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How to Make the Perfect Bowl of Oatmeal

 

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This past Sunday night, I suffered a tremendous loss–the Patriots fell to the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI, losing their lead in the last quarter of the game. I’m currently still stuck in Indianapolis, and the one thing I want more than anything is my go-to comfort food: a ginormous bowl of oatmeal. Since I can’t make it myself until I get bacl, l’ll give you the instructions and tips you need to make the perfect 1-serving bowl of oatmeal from start to finish.

You need:

  •  1/4 tsp oil
  • 1/2 cup oats (I use Quaker’s old fashioned)
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 packets Splenda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • Handful dried fruit (I like dried cherries best)

In no particular order, put all of the ingredients in a small saucepan, and heat over medium flame until the oats and liquid reach a smooth consistency–about 15 minutes. Constantly stir the mixture, scraping the bottom at least once a minute so you don’t have lumps (and to prevent Tennis Elbow from the inevitable scrubbing).

This recipe might seem absurdly disproportionate; but have no fear! The result is a HUGE bowl of oatmeal, with the only extra calories coming from milk.  Almond milk and soy milk make great alternatives to plain skim milk. Some of you might also be confused about the drop of oil. This addition will be a great help later when it comes to cleaning the pan—a little bit of fat goes a long way.

Of course, you can put in whatever toppings you like–fresh or dehydrated fruit, nuts, honey, or brown sugar, to name a few. You can even make it savory if you wish by skipping the sweet ingredients, bumping up the salt, and tossing in Herbs de Provence.

Here’s a little bit of useful information about oats. There are tons of different types of oats: rolled oats, steel-cut oats, quick-cooking oats, and instant oats are all common varieties in the supermarket; if you go to a grain store, the list could double or triple! When coking oatmeal, you want something natural, which will give a nice texture to what you are eating, so in my opinion the best option is quick-cooking oats. The process of producing them is as follows: (1) you start with the whole oats (2) in a process to remove the tough outer hulk (kind of like the shell of the oat), you produce oat groats (3) you break the groats up into 2 or 3 smaller pieces, which are steel-cut oats (4) these steel-cut oats are steamed and rolled to flatten them, producing quick-cooking oats. These have been slightly processed, but still retain most of their nutrition, and will cook a bit faster than plain steel cut oats or rolled oats (which are made similarly to the quick-cooking oats, except that the steaming and rolling process is done to the oat groats instead of the steel-cut variety). Instant oats cook very fast, but tend to have a glue-y consistency, and are more processed (read: less “natural”) than the aforementioned forms.

I hope you enjoyed this oatmeal tutorial, let me know how it works for you and share with us your favorite toppings.

Bon appetit.

Other recipes for oatmeal:

Creamy Banana Oatmeal

Pumpkin Oatmeal with Steel Cut Oats

Overnight Oatmeal

 

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About Jessica Levenson

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Jessica is currently a sophomore at Barnard College majoring in religion, and actively involved in Jewish life on campus. She is from West Orange, NJ and attended Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School. Jess aspires to one day be a chef in Israel.

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