I’ve noticed some healthy living bloggers chronicle their daily bowl of oatmeal and I take inspiriation from each one of them. Although I eat oatmeal 4 or 5 days a week it mostly looks the same every morning and I think it might get a little boring showing pictures of the same bowl day after day. So unless I do something unusual with my oats I don’t usually document it. But I do have some things that I consider musts for the perfect bowl of oatmeal and I think that may be blog worthy. Here are my oatmeal fundamentals:
- Must be cooked in my rice cooker — I have a Zojirushi with a porridge setting and it makes the perfect bowl of oats every time.
- Must be steel-cut oats not rolled. My personal preference is for the chewier texture of steel cut oats. I often use King Arthur’s Pompanoosuc Porridge which is a mix of steel-cut oats, flax and flax-seed, and bulgur. I’ve wanted to try to make my own mix like this but just haven’t started experimenting yet.
- Must be made with 1/2 water and 1/2 non-dairy milk. In the rice cooker this means 1/2 cup of oatmeal to 3 cups of liquid; so I use 1 1/2 cups water and 1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk, my favorites are almond and chocolate soy milk.
- Must contain at least 1 fruit – – fresh or dried. If dried I keep it to 1/4 cup. Adding fruit allows the oats to become quite sweet without additional sweetener.
- Must contain 1 tablespoon of chia seeds. These tend to swell and give the oatmeal almost a pudding consistency. Chia seeds have properties that slow the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar.
- Must be topped with nuts or nut butter, or granola for crunch.
This morning I made AABBCC Oatmeal – – which is Almond Apple Banana Blueberry Cherry Chia Oatmeal. Delicious as usual and the bonus part was I started it cooking in the rice cooker then left the house to go watch D play hockey and when I got home it was cooked and kept warm for me.
Apple, banana, chia, and dried cherries added prior to cooking.
Frozen blueberries and toasted chopped almonds added after
Come on it’s National Oatmeal month so indulge me in one more post about oatmeal. This one was so yummy I had to share. I adapted a recipe that appeared in the USA Weekend magazine that comes in my Sunday paper for use in my rice cooker, because that’s just how I like to make my oatmeal. If you’ve never tried it and have a programmable rice cooker you must try! The original recipe for Black Forest Oatmeal appears on the magazine’s website. It was developed by the author’s of Three Many Cook’s an awesome blog written by a mom and her two daughter’s who find life revolves around what happens in the kitchen. You can watch the video demo of the girls making their oatmeal.
Here’s how I changed things up for my rice cooker and cut it down to serve two instead of four:
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate soymilk
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 3/4 c steel-cut oats (I actually used Pompanoosuc Porridge from King Arthur’s but the main ingredient in that is steel-cut oats
- 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- pinch of salt
- 1/3 c dried cherries
- 1/8 tsp almond extract
- 2 T toasted chopped almonds
Place milk, water, oats, cocoa powder and cherries in the rice cooker pot. Set for porridge and go clean the bathroom or shower and get dressed. When you hear the rice cooker signal it’s done (mine plays a little tune) add the almond extract. Serve it in a special bowl, top with toasted almonds, and eat with a polka dot spoon.
The spoon is not strictly necessary but if you use it you are guaranteed to have a great day!
Remember the Amazing Mumford; the Sesame Street magician who performed magic with the words “Ala peanut butter sandwiches”? I still use that phrase when I come upon something particularly magical, like making oatmeal in a rice cooker and have it magically appear for breakfast, piping hot just exactly when you’re ready for it. I love that I can dump everything into my Zojirushi rice cooker, set the timer for when I want it to be done and then go to bed, get up, go to the gym, shower and voila…ala peanut butter sandwiches, breakfast is served. I made enough for N and me for breakfast and an extra serving for one of us tomorrow morning.
Into the pot went:
- 1/2 c of steel-cut oats
- 1/4 c of Bob’s Apple Cinnamon and Grains hot cereal
- 1 ripe banana, chopped
- 1/2 c canned organic pumpkin
- 1 T chia seeds for an omega burst
- 1 t vanilla
- 3 c water
This morning it got served up with a dollop of Cranberry Apple butter from Trader Joe’s, another of soy yogurt, and a sprinkle of toasted pecan bits. It was awesome. Too bad it was hotter than blazes today. The Santa Ana winds have arrived bringing the last hurrah of summer and a flurry of sneezing!
The night before
This morning, that dollop of yogurt looks bigger than I remember and clearly I sprinkled the pecans on after I took the picture.
And for lunch a beautiful pear and greens salad with another sprinkle of pecans. This time you can see them.