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Oatmeal : Easy Toasty Breakfast

Organic rolled on the left; organic steel cut on the right. Rolled is cut, steamed and rolled through a mill; the one on the right is just cut. Both are organic; both $1.69 per pound in bulk at Whole Foods. Texture is the big difference. I like the crunchy version on the right

Here’s how to make a sublime breakfast:

Toast 1/2 cup or so of oats for a minute in a good saucepan. Fill a 2-cup measure or jug with water. Pour a cup of coffee and relax, or just toast a few less seconds if you’re impatient, then pour the water on the toasting oats. Stand back. Dress for work, relax, read a magazine, let the oat-water mixture come to a boil, boil uncovered for about 5 minutes. When you come to refill your coffee, turn it down to simmer, or set on medium if you’re in a hurry. In 10 minutes, the steel cut oats are soft enough to eat – or leave for 20 minutes – 30 or more if you’ve put on a lid and set it to a minimum temperature. Whenever I’m ready, the oats are ready.

If this much cooking seems too much, soak the oats overnight. And the 10 minutes on boil is reduced in half. You just want it to froth a little and rehydrate the grain. Or make a big batch once a week and reheat a small portion with milk in the morning. You could microwave this, but using a pan doesn’t take more time to boil liquids. If you’re used to having sugar with your breakfast, you can add sugar or honey, or you might just try smelling the oats, especially as they cook on a cool winter morning, and see if you can identify some of the subtle smells and tastes in this grain. You might find it’s sweet enough.

I often serve the oatmeal with a few frozen blueberry on top. I add a little plain yogurt and a little milk.

For the breakfast pictured, I bought the absolute finest Bulgarian Pro-biotic Yogurt, (White Mountain Bulgarian), the sweetest blueberries available in winter – Whole Foods 365 brand, frozen wild blueberries and organic milk. And I decided to measure everything and see how much this gourmet breakfast cost me. For more, read how my breakfast is CHEAPER than packaged instant oats.

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