Sunday, November 23, 2008

Winter oatmeal, made festive!

Dear foodies,

Now that I am back again, lets start form the top! All of you must already know that breakfast is your *most important* meal of the day, and unfortunately for me, the meal I dislike the most. After so many years, I am still not used to eating something that early in the day :( It was a little easier when I was at home with my mom cooking, cos her breakfast spreads were delicious. Idli's, dosa's, upma, chapati, bread and many more. But here its cereals most days, and it does not help that they are on the sweeter side. I hate waking up early too, so making something else in the morning is totally out of the question. So boringgg cereal it is, interspersed with apples/bread toast/cereal bars on a few days.

This worked well for the summer, but to have something cold during the freezing winter mornings is painful! So I switched to oatmeal, and not the instant kind that comes in sachets, it is old fashioned rolled oats, good gal naa :D The few times I cooked oatmeal in the past, it was on the stove top, but I chose to use the microwave in the morning to avoid having dishes to wash. The first few days, I used milk to cook the oats and that ended up with a very messy microwave from the milk spilling over. It took me a couple of days to make the switch to water, my brain needs some time to warm up in the mornings you see :D To increase the interestingness of the oatmeal I use honey(plain, orange blossom) or maple syrup as a sweetner, and usually stock dried fruits (blackberries, cherries or goji berries) and nuts (walnuts, almonds, pistacios), that I add to it based on my mood that morning.

This new strategy has been working for me the last few weeks. But with Thanksgiving fever in full throttle in this part of the world, even my oatmeal is not spared. Here is an interesting twist to make it special....
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup - old fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 -1 cup - Apple cider
  • 1/4 cup - milk/soy milk
  • 1-2 Tbsp - honey/maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp - dried fruit/berries/nuts
Method:
  1. Add the oats and apple cider to a microwave safe bowl and cook for 2 1/2 mins. The oats must be completely soaked in the cider, so add as needed.
  2. The oats should now be a little mushy since they break open while cooked. Add the milk, your choice of sweetener and stir it in.
  3. Top with dry fruits and enjoy! If its too hot for you, then step outside onto the patio and place the bowl on the closest mound of snow and watch it sink into the melting snow ;)
The apple cider gives the oatmeal an exquisite flavor! I've become a fan of warm apple cider recently, it has even replaced my cup of tea in the evenings. I did not know it could be warmed and my first can of apple cider did not move that quickly. A recent trip I made included an overnight stay in the Marriott and their breakfast table had a huge pot of apple cider slowly warming up, one sip and I was hooked.

Oatmeal is a really good breakfast option as they have complex carbs with fiber, protein, iron and minerals in them. When eaten regularly they help lower your cholesterol by removing LDL. It also helps reduce your risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and also is your friend for weight loss. But apart from all this, I think the most important fact is they are quick and delicious and keep you feeling full for a long time!

So whats your spin on oatmeal? And your favorite weekday breakfast? Please fill up this space with your ideas as I really really need them!

10 thoughts:

sunita said...

We had porridge,( no sachets for us too;-)for breakfast today. In fact, we have it quite often, on weekdays...it really is filling and keeps you going for hours. I usually add raisins or nuts to it.Other breakfasts would be cereal,toasts,pancakes (sweet& savoury),in that order :-)

indosungod said...

Priya, I like my oatmeal with yogurt and pickle and it is a standard fare most mornings.

Soma said...

I am guilty of skipping breakfast every day. this looks delicious.

veggie belly said...

this is a cool idea..apple cider with oats! I always thought the acid from the apples will curdle the milk, I guess thats not true!

I am using the ego lights for my pictures now, I'm still figuring things out with it..but its liberating not to depend on the sun anymore!

Soma said...

Priya I have tagged you for Bread baking:-)

& holidays are almost here. I like that cute expression.

bee said...

i learnt a cool jamie oliver trick. soak the oats overnight. he eats them uncooked after they have soaked, but if you soak them overnight and cook them, they cook faster and get creamier. i tried making a spicy porridge with milk and ginger, green chillies, salt and curry leaves then i added a little buttermilk in the end. jai loved the spicy one. sometimes i add chopped fruit to the sweet one and cut out the added sweetener.

Nirmala said...

I don't like porridge for breakfast except the Kanji/Gonji from Mathy Kandasamy is my favorite one during summer mornings. As we live in Chennai the rbeakfast would be idlis or pongal. And for oats I like them only in cookies ;)

Priya said...


Sunita, Pancakes, hmm, I could try making them before hand and store them in the fridge. Apart from oats do you use any other grains to make your porridge ?

ISG, I have never tried it with yogurt, my mind just does not picture that comdo :D Will try it soon for the pickle :P So do you pre-soak the oats them ?

Soma, I would happily do that, but am trying my best not to! I want to try different options so that the variety gets me into a routine.

Sala, I add milk only after its done cooking, to make it creamier and bring the temp down. But I am sure if I tried to cook the oats in a mix of cider and milk it would curdle up.
I know that feeling and am still yearning for it!

Bee, thats sounds so much like a kanji, so I just add the finely chopped spices to the soaked oats and its done ? Adding fresh fruit is a nice way to get myt fruit quota for the day too I guess.

Nirmala, the joys of living in Chennai....sigh! May be I must try making a batch of idlis and saving them for breakfast with a pot of sambar, or may be I will sleep in the office after that :)) Oh, portion control you say ? :D

jd said...

That oatmeal is completely gorgeous!

I love how it's the type of simple meal that can really fill your soul :)

rads said...

I've been meaning to comment on this, and days just kept going. So yes, I did try it and I do love warm apple cider(a standard during holidays), so a nice combination if you ask me :)
Since have become an oatmeal junkie, am looking for ways to desi-fy it too. Let me know others if you have:)

and o, come visit me :)

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