My friend Terence, god bless him, makes oatmeal like clockwork every morning. He not only does it the old fashioned way (with steel-cut oats) but he does it with such panache, that he makes oatmeal something worth writing about.
Here is a short interview with him about his morning ritual.
Me: So what's the recipe?
Terence: Four to one: water to organic steel cut oats. Boil, then lower heat and simmer for 5-15 mins, depending on how watery you like your oatmeal. I do 5 mins, then leave covered for another 10 mins (I use water that is filtered 3 times with reverse osmosis then stored in a glass dispenser, I don't like the taste of plastic in my food).
Then I add raw almond butter (it tastes much better than roasted), dried tart Morello cherries (they help reduce inflammation especially for people with arthritis - take a handful a day for 2 weeks and you'll notice a difference, they sell them at Trader Joe's), banana, (I also use papaya, strawberry, boysenberry, peaches, or nectarines), and a little Grade B maple syrup (again, Trader Joe's, buy the one in the glass container its easier to pour the correct amount, and doesn't taste like plastic), and always... cinnamon.
Me: Why steel cut oats? Why not the oatmeal with the guy with the funny hat we all know and grew up with ?
Terence: Steel cut oatmeal leaves the oat closer to its original form. By leaving the grain intact it makes it a more complex carbohydrate so it passes through your body slower and doesnt turn to sugar as quickly as the flat 5 min stuff (garbage).
Me: Why organic, does it really matter with grains?
Terence: Since only hippies buy steel cut, most that are sold are already organic. The organic oats sold in the bins at most health food store are not that expensive, so its worth it to not eat pesticides.
Me: Do steel cut oats have oat bran? Remember oat bran from the 1980's? They were putting that stuff in everything! I think I even had some cotton candy with it at the county fair!
Terence: The more intact the grain is the more fiber it will have, and in general the less processed the grain is the more complex the carbohydrate.
Me: Oatmeal takes so long to make. What's the deal? Any tips to make it faster?
Terence: The grain takes longer to absorb water because it hasn't been mashed to pieces. There is nothing wrong with boiling it at night and leave it on the stove top, covered. Just reheat it in the morning.
Me: Remember when we were at the farmer's market and you got that huge box of bruised peaches for like $5? What other fruits are prone to having "blems" that the farmers are willing to part with, on the cheap?
Terence: Ask for the ripe bin at any farmer's market stand who sells fruit that bruises, you get the best, ripest tasting fruit for a quarter the price.
Me: What is the oddest thing you've put in there? Flax seed endosperm? Bee pollen? Fried grasshoppers? (Do insects count as vegetables?)
Terence: I also have put organic plain soy yogurt (I don't like the sugar infused one).
Bring 4 cups of water a boil, add 1 cup of organic steel cut oats. Cover, and simmer for 5-15 minutes (to your desired consistancy).
Meanwhile, slice a banana, a papaya, and an apple. You can use any fruit you have on hand but these three in particular go increadibly well together.
When the oatmeal is done, scoop it into a bowl and add the fruit. Next add 2 tablespoons of raw almond butter and sprinkle a teaspoon of cinnamon on top. Lastly, drizzle a tablespoon of Grabe B maple syrup.