22 August 2011

the most important meal

Lately, I've been on an oatmeal kick. I've eaten it almost everyday for the past four weeks. Twice, I've had it for dinner. Just for the record, I'm not preggo. I tend to find something I love, eat it daily, and then never want to eat it again once I'm burned out. Moderation? Not for me. A couple of summers ago, all I wanted for breakfast was Cascadian Farms Granola with Dannon Fat Free Vanilla Yogurt. I ate it all summer. And I don't eat it anymore. But I'm thinking the oatmeal thing might have better luck.

When I was younger, I thought oatmeal only came in little packets warmed in the microwave, in flavors like Peaches-n-Creme or Apple Cinnamon. I enjoyed it enough, but never attempted real oatmeal until recent years. I have a friend who eats it daily. Since she's much more healthy than me, I decided to give it a go. I bought me a canister of quick cooking oats, followed the directions, and then ate it just as it was cooked: water, oats, a pinch of salt. Ummm...it was awful and pasty. I decided that my Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Instant Oats would be the only oatmeal for me.

But then I ran across a blog or website (I cannot for the life of me remember which one) that heralded peanut butter oatmeal. You should know that my other obsession for the summer is peanut butter. So I decided to give it a go. I put some steel cut oats, water, cinnamon and salt in my tiny slow cooker, and cooked it overnight. The next morning, I added peanut butter and honey. Guess what? LOVE AT FIRST BITE! I was hooked on oatmeal, especially because it sustained me until lunchtime! I expanded the options (from just steel cut oats) to include old fashioned oats and quick cooking oats.

I have three toppings that rotate. In addition to peanut butter with a bit of honey, I also love steel cut oats with blueberries, walnuts and honey. I eat either of these every morning for breakfast. But on the weekends, I have a sugary-cereal version of oatmeal. I stir a spoonful of Nutella into my oats. Oh my goodness! It is heavenly and such a good treat. And hazelnuts and chocolate are healthy, right?

As soon as the weather begins to cool off, I plan to add pumpkin and spices. It sounds like the perfect fall breakfast! Until then, I'm sure I'll be content with my peanut butter oatmeal.

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