November 24, 2008

I Ate an Entire Bowl of Oatmeal

I need to make a public apology. I said some things about steel-cut oats that were neither nice nor fair. I believe I said "YUCK." Considering I'd tasted them plain, that was as unfair as cooking up a batch of plain spaghetti noodles and declaring them "bland." I hadn't yet seen the beauty of steel-cut oats, which lies in their ability to convey other, more delicious substances to the mouth in a Trojan Horse of health and goodness and fiber.

This morning I tried The New Girl's suggestion: salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, and milk. And for the first time in my life, I ate an entire serving of oatmeal. Serious!

First I followed the package instructions and brought 1-1/2 cups of water to a boil (I added salt because The New Girl said to---I just went shake-shake-shake, like when salting vegetable water), then added 1/4 cup steel-cut oats. I let them simmer uncovered for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then I added....well, I added a lot of brown sugar. I didn't measure, because I find that measuring sugar makes me feel bad. But looking at the brown sugar baggie, which used to have 1/4 cup sugar in it, I'd estimate I used well over a tablespoon, and probably closer to 2 tablespoons. SHUT UP! I ate OATMEAL!

Then I added a hearty shaking from the cinnamon-sugar shaker, which I make heavy on the cinnamon but it also includes sugar, so, um, more sugar into the oatmeal. And then I put in a slosh of whole milk.

And it was YUM. I still encountered a few areas of Unpleasant Gooeyness, but not many. And now I feel all energized and cheery from all the sugar whole-grain oats!

33 comments:

Jana said...

Any idea how to make them work in a crock pot overnight? We like them but don't always have time to cook them in the mornings.

P.S. I'm totally stealing the brown sugar recipe; we usually use dried cranberries and cinnamon, but the sugar/maple syrup route sounds much more yummy.

Amanda said...

I'm glad you liked them but... that seems like WAY too much work and the consistency of any sort of oatmeal product (except cookies) makes me gag.

MoMMY said...

I've never been able to eat oatmeal either unless it was in a cookie (sans raisins). But I fell in love with steel cut oats about 2 years ago. I find 1 cup water, 1/4 cup steel cut oats, and a nice dollop of real maple syrup makes a seriously tasty dish. And none of that mushy crap like instant.

Dynamita said...

I used to eat them with loads of sugar too, and then gradually reduced the amount until now I only use fresh fruit to sweeten it. I cook mine with half water half milk and find they come out creamier that way.

They taste nice with a dollop of Jam on top too! And the best part is that I do not feel hungry for HOURS after having them, and my internal organs stay happy too (erm, if you catch my drift)

Make sure you are drinking loads of water with your oats. (Or cofee)

Kylene said...

I have oatmeal at work almost every day. Not steel-cut, but Quaker's Old Fashioned. And it only takes me about 3 minutes, with about 5 minutes prep work on the weekend.

I mix 3 cups of oatmeal with 5 tablespoons of brown sugar, a good fistful of shakes from the cinnamon spice shaker, and 5 or 6 tablespoons of flaxseed meal. I toss all that into a Tupperware container that I keep at my desk. Then, every morning, I take 1/2 a cup of the mixture, put it in a big soup mug with 1 cup of water and microwave it for 2.5 minutes. Let it sit a moment to cool, give it a good stir, and I've got a yummy, healthy breakfast! And it took me no time at all.

Erica said...

For a truly righteous breakfast without any guilt at all, try this one:

steel-cut oats prepared per directions on box

Splenda to taste

Frozen blueberries

Splash of skim milk

Delish and GUILT FREE!

AndreAnna said...

For Jana (and everyone else), here's a link to a way to make them in the crockpot overnight:

http://www.recipezaar.com/Steel-Cut-Oatmeal-for-the-Crock-Pot-101101

I love my Irish Oatmeal as we call it. Keeps me full all morning.

I also add almond extract and craisins to mine. SO yummy!

Emily said...

Mmm. . . that crockpot idea sounds good!

pseudostoops said...

People might think this is gross, but because I also struggle with the "tremendous pain in the ass to make them in the morning when you're in a rush" problem, I actually make a batch on a Sunday and then eat them all week. You can just reheat them with a little milk, or, if you're feeling adventurous, you can steel cut oat cakes: I cook according to directions except substituting apple cider for half of the water, then spread the oats in a pyrex baking dish to cool, in a layer maybe 1 inch thick. I pop the dish in the fridge, then for the rest of the week, each morning I slice a wedge or two of the now-solid oats, and quickly toast them in the toaster oven or heat them in a non-stick frying pan to get a nice crust and drizzle with some syrup and it's like a solid steel cut oat pancake, kinda. I like the knife-and-fork texture better than the spoony mushy texture.

This explanation does not seem to make much sense when I re-read it, but I cannot think of how else to explain it. Just trust me, it's yummy.

Cherish said...

I usually make a large batch and eat them for a few days for breakfast. The kids wont eat them no matter how much sugar I put on them but I love them. Ive never tried the peudostoops route, but it sounds yummy! If you do try to reheat them the next day, just add a little milk or water to a pot with them and stir often as they heat up. Most of the lumpyness goes away after just a couple of minutes.

