Oatmeal. It’s so versatile. It’s a wholesome breakfast that can be fruited and flavored up a zillion ways. It’s a quick supper after a busy weekend and too much convenience food. It’s love in a bowl when school’s out and there’s time for a hot meal in the morning. It’s often baby’s first breakfast, lunch and dinner.
And this week I made it summer’s favorite breakfast by serving it with peaches and syrup. Inspired by the peach clafoutis I made (involves butter, sugar and peach saute) and FishMama’s Oatmeal and Apples (which I made weekly during apple/pear season last year), I thought I’d top our oatmeal with peaches. I enjoy oatmeal a lot. But I can honestly say this was the first time I wanted three more bowls of oatmeal after I gobbled up my firsts. Sadly, I served all I cooked, so I have to wait until next time I whip this up. Normally I prefer to eat stone fruit fresh, but I make exceptions when I buy a half bushel of fruit. I start putting fruit in everything. Parfaits, smoothies, cereal, cobblers, pies and yes on top of oatmeal.
Anyone who’s seen a Cheerios or Quaker Oats box knows that oats can lower cholesterol, but it tops the “functional food” lists for other reasons per Dave Grotto in 101 Foods That Could Save Your Life:
- Contains Vitamin E, some B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium, zinc, iron, and manganese.
- Oats are rich in beta-glucans (helps immune system recognize and devour abnormal cells)
- Oats have 2 kinds of fiber, soluble (soaks up cholesterol and removes it) and insoluble (aids in digestion).
- Oats can help with weight management, studies show that oat breakfasts had the highest satiety value, keeping people satisfied until snack or lunch.
I’m pledging to feed my family oatmeal at least 2 times a week this year. More if I can sneak it in. We used to eat it more than that, but sadly over the last year oatmeal didn’t make it to the table more than once a week. Big boo was in school every day, making mornings almost too hectic for hot food, and it seemed in my efforts to use up co-op produce oatmeal wasn’t a quick dinner very often. Additionally, Little boo went on an oatmeal strike. As an infant he’d gobble up three bowls for breakfast, but upon turning 2 he’d had quite enough and groaned every time oatmeal was on the table.
One thing that will help me is this short cut: get the oatmeal assembled in the pan and stick it in the fridge at night. That way all I need to do is cook and serve in the morning. I’ve read that steel cut oats get uber creamy when they soak in milk overnight, and I think once I taste it, I’ll be hooked.
Big Boo really balked at peaches n’ oatmeal. He has come to have a tight relationship with the house speciality (raisins, applesauce, bananas and flax seed) and immediately pronounced he hated peaches with oatmeal. Of course this was after he asked what smelled so good and before he tasted it. I got through almost my whole bowl with him refusing to try it. Then when he did taste it, he gobbled it all up.
Snag an extra peach (or nectarine) for every serving next time you’re at the grocery, so you can try this! Peaches are still in season and on sale, although season’s wrapping up quick. Cooking peaches is also a good thing to do with those unfortunate poor textured peaches that turn up at the grocery too often. If they are sweet but mushy or grainy, they’ll taste OK cooked. It’s better than tossing the mushy ones.
Peaches N’ Oatmeal
1 cup of cooking liquid per serving (I use half milk, half water)
1/4 cup steel cut oats per serving (ground fine in coffee mill or whole)
1/4 cup ground flax seed (optional)
One peach per serving, washed, sliced (I left peel on, there are nutrients in there!)
1/2 tbs butter per serving (or coconut oil)
1 heaping serving spoon of brown sugar per 4 peaches (I don’t use much sugar, if you like oatmeal really sweet or want a lot of syrup use more sugar)
1 tsp cinnamon
Boil water. Add steel cut oats, stir, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook whole oats for 45 minutes. Cook ground oats for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Meanwhile, heat skillet on med low and melt butter.
Add peaches and cook until softened (about 5 mins). Don’t over cook or they’ll lose their shape. Add cinnamon and sugar. Cook one minute longer until a syrup forms. Enjoy the delicious smell of cinnamon fruit and begin salivating for how amazing your breakfast will taste. Portion out oatmeal in bowls. Sprinkle optional flax seed meal on oatmeal. Top with peaches. Add milk (or heavy cream if you really want a treat).
Kid Appeal Tip In case you want to do the oatmeal pledge with me, I’ve rounded up some other oatmeal recipes. There are as many ways to take oatmeal as there are ways to take an egg. If you don’t think you’re a fan of oatmeal or your kids don’t think they are, go on an oatmeal recipe tasting mission. Let every family member choose an oatmeal recipe and get cooking. I’m sure you’ll get a few oatmeal converts out of the journey. I used to hate oatmeal. Whenever I eat it now I make sure the boys hear me say “This is yummy. I can’t believe when I was a kid like you I didn’t like oatmeal. I missed out on all this yumminess.” This technique does a couple things. It lets them know that people’s tastes change, and even if they don’t like something now, they may like it later. And it encourages them to try things they “think” they don’t like. I set the example that I was brave, tried something I didn’t like and not only survived, but now enjoy it.
Oatmeal Recipe Roundup
KidAppeal’s Oatmeal-No Added Sugar (steel cut with bananas, applesauce and raisins)
LifeAsMom’s Apples and Oatmeal (rolled with sauteed apples and cream)
The Veggie Queen’s Pressure Cooker Steel Cut Oats-with apples, walnuts, cinnamon and flax.
Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures-Baked Peanutbutter Oatmeal (quick cooking oats)
Mommy Cooks Raisin Pawful Oatmeal (quick cooking)
@wifenkids Oatmeal w/ fresh diced mango No Sugar Added (no link to recipe, but the gist is you cook oatmeal, then add fresh diced mango atop. Needs no sweetener.
Got an oatmeal recipe you’d like to add to the list? Send me the URL via twitter, email or leave it in the comments section. I’d really like to see one for peanut butter or chocolate.