Simple oatmeal

I’m getting ready to tackle two big areas—finances and food—and in the meantime I thought I’d share one of my revelations from the week: making a bowl of oatmeal from scratch takes the same amount of time and produces a better result than making a bowl of flavored oatmeal that comes out of a little packet. The food writer Mark Bittman wrote about this in 2011, and yet I continued to buy those packets. It was only out of necessity (the child needs breakfast and we’re out of Cheerios) and serendipitous availability (rolled oats left over from cookie making) that I tried combining oats and milk in a bowl that went in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes.  I sprinkled the finished product with brown sugar. And that was it.

A bowl of oatmeal "from scratch" -- simpler and better than cooking flavored oatmeal from a packet.

You are now shaking your head, waiting for me to mention that oh, yeah, the child has Rickets because we just couldn’t feed him enough ice cream to meet his daily vitamin D and calcium requirements, or something as absurd as not knowing about oatmeal, right?

I know. I hope there will be more revelations like the oatmeal one and that I’ll finally figure out how to juggle time demands with cooking good food.

If food is something that you’re trying to simplify and improve, you may be interested in 100 Days of Real Food. (Thanks for the tip, Mom!)

8 thoughts on “Simple oatmeal

  1. I have been eating real oatmeal for years, letting the kids add what they want, sort of build your own, if we have time in the mornings. Mashed bananas, toasted pecans, blueberries….maple syrup…even chocolate chips. We don’t own a microwave thought, still do it on the stove. It’s is such a better oat than the faster cooking one. Also, double the liquid, double the cooking time for a “bigger’ serving. At least it works on the stove stop.

    • Barefootmom — in addition to the quick cooking rolled oats, which are now almost gone, we also have a huge, unopened box of traditional rolled oats, which means we’re guaranteed an opportunity to compare the two kinds, although I already believe you that the traditional kind will taste better. Especially if we start mixing in some fun stuff like dried fruit.

      We’ve had stints living without a microwave too, and it’s true that you just adapt. Not being able to warm up a “meal” that comes in cardboard and cellophane is not actually a bad thing.

      Looking forward to checking out your blog! 🙂

      • I make my own quick oats by pulsing traditional rolled oats in my blender a few times to break up the oats. You want it to be in pieces not ground all the way. Ground all the way it’s oat flour which you can use in baking or throw in he bath when you’re itchy. I like that I can boil water in the kettle and pour it into my oats. No one else in my family likes them so it is to much work to make a pot of oatmeal for just me.

  2. We’re on the same page, Ellen! Matt’s been doing the slow-oats-in-microwave ever since I’ve known him, but it was just a month or two ago that we discovered that JJ would eat it. So now we’ve ditched the cheerios and frozen waffle routine for good. He mixes in prunes, maple syrup, or applesauce.

    A few days ago, put Bittman’s books on hold at library– Food Matters Cookbook and Vegan before 6. Will now check out the blog you linked to. thanks!!

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