Oatmeal Dilemma and Flavorful Organic Oatmeal Recipe

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From Lisa Barnes

So if you read my previous post you know about my microwave issue. My husband dropped the burned one at the appliance recycling center – it was done. At first I wondered if I needed to replace my microwave. What do I use it for? Really not that much. I won’t be trying any popcorn recipes with it. However the morning after the microwave debacle, I went to have my breakfast and I couldn’t eat it. I eat oatmeal every morning. I usually make a pot of it on the stove on Monday and then reheat the next few days (depending on how much my daughter decides to steal from my bowl on some days). Reheating on the stove just wasn’t the best. It took more time and more energy as I did not want it to burn. I also then had to wash an extra pot. At first I thought, well I’ll just make a single serving each day, but that wasn’t convenient either. Then I switched from oatmeal to yogurt topped with granola and fruit. Good, but still not my oatmeal.

So yes, I do miss it and went to buy one. Unfortunately I discovered many usual appliance and cooking stores don’t stock microwaves (or have very few to choose from). Everyone directed me to their online stores. Again I thought, maybe I don’t need the microwave. I know many people who do not use microwaves at all, for health reasons and just because they don’t want another appliance. I can understand that.

Then I realized I use it to reheat things (mini portions for my kids of left-over meals) and to melt chocolate and butter. Of course I’ve been using the stove top this past week, but I keep going to the pantry for the quick and easy microwave. Also working on a new cookbook I often cook things using different methods and sometimes that means a microwave. So that was the final straw and justification. I ordered one online. Now I’ll have to wait for the delivery truck…

Here’s my master oatmeal recipe…

Flavorful Organic Oatmeal

Oatmeal is an easily digestible grain with a nice creamy texture which lends itself to many flavorings for children and adults alike. See suggestions below or create your own family favorites using this master recipe. You can even set-up an oatmeal bar with a variety of toppings in small bowls and let each family member choose their own.

This oatmeal can be made and stored in the refrigerator for 3 days. If the whole oats are too coarse for your baby or if you prefer a more mushy texture, grind uncooked oats in a blender or food processor for a smoother consistency and shorter cooking time.

Makes about 2 cups

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup organic oats
2 cups water

Combine water, cinnamon and vanilla in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to simmer and stir in oats. When mixture begins to simmer, cover, turn off heat, and let stand for 15 minutes until thick and creamy.

Stir in flavor options (below) or enjoy alone.

For variety here are some flavor, color and texture options per single serving ½ cup:

– 1 tablespoon fruit puree or organic all fruit spread, plus 1 tablespoon currants
– 1 tablespoon grated apple and sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg
– 1/2 mashed organic banana, with a sprinkle of grated shredded coconut
– small handful of organic blueberries
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Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler and lives in Sausalito, California.
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