Once thought of as a bland and mushy breakfast, oatmeal is fast becoming again America’s breakfast favorite. Its popularity resurgence has come as our quest to gain optimum health. While oatmeal is healthy, it is also delicious when prepared right.
The best tasting oats in my opinion are the slow-cooked rolled oats and old fashion, the quick cooking oats just don’t have the texture and flavor. Instant oats pale in comparison to both the thicker oat and old fashion oats. If your children dislike oatmeal, try making your own oatmeal. Your children will probably discover their love for oatmeal and making oatmeal is easy as well as economical.
The benefits of oatmeal are numerous. Oatmeal itself has no cholesterol and almost no fat. It also contains vitamins, minerals, B-complex vitamins, and vitamin A, as well as calcium and iron. Another oatmeal nutrient is fiber which is great for the heart and digestive process.
Oatmeal does make a very healthy breakfast food with high complex carbs, vitamins and minerals. Oatmeal also has the advantage of making you will feel fuller giving you enough energy to make it to lunch!
2 cups milk: skim, 1 % or soy
1 cup old-fashion oats
1 Tbsp butter
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ cup raisins
½ apple, skinned and chopped
Heat milk to a boil, add oatmeal and the rest of the ingredients. Turn down heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Top with whipped cream.
Over Night Slow-Cooked Oatmeal
8 cups water
2 cups steel-cuts oats
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 Tbsp. butter
Before you go to bed, combine all ingredients in a 5-6 quart slow cooker. Turn on heat to the low cook setting. Takes 7-8 hours to cook.
1 cup apple juice
1/2 cup old fashion oats
1/2 cup apple, skinned, chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp. honey
Bring juice to a boil. Add oats and reduce heat. Cook on low tempeture for 5-10 minutes.
Customize Your Oatmeal
• Cinnamon gives oats an added sweetness.
• Use natural sweeteners like apples, blueberries, cranberries, raisins and apricots.
• Trying to cut down on your fat intake, use soy milk.
• Honey is an excellent substitute for brown sugar.
• Walnuts or pecans give your oat meal a grainy texture.
• Top your oatmeal with vanilla yogurt.
• White chocolate morsels will make your kids scream for more.
Know Your Oatmeal
• The term oatmeal usually refers to rolled oats, made with the whole, hulled grain oat groat. The term steel-cut oats refer to the inner portion of the oat that are cut into pieces.
• Thick rolled oats are made from steamed groats and rolled into flakes. These take the longest to make because of their thick texture.
• Old-fashion oats are also steamed groats but rolled into a thinner flake so to reduce cooking time. Cooking time is shorter and oats when cooked are mushier than its thick counterpart.
• Quick Oats are made from steel-cut oats but are smaller pieces to reduce cooking time.
• Instant oats are quick oats are pre-steamed to again speed up the cooking process.