Monday, March 13, 2006

Berry Oatmeal (ARF/5 #11)

Today real Scottish Oatmeal has taken a backseat to the quick and easy approach of instant oats. It is all too common to hear that there is no time, even for a simple breakfast; cereal, granola bars or nothing at all have taken the place of a hearty, healthy meal. In the wanning days of cold, Scottish Oatmeal is a comforting treat.

My first taste of oatmeal was when I was a child. Like most kids, I had to add plenty of brown sugar to make it a palatable dish. This made it delicious and I happily devoured every bite. My mother bought plain oats and everyone spruced them up as he pleased.

Now I appreciate real oats. The aroma, texture and earthy, grainy flavor is comforting, especially on cold mornings, or when ill. I prefer to add little sugar, allowing true flavor to really shine through. My weakness is fruit though; I cannot go without its addition. When the oats are nearly done, I remove them from the stove, sprinkle with sugar and fruit, and place them in the broiler. The result is a dish with exceptional natural sweet flavors that is a compliment, not a competition, to the oats.

To truly experience oatmeal means using old fashion oats that must be prepared on the stovetop. It is simple, fast and the flavor and texture are far superior to quick oats. Further, quick oats often add flavorings and sugars, something you want to avoid, especially if you are eating oats as a health benefit!

If bananas are used, when placed under the broiler, they caramelize and form a crust with the brown sugar on top of the dish. It is a true joy to crack through. Berries, especially blueberries, melt down and the juices cover the oats. The result is an earthy, delicious dish with a fabulous fruit syrup. Any way you cut it: adding small amounts of sugar, fresh fruit, or nothing at all, fresh oatmeal is a fabulous fast treat.

Serving Size= 2 persons. Active Time= 12 minutes.
* 3 cups water
* 1-½ cups Scottish Oats
* 15-20 blueberries
* 1 Tbl brown sugar

1) Bring the water to boil over medium heat. Add the oats, mix to break down then cover tightly; let cook 9 minutes
2) Turn on broiler. Divide oats into two oven-safe bowls, sprinkle brown sugar on top, add blueberries (or bananas or any other fruit)
3) Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until berries wilt and brown sugar carmelizes.

Head on over to Sweetnicks for the ARF/5 roundup!

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