Oatmeal is the best breakfast. Well, it depends on whether you are feeling large impulse toward egg and protein with yolk smashed all over your toast, but still. Oatmeal! You can make oatmeal so many different ways, all fast, easy, cheap, and delicious. DELICIOUS!
I bet most of your parents forced you to eat a healthy breakfast (although the whole several eggs a week thing is clearly not Actually healthy) hurriedly before school every day for your entire childhood. I for one could Not do this; my stomach has never been ok with me getting up and immediately eating a lot. Even now I spend an hour doing other things before I have anything past a cup of tea. Back to the point. I would guess that lots of you therefore have bad memories associated with oatmeal, even though it's easy, cheap, and good. You can fix this by a simple method known as "eating oatmeal as an adult."
Here's my bowl of oatmeal as a kid: Oats boiled with water, no salt. We then shoveled as much brown sugar as possible over our bowls, and my mom poured some cold milk over the whole. Ok. So this wasn't actually that bad for a kid's palate: lumps of concretized brown sugar are pretty appetizing when you're eight and would happily eat your brother's halloween candy for breakfast. It has some serious problems, though. First, the oatmeal was unsalted. This wasn't something I could readily identify as a kid, but I can see it now: oats need some salt, otherwise their taste comes perilously near to "brown sludge". Salt makes oats taste like actual grain. Second, the cold milk. Milk in oatmeal can be great, especially if you cook the oats in it. It just can't be COLD; your whole bowl will get cold and damp and unfortunate. Third, the brown sugar. Clearly I would not do this now, just considering my lack of sweet tooth. It had a problem at the time, though: stir a spoonful of brown sugar into oatmeal, and the oatmeal's texture changes radically. Then you end up trying to eat a bowl of paste. Gleh.
However! Who controls the stove now? YOU, ADULT PERSON!
Adult palate oatmeal
milk or water
maybe some butter
The basic bowl of oatmeal is really easy. Get out a little pot; add some water, a pinch of salt, and a couple handfuls of oats. Bring it to a boil, then simmer for five minutes or so, until the oats are edible. Eat. This makes a bowl all about oats and oating.
- Cook oats in milk instead of water. This makes the whole business more creamy. You can also add some butter if you want to make it totally rich.
- Cook oats in chai or coffee instead of water. This way your entire breakfast can be in one bowl.
- Add spices to the oats. I like to go for some combination of apple-pie type stuff: cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, or everything at once.
- Add toasty nuts and drained plain yogurt for happy high-contrast oatings. Keep the yogurt in a layer on top to avoid cold oatmeal.
- Add lots of jam for porridgy muffin-tasting oat action. Tart things like cranberry sound really good here.
Eat oatmeal, drink tea, go to work. Oatmeal!