)
1 or 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
1 tbsp maple syrup
Cook oats according to directions or until cooked. Different brands and types of oats will require different cooking times.
Once the oats are cooked add the cinnamon, nutmeg and currants to the pot.
I like to add my flax and maple syrup to my bowl once I have served it. That way if you have extra you can add the flax fresh the next day. And not everyone likes the same amount of sweetener which is why I add this to the individual servings.
Makes 2 generous helpings.
Try making a big batch of oatmeal and keeping it in the fridge for the week so you don’t have to cook it every morning. Just add a little water or milk and reheat.
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