Last week I told you how I vowed to make breakfast more of a priority in our house and I am happy to say, we are still going strong. I even got up 30 minutes earlier this morning to cook my kids a hearty bowl of oats before they went to school. Now, I know for many supermoms this is no big deal but to me, she who loves sleep (a LOT), this is huge. Of course they rewarded me by taking 3 bites each and telling me it’s too early for food but nevertheless, the effort was made and even though now I am sitting here yawning like a tired kitten, I am very proud of myself for making the effort.
Something you might not know about me is that I used to loathe oats as a child. And even as a young adult, I really couldn’t stomach the stuff. The texture was so off-putting to me and this only changed when I stayed at a very fancy hotel a few years ago where the chef had oats as part of the breakfast. I didn’t want to be rude so I hesitantly took my first bite and I was absolutely won-over. I loved the creaminess and how soft the oats were and immediately asked the chef for her secret. She told me that she only uses rolled oats as the steel-cut (and other finer variations) can have a cardboard flavour and will often taste of nothing. She also said that because most people see “quick cooking” on their oatmeal box, they assume it will be done in 5 minutes and unfortunately, that’s just not the case with oats. They need a little longer to release their starchy creaminess and become mouth-wateringly-delicious (yep, that is a word).
So off I went to purchase a giant bag of rolled oats and I’ve never looked back. I always allow myself at least 20 minutes to cook oats the way I like it. I start by taking 1 part oats to 2 parts boiling water with a pinch of salt. I then combine this in a saucepan and boil if for 5 minutes before turning the temperature down and simmering for another 5-10 minutes, stirring every now and then. I then turn the heat off, add a knob of butter and cover with a lid and allow the oats to steam for another 5 minutes. To finish it off I stir in the (now) melted butter and a generous amount of cinnamon with a little sugar, et voila. Creamy, beautiful oats. To add a bit of interest, I often make myself a breakfast bowl with the creamy oats as a base. The options are endless really but I love using fresh raspberries (stewed apples are also awesome) and always add a healthy spoonful of breakfast seeds. In the mix I used here were sesame, chia and linseeds (flax seed) but I also like using pumpkin seeds. And of course, a spoonful of nuts would go brilliantly as well, I just didn’t have any. Finish it off with a drizzle of honey and you’re all set. This, by the way, also makes a great breakfast to take to work and just re-heat in the microwave oven (add a splash of milk to take the stodge out of the oats once it’s re-heated). And just like that, my tiredness is forgotten and I can’t wait to wake up early to get another pot of oats going. What is happening to me?
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2 cups boiling water
- pinch of salt
- 1-2 teaspoons of butter
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
for the toppings
- fresh berries/fruit of your choice
- seeds/nuts of your choice
- honey to taste
- To cook the oats, combine the oats, water and salt in a saucepan then bring to the boil. Allow to cook for 5 minutes.
- Turn down the heat and allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring regularly, until the oats are creamy and the water has been absorbed.
- Take the pot off the heat then add the butter and cinnamon then cover with a lid.
- Allow to steam for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, give the oats another stir then serve topped with the berries, nuts, seeds and a drizzle of honey.