In Defense of Oatmeal

This isn’t a recipe. It’s just some advice for those who think – like I once did – that oatmeal has a gummy texture and tastes entirely too sweet. I really hate those little packets of instant oatmeal. But oatmeal, when done properly, is both tasty and incredibly healthy.

Consider these health benefits of oatmeal: lowers cholesterol, reduces the risk for Type 2 diabetes, reduces high blood pressure, reduces the risk of certain cancers, and contains a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Also, oatmeal helps you to feel full longer because the soluble fiber in oatmeal absorbs a considerable amount of water which significantly slows down your digestive process.

So, how do you make a healthy and delicious bowl of oatmeal? First, you need “real” oatmeal; I recommend either “Thick & Rough Oatmeal from the Silver Palate” or “McCann’s Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal.”

And, honestly, you really don’t need to add 2 cups of brown sugar to oatmeal! If you want to add something to your oatmeal, try one of these suggestions:

Natural peanut butter (or cashew butter or almond butter)
Natural peanut butter and bananas
Bananas and nuts
Fresh berries
Fresh peaches and cinnamon or Penzey’s Baking Spice
Fresh pears and ginger or cinnamon or Baking Spice
Apples and cinnamon or Baking Spice
Apples, nuts, and cinnamon or Baking Spice
Apples and sharp or smoked Cheddar cheese
Natural (unsweetened) applesauce (plain or flavored)
Raisins and cinnamon or Baking Spice
Apples, raisins and cinnamon or Baking Spice
Raisins, nuts and cinnamon or Baking Spice
Apples and craisins
Craisins and nuts
Craisins and orange juice
Honey dates
Dried apricots
Dried plums
Dried cherries
Canned pumpkin and cinnamon or Baking Spice
Smucker’s Simply Fruit (no sugar AND no fake sugar…just FRUIT…I love this stuff!), any flavor
Smucker’s Simply Fruit orange marmalade and almonds
Smucker’s Simply Fruit strawberry and plain yogurt
Smucker’s Simply Fruit Concord grape and natural peanut butter
Smucker’s Simply Fruit blueberry and vanilla soy milk
Plain yogurt, a splash of vanilla extract, and a drizzle (1/4 tsp.) of raw honey
1 T. real butter, a drizzle (1/2 tsp.) of real maple syrup, and pecans
Chocolate soy milk
Chocolate soy milk and natural peanut butter

Most of these can just be stirred into cooked oatmeal (about a tablespoon or two per serving). However, with apples or raisins, I prefer to cook them with the oatmeal. Also, if adding juice, substitute juice for some of the water (two servings of oatmeal calls for 1 1/4 cup of water – I use about 1 cup water and 1/4 cup juice).

Enjoy your oatmeal! 🙂


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