Sunday, September 26, 2010

Outrageously overboard oatmeal

I've been really enjoying this whole blogging adventure so far.  However, I think I might be coming off as a touch obsessed to those nearest and dearest to me.  Case in point: I finished prepping a simple meal while talking to Hubs via Skype.  I sat down to eat it, and he promptly shouted, "WAIT!!!"  Utensil already halfway to mouth, I shot him a curious look... to which he jokingly inquired, "Aren't you going to take pictures of it first?!"  If memory serves, it was mac and cheese.  Not exactly blog-worthy... but sadly, the thought HAD crossed my mind even before Hubs interjected.  Am I just dedicated?  Slightly obsessed?  Who knows?  And to borrow Hubs' life philosophy, who cares?!

Anyhow, I opened with that little interlude because the oatmeal I made reminded me of it.  I mean, really, what's so special about oatmeal?  Why blog about it?  Well, two things.  One: I feel as though making homemade, not-from-quick-cook-oats, honest boiled-on-the-stovetop oatmeal is going the way of the dodo.  Why go to the trouble when it's so easy to hit up Quaker for an instant single-serving pouch of pre-flavoured hot cereal?  Two: The G.I. Diet cookbook has a good and simple recipe, I was out of cold cereal, and I had a bunch of fruit and nuts that I thought might combine together nicely.  This led me to making a giant bowl oatmeal a few weekends ago.  The base recipe is G.I. friendly, but I doctored it up with a few extra ingredients.  Therefore, I do not recommend its use for weight loss purposes... just for delicious breakfasts.  Read on!

Homey Strawberry-Apple-Hazelnut Oatmeal
Adapted from "The G.I. Diet Clinic" by Rick Gallop
Makes one gigantic bowl (technically two servings)
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup large-flake whole oats (not quick-cooking or rolled oats; read carefully!)
  • 1/8 cup (or 2 tbsp) wheat germ
  • 1/8 cup (or 2 tbsp) chopped hazelnuts
  • About 1/4 cup frozen strawberries
  • About 1/4 of a large apple, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. In large pot, bring milk, water, cinnamon and salt to boil.
  2. Stir in oats and wheat germ and return to boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low.  Add strawberries, apple and vanilla.
  4. Cook, stirring, for about 8 minutes or until thickened.
  5. Stir in hazelnuts and honey.  Let cool slightly and serve.

I'm not really sure what possessed me to add all of those flavours into one bowl, but it worked.  Obviously, you can doctor this by adding any type of nut or fruit you so desire.  I usually just throw in a handful of dried cranberries or raisins, along with some rough-chopped almonds.  The original recipe calls for Splenda instead of honey, to make it G.I.-friendly, so that's an option too.  If you're trying for healthy, though, remember to split the quantities in half here; my recipe makes enough for two people.

An important point, before I go: I'm not meaning to knock instant oatmeal.  I was practically raised on the peaches-and-cream and maple-and-brown-sugar Quaker varieties.  Mmm.  But, I know how loaded with sugar those can be; and honestly, it doesn't take that much longer to make homemade oatmeal (as a former coworker pointed out).  You can even make this by combining all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl and popping it in the microwave for about five minutes, stirring every so often... the only concern is that sometimes it boils over and makes a mess in your appliance (hence why I recommend a larger bowl).

This isn't actually a cereal bowl; it's a medium-sized mixing bowl.  This was a VERY hearty portion.
Hoping I've inspired some of you to return to a simpler time of homemade porridge,

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