Kate @ Life As I Live It said...

Mmmm...sounds like good stuff! I just might have to have some for breakfast!

Anna said...

I ate a chocolate-oatmeal cookie (I believe your family's yummy recipe?) this morning. Does that count?

Also, what's up with the "steel cut" oats? Is that different from just, you know, oats?

Mimi said...

Ok, you made this sound really good so I dusted off my old canister and am cooking some right now. I hate that they take so long to cook!

Leticia said...

Swistle, you must check out KathEats website (katheats.com). I swear she eats oatmeal every day and every day it looks beautiful and so good.

Swistle said...

Anna- Steel-cut are the new hotness for oats. Regular rolled oats are like oat FLAKES, kind of, because of being rolled flat (or so I've imagined). These are non-rolled, so they're more like grains. In fact, they look EXACTLY like farm-animal food. They take longer to cook but reportedly have a more pleasant ("less gooey") texture and are better for you (because of being "less processed"---but squishing flat doesn't seem like it would take too much out of the Oat Healthiness). To me, the main difference seems to be that they are MORE EXPENSIVE and HARDER TO FIND.

Miss Grace said...

Yup, that's how you do it.

Saly said...

This would be the kind of thing I'd try because "Swistle said..." and then I'd regret it. I can eat the packaged oatmeal, low sugar with apples, but that is the only oatmeal, save for cookies, that I have ever been able to stomach.

Alias Mother said...

Are you apologizing for eating your oatmeal with tons of brown sugar and milk? Because that's how I always eat my oatmeal. Why would you eat it any other way?

After dousing it in brown sugar and milk, I also like to add chopped up banana. And that's pretty much my breakfast for the entire winter.

jird said...

I make steel-cut oatmeal in the crockpot all the time, starting with a very basic 4-1 water/oats ratio and some salt. However, I also love Alton Brown's dairy-and-fruit-filled option: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/overnight-oatmeal-recipe/index.html

samantha jo campen said...

Congratulations! I, too, struggle through oatmeal so I know how exciting this is:-)

Pann said...

Oh yummy!

What about your children, what do they think of Oatmeal?

I myself love oatmeal. Especially with lots of brown sugar.

On another note, I am here also to beg you to visit my blog. I am trying to do NaNoWriMo -- write a novel in a month. I am waaay behind on my word count. Lately, I've had so little action on my blog, but I feel like if I had a bunch of visitors to cheer me on, I might actually make my 50,000 word goal on my novel.

So pretty please..... can you stop by thisexaminedlife.com and give me a bit of a pep talk?

Muchos gracias and happy breakfasting to you!

Dr. Maureen said...

OK, I do not quite understand the difference between steel-cut oats and Quaker oats, but Quaker oats cook up nicely in the microwave. 1/2 cup of dry oatmeal, 1 cup water, 2 minutes. Then I add (lots) of brown sugar and some raisins and some whole milk.

Kelsey said...

I'm in the camp of people who WANT to eat oatmeal, but can't find an acceptable method. Maybe I'll try this. . . I've never found a way to eat it that I can tolerate more than a spoonful.

Mairzy said...

I'm a little taken aback: I thought that when you said they were yuck, it was because you just didn't like oatmeal. It never occurred to me that you'd try it PLAIN. You just don't EAT oatmeal without brown sugar and milk!

I found a lovely recipe for baked oatmeal that I'll email to you if you like. It's baked with fruit and brown sugar, and it's really yummy.

Mary said...

OMG, you need to do the following and you will love me. instead of cooking your oats in water, cook them in applejuice. just replace 1/2 the water with apple juice. It's amazing. You'll never want to eat anything else again and you can tell yourself it's better because you don't actually see the sugar. LOVE.

minnie said...

i make oatmeal with milk instead of water sometimes to make it super extra tasty.

Kylene said...

Me again!

One of the other blogs I read, avacado8, just posted an oatmeal recipe, too. And it sounds AMAZING.

http://www.avocado8.com/blog/archives/2008/11/cranberry_egg_nog_oatmeal.html

*Drool*

Steel Cut Oats said...

HA HA!

Apology Accepted.

Swistle said...

HA HA HA HA HA!

Michelle said...

Mmmm yummy! And umm I hate to tell you this, but I just stick mine in the microwave with all milk and no water and some raisins. It works -- dried cherries are even better! ;)

Ellen said...

Man, this might help me get over my oatmeal-phobia. In oatmeal therapy, I have traced this fear back to growing up with a father who was a health-food nut; he used to make this gross concoction with bran and wheat germ and make me and my sister eat it. My kids haven't inherited this aversion, I have to try homecooked oatmeal one of these days.

Hannah said...

One thing I do with rolled oats is make them with soy milk instead of water. I actually never liked either one before I combined the two, but together their kinda magical.

Anonymous said...

Another one that works (for me) is maple syrup, the real stuff not fake, and a handful of squished-up walnuts. You could probably put some nutmeg on top, although I don't myself.