Oatmeal for me was an acquired taste. I was always a Cream of Wheat lover when I was a kid. I LOVED when my grandma made cream of wheat or farina for us for breakfast. We used to pour cold milk around the rim of the bowl to cool the cream enough to be eaten.
I did not like the texture of oatmeal too much… until I had to work for Quaker Oats. Oats, as I learned thru lots of consumer research, is a very polarizing food. Some people love it, some people hate it. Some people, just like me, grow to love it. I worked on the brand just when the news broke out that the soluble fiber in oatmeal helps lower bad cholesterol. It was one of my favorite accounts to work on and I got to travel to Jamaica and Guatemala because of it.
I remember talking to consumers that some people did not like preparing oatmeal in hot cereal form or “creams” as we call it locally in Puerto Rico because they believe they need to stand in front of the stove stirring the oatmeal all the time to avoid it getting lumpy. Well… allow me to get into a little secret. That’s not necessary AT ALL.
Making hot oatmeal cereal is super simple and all you need is time and something else to do… as the saying goes, “a watched pot never boils.”… The same applies to oatmeal. The least you tend to it, the better it is.
This is more a method than a recipe… you can certainly add or subtract or change any ingredient as you see fit. But this is my basic formula for making oatmeal as breakfast in the morning… although I highly encourage you to have some oatmeal for lunch or even dinner too. Just like some people eat cold cereal as a light and east to put together dinner alternative, hot oatmeal can be a great “hot something” for the soul now that the weather up north is getting nippier. I sold this idea to Quaker once… I hope you buy it from me too.
ALMOND MILK OATMEAL
1 ½ cups almond milk 4 tbs of steel cut quick cooking oats 2 tbs brown sugar 1 tsp vanilla powder A pinch of salt powdered cinnamon (optional)
NOTE… I cook this in an electric stove, which I believe retains the heat longer than gas stoves.
- In a medium sauce pan over medium heat I add the almond milk and I season it with the sugar, vanilla powder and salt. Mix together to combine well. Immediately after, I add the oatmeal. Mix well again and partially cover allowing an opening for you to see the milk and how it’s coming to temperature.
- When the milk starts to boil, in about 2-3 minutes, stir everything to combine and allow all the boiling to subside a bit. Lower the temperature of the stove to low and continue to cook partially covered.
- After about 5-6 minutes of cooking, you’ll see the oatmeal starts to thicken a bit, but not quite done yet. I cover completely. Count to 10 and turn off the stove. Turn it off and walk away. Don’t look, don’t peek… just walk away.
- After about 15 minutes of letting the oatmeal stand, it’s done. I usually let it stand for about 30 minutes to allow it to be a tad cooler. I can’t eat oatmeal too hot… it makes me sweat.
- Sprinkle some powdered cinnamon on top before serving.
I like oatmeal on the loose side… but if you want thicker oatmeal just add a few tablespoons more of oats. Adjust the amount of oats and seasonings to your liking.
I did this almond milk version for the first time to watch Princess Kate and Prince William Wedding with my mom… the home-made almond milk gives it a nice creamier, more luxurious touch, but store-bought almond milk will do too.
Ahhh, and almond milk, just like soy or regular milk, WILL BOIL OVER if left completely unattended. I have cleaned my stove way too many times to vouch for that…