Saturday, March 27, 2010

Never Underestimate the Power of Oatmeal!

I remember eating hot cereal for breakfast when I was a kid.  It was usually in the form of a cold hard clump. It was even worse if you bit into a lump, and dry, uncooked cereal filled your mouth. Ugh, I ended up with a stomach ache every morning. I was convinced as I grew up that oatmeal and other hot cereals didn't agree with me and that it made me feel sick. I held onto that belief until about 10 years ago. Now I realize that it was getting ready in the morning and going to school that made me feel sick. It wasn't the cereal after all.

About 10 years ago, I revisited the "hot cereal for breakfast" idea, and found that I was a good thing and I actually loved it! Who wouldn't the way I fixed it. I would cook oatmeal with vanilla, cinnamon and brown sugar! It was like eating an oatmeal cookie for breakfast. I did that for a few years but let the "oatmeal cookie" phase pass in favor of a healthier version. I was always on the lookout for any type of oatmeal that caught my eye. My cupboard was always filled with Quaker Quick Oats, Quaker Regular Oats, numerous steel cut oats, instant out-of-the-package oats, and on and on. 

About four years ago, I saw Coach's Oats at Costco and thought it looked like a great deal at under five dollars, considering the bag weighed 4.5 pounds. Their "Patented" Cracked n' Toasted Oats, intrigued me. The package claimed you get "Hearty steel cut texture in 5 minutes!" Wow, I was impressed so I bought a bag. Well, all I can say is there is no going back to anything else. Oatmeal has definitely been reinvented! My dear Hubby even enjoyed this oatmeal. It is so creamy and nutty with such a great texture. I don't know how else to describe it. We have been hooked on it ever since!

For at least three years, every morning, one of us would measure the water into the pan and get the oatmeal going. I knew that the instructions were for stove top or microwave, but I only wanted mine cooked on the stove top. I didn't want to spoil a good bowl of oatmeal. About six months ago, I tried making it in the microwave and I was amazed that is was as good as cooking it on the stove top. So, there is an easier way to make it and it tastes just as good! Almost better!

They also have a Multigrain Pancake Mix that is full of great fiber from eight whole grains and flax seed. And they taste amazing! Really! I didn't think that was possible. I have served these pancakes at our house many times and everyone that has eaten them has loved them. You should check them out.

As long as we are on the subject of oatmeal, how about oatmeal that tastes like eating an oatmeal cookie for breakfast! You will have to try the following recipe to believe it. I'm not recommending this every morning for breakfast, but I have served it for brunch and it's always a huge hit!

Amish Baked Oatmeal

Like eating a cookie for breakfast!

See Amish Baked Oatmeal on Key Ingredient.

Now a recipe for a real Oatmeal Cookie! These cookies are very good. I made a few changes to the original recipe. I used all brown sugar, added one tablespoon vanilla, added more nutmeg, used white whole wheat flour and added raisins to the last half of the recipe.


Best Oatmeal Cookies

See Best Oatmeal Cookies on Key Ingredient.

I made this Slow Cooker Oatmeal for Christmas morning brunch one year and it was amazing! I tripled the recipe and it turned out great. I also added vanilla and cinnamon. You mix it up the night before and cook on low overnight. Perfect for a busy morning.

Slow Cooker Oatmeal

"Oatmeal so creamy, it's like tapioca! You will absolutely ...

See Slow Cooker Oatmeal on Key Ingredient.

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