Five years ago, if you’d asked me if oatmeal would be a morning staple, I would have wrinkled my nose and rather impolitely exclaimed, “Yuck.” Childhood memories of being force-fed Cream of Wheat (a perennial favorite of my mother’s) still gives me the “herks” some four decades later. (Yes, I know that Cream of Wheat is not oatmeal but it’s that whole instant hot cereal texture thing.) Then when oatmeal became a cholesterol-lowering super food, I tried the flavored instant variety and all it did was make me absolutely ravenous about 30 minutes later due to the high sugar content.
Three or four years ago, though, my stepson, Dan, turned me on to steel-cut oats and it’s been a different story ever since. I love the chewy texture and the way it sticks with me all morning. It’s a great fiber source and when I add some chopped apple, toasted almonds, and raisins, I don’t need a lot of sugar. If I use any at all, it’s only about half of a teaspoon or less. It’s a very healthy, delicious start to the day. Ira and I enjoy it so much we eat three times a week. It’s almost a ritual now.
As an added plus, it’s super easy to make: bring 1 1/2 cups liquid (I use 1 cup organic soy milk and a half cup water) to a boil, add a half cup of steel-cut oats and some raisins, and simmer on low for 20 minutes. I add the chopped apple and almonds after I’ve dished up.