Vegan, Jane Austen student, Minimalist, Reader, Librarian

Friday, October 29, 2010

Comfort Food: Oatmeal

Music: Jack Johnson, Brushfire Fairytales

A lot of people might not think of oatmeal as a comfort food. Perhaps, like me, oatmeal conjures up a forgettable meal of disgusting "instant" packets from Quaker. You remember those. Supposedly they were a "whole" food; if so, why was I hungry within two hours?

Oats are an excellent source of soluble fiber which gives you a feeling of fullness for a longer period of time. It can also reduce your cholesterol.

Lately I've been craving oatmeal for dinner. That's right, for dinner. I have the time to make it (about 10-15 minutes from preparation to table) and I have the time to make it delicious. Part of the fun is deciding what goodness to add to it! Sometimes I just use plain rolled oats but I sometimes also use Bob's Red Mill 5-Grain Cereal. Here's exactly how I prepare it:

1/2 C rolled oats
1/2 C water
1/2 C soymilk
2 tbsp dates, chopped
1 tbsp pecans, chopped
1 small tart green apple (the kind best used for baking), peeled & diced
sprinkle of ground cinnamon

Place all in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil (watch it carefully so it doesn't boil over--that's a mess!). Reduce heat to low, cover with the lid slightly askew, and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more milk if you like it creamier like I do.

The variation possibilities are endless: use a fresh pear instead of an apple, use walnuts instead of pecans (or even almonds), use dried apricots or cherries or cranberries instead of dates, use rice or almond milk instead of soy.

Just don't like oatmeal? You can still get your oats by making either muesli or granola.

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