The Bare Hands Series: Homemade Oatmeal

In her latest installment of The Bare Hands Series, resident food writer Heather Do gets mushy while discussing her take on the lumpy breakfast staple. Continue reading to see her original recipe for homemade oatmeal.

Oatmeal, like many other kinds of comforting mush, is an epicurean delight where specificity is irrelevant and creativity is rewarded. So when the recipe calls for a teaspoon of this and tablespoon of that, please don’t go futilely rummaging through the questionably clean bin labeled “small things” to find measuring spoons; just stick your hand in the sprice jar and grab an amount that feels appropriate. We suggest you start with the essentials and use what you have on hand to suit your taste buds.

The essentials, the building blocks to your morning grub-o-comfort:
2 cups milk [soy (our preferred choice), almond, rice, non-fat, low-fat, whole… whatever you fancy]
1 cup rolled oats
1/8 cup brown sugar (white sugar, honey, brown rice syrup, molasses, or any other sugar substitute will work)

1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
generous pinch nutmeg or cloves

Fancy Frills:
2 Tbs flax seeds
2 Tbs coconut flakes
2 Tbs raisins

overflowing handful of fresh and/or frozen fruit (we dig them internationally imported bananas and frozen blackberries)

Fun Luxuries:
2 dollops peanut/almond butter
2 dollops Nutella
handful chocolate chips

1.  Grab a reasonably clean, small sauce pot.
2.  Put the oats and milk (or substitute) in the pot.
3.  Place pot on the stove with heat on high.
4.  Throw in sugar, spices, and fancy frills.
5.  Occasionally stir oats throughout the cooking process.
6.  When oats reach a boil, turn heat down to medium-low.
7.  Don’t be alarmed by the foam.
8.  Continue to occasionally stir oats.
9.  Toss in fruit and fun luxuries after foam has subsided.
10.  Stir for a few more minutes.
11.  Turn off stove when your oatmeal has reached the desired texture on the wet-and-runny to dry-and-firm spectrum.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups, enough for one really hungry person or for two people who ate midnight snacks the night before and aren’t that hungry. (Social tip: make extra! Hungry housemates are bound to walk by and eyeball your scrumptious snack, and there’s no better way to start off the morning than chatting over steaming bowls of oatmeal.)

Time: 15 minutes

Oats and oats of love,

All photography courtesy of the author.

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