Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Real Oatmeal with Medjool Dates & Toasted Almonds

A recent column by Mark Bittman of the New York Times critiquing McDonald's new offering of "Fruit and Maple Oatmeal" generated hundreds of fascinating online comments from readers. ("How to Make Oatmeal...Wrong"). I was inspired to pick up some organic rolled oats from my natural food store and get to work refining my favorite oatmeal recipe, just in time for the Bay Area's last blast of windy wet winter weather.

Oatmeal is quick, easy, cheap, nutritious and satisfying; anyone from the age of eight up can make a great bowl of oatmeal in five minutes flat with some plain bulk rolled oats as seen in the photo above- no special quick or instant versions necessary- and a few added ingredients. Here's how. Makes one serving.

Real Oatmeal with Medjool Dates & Toasted Almonds

1/2 cup organic rolled oats
1 cup plain soy milk
1/2 cup fresh water
1 pinch sea salt
1 tablespoon golden raisins
2- 3 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1 teaspoon nut butter (almond, peanut or other)
1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)
toasted chopped almonds

Put oats, soy milk, water and sea salt in a small pan; cover and bring to a simmer. Add raisins and dates, cover and cook gently on low heat for about 5 minutes. If you prefer creamier oatmeal, stir well and cook for a few more minutes. If oatmeal is too thick, add a bit more water or soy milk; if too thin, remove lid and continue cooking until the cereal thickens. Stir in nut butter and maple syrup if using, and serve immediately in a warm bowl. Garnish with toasted almonds.

Note: "How to Make Oatmeal...Wrong" by Mark Bittman can be found below right by clicking on my twitter feed; look for February 22 tweet.