Oatmeal – What I eat when I eat alone!

I love lazy mornings when I wake up early, feed and walk our little dog, and have breakfast by myself while the husband is still asleep.  These are the days when I get to make what I like to eat for breakfast.

As much as I love and adore my husband, we have very different ideas of what breakfast should be.  My husband loves his Filipino-style breakfasts, meaning eggs (omelet style, over-easy or scrambled) and tapa (cured beef), tocino (cured pork or chicken), corned beef, or sausages with lots of garlic rice.  So on weekends or when we have breakfast together, that’s what we usually have, with a bowl of chopped and salted tomatoes on the side for me.

On most mornings, since I wake up and head out earlier than my husband, I usually grab a piece of rye or whole wheat toast slathered with a bit of real butter (always, always salted) and a hard-boiled egg that I cooked the night before.  Sometimes I’m lazy and it’s corned beef pan de sal from Starbucks, other days it’s Pan de Manila bread with ham and some butter stuffed inside.  I take this with me along with a thermos of brewed coffee or hot chocolate.  But when I have more time, I think that very few things come close to perfection early in the morning than a bowl of Greek yogurt with walnuts and some good honey.  Or this:

A lot of people eat oats because they have to, to lower cholesterol or as part of a diet plan, but I’ve always loved oatmeal.  I must have gotten that from my dad since my mom thinks oats are for old, toothless people who have no other choice but to eat mush.  I like to think that this would change her mind.

I used to eat the old-fashioned rolled oats, but ever since steel cut oats became available in Manila, they are the only type of oats that I buy.  I like the slightly nutty flavor and the fact that they don’t reduce to a bowl of mush.  They’re slightly chewy but still creamy, and keep me full well until lunchtime.

I’ve tried preparing steel cut oats 3 ways, you can try whichever method works for you best:

  • Soak them overnight, which is much faster and takes less than 10 minutes to prepare in the morning.  You just bring the oats to a boil and they’re done in 8 to 10 minutes depending on how you like them.
  • Stick