Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Scottish husband, Scottish oatmeal

Growing up, I thought oatmeal was the devil's instrument. My mum never made it, and I never ate it.

Then as a young adult I discovered instant oatmeal, which I thought was okay. I liked eating something warm before venturing out in winter. I was hooked on the peaches and cream and apple flavours. But at some point, I wanted more substance.

So ten years ago, I started cookin' oatmeal from scratch and now I have it nearly every morning (after my initial hit of wholegrain toast with peanut butter: I eat breakfast in two shifts. My home office allows for that.) It only takes ten minutes to make this oatmeal from scratch and in my opinion, it's totally worth the effort.

I like my oatmeal creamy and not too chewy, so I make organic Scottish oatmeal (I like Bob's Red Mill brand), which is processed differently from regular oatmeal (which I also make from time to time.) To be even more decadent, I cook my oatmeal in 1% milk instead of water. Creamy goodness! Then comes the fun part: adding in the goodies!

For a long time, my standard topping combo has been cinnamon, brown sugar, walnuts (or pecans), and sliced banana or dried apple bits. To that I sometimes add pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseed and/or toasted coconut, depending on my mood.

But when I was in NYC, my friend Brian got me adding all kind of other goodies to my oatmeal, like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and my most exciting new find, granulated maple sugar bits (like on this page.) Oh, and AVOCADO! Who knew mashed avocado was so good with oatmeal (even if Gordon and Gary do run screaming from the concept)?

Gordon has always poured maple syrup on his oatmeal, but I don't like syrup straight up (I have only butter on my pancakes) and generally only eat it when it's part of a recipe, like a marinade, or baked item. But the maple sugar bits... I love them! They are crunchy and not as sweet as the syrup, with a delicate maple flavour. Mmmmmmm!

Yesterday, my oatmeal contained blueberries, blackberries, walnuts, cinnamon and maple sugar crunchies:

Today it was blackberries mangoes, cinnamon and of course, maple sugar crunchies:

Who says oatmeal is bland and boring??!


  1. My standard additions to my morning oatmeal (more a winter thing for me) is dried cranberries and/or dried cherries (YUM!), unsalted sunflower seeds and ground flax seeds. I might just try your suggestions tho...

  2. I LOVE dried cherries (and un-dried ones!) WHy I never thought of putting them in oatmeal, I don't know, but that is about to change!

  3. I'm with Gordon...maple syrup on the oatmeal. Usually plain made with half milk, half water. And I like it almost the consistency of wall paper paste. :-) But, a couple of weeks ago added peeled apple chopped up. I want to try the dried cranberries.

  4. Dried cranberries are also YUM!

  5. I never knew oatmeal for breakfast until we moved to Canada. The only thing made with oats was soup, which I made for my children, when they were babies, since both did not want their bottles. Long story.
    Anyway, now I LOVE oatmeal made from scratch, never the instant one. It's really fun to through in all kinds of things. I cook mine with water,but when it's thick and done I pour in some cream and maple syrup and stir. Mostly I like bananas and berries. I think I'll make some tomorrow, it's too late for today, already had breakfast. Oh and I only like maple syrup, HATE the hardened stuff. :o) So there will be more for you.

  6. Hmm. New inspirations. I read in an 'all natural' kind of cookbook that I picked up in Nelson last year - Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon - that grains should be fermented before being eaten "for highest benefits and best assimilation". The baker at The Transylvania Bakery on Broadway near Alma confirmed this (and I trust his opinion implicitly). The fermentation process is simple. Let 1 cup of oats soak overnight (at least 7 hours and as long as 24) in 1 cup warm water plus 2 tablespoons whey, yoghurt, kefir or buttermilk (or lemon juice or vinegar if you have milk allergies). When it comes time to cook the oatmeal, bring 1 cup of water to a boil with sea salt, add soaked oats, simmer several minutes (about 5). My favourite part is that the recipe calls for the oats to be served with "plenty of butter or cream and a natural sweetener..."

  7. Now I'm STARVING and all we've got is the instant stuff. Drat anyway...


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!