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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Quick Old-Fashioned Oatmeal and Other Breakfast Tricks

I love oatmeal for breakfast: not the quick-cooking kind, which I find bland and textureless, and certainly not "instant oatmeal" which has all the texture and appeal of wallpaper paste. No, it's the old-fashioned, slightly chewy, whole rolled oats that I love. So did my grandfather Milton, who was, for his time, a real health nut. (I think I get my crunchy-granola, whole-food tendencies from him.) I still remember Grandpa slaving over the steaming pot, stirring and stirring as he babied his creation to completion. Quite a production, right? Well, as a rule, my mornings are way too busy for all that, so I was delighted to come across this simple technique–more a tip than a recipe, really–in Sally Fallon's quirky and fascinating book, Nourishing Traditions. The big ‘secret’ here is that you soak the oats overnight before you cook them. Sounds idiotically simple, but in fact, it magically cuts the cooking time to an ultra-manageable few minutes, and delivers delicious, creamy oatmeal with plenty of texture. Enjoy with brown sugar, raisins, flax seed, or whatever you like to use in your oatmeal.
Quick Old-Fashioned Oats
Anne Milton, inspired by:
Sally Fallon
Nourishing Traditions
1 cup old-fashioned unprocessed rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups filtered water
1 Tablespoon flax seed (optional)
1 Tablespoon sunflower seed (optional)
Milk, soy milk or hemp milk
Brown sugar, dates, raisins or other dried fruit, chopped apples, strawberries, etc. (optional)
  1. Mix oats with salt and 1 cup of the water in small, heavy-bottomed pot. Cover and let stand for at least 7 hours, or as much as 24 hours, unrefrigerated.
  2. Stir in remaining water and heat to bubbling. Simmer, stirring often, for just 2 or 3 minutes, or until desired consistency is reached. 
  3. Remove from heat, stir in flax and sunflower seed, if using, and let the pot stand, covered, for a minute or so more.
  4. Serve with milk of your choice, and/or any of you favorite add-ins.
  5. Leftovers may be refrigerated and reheated in the microwave, with the addition of a couple tablespoons water.
     Serves 3

    I love grapefruit for breakfast, too, but not painstakingly digging it out at the breakfast table. That's why the grapefruit sectioning knife is one of my favorite kitchen tools. This little beauty has a narrow, curved blade, serrated on both sides, so it glides effortlessly around the triangular sections revealed when you cut the grapefruit in half. I also like to use a grapefruit spoon, with a pointed tip and serrated edge, at table: it makes eating the grapefruit very easy and pleasant. Bonus feature: you can also use the grapefruit spoon in the kitchen, to scrape the seeds from cucumbers, peppers and other seeded veggies.

Have a handy tip to make breakfast time easier? Please let us know at

1 comment:

  1. I am a fan of hemp milk and oatmeal too. I am going to try this tomorrow. Maybe with some black or blue berries. Yum!


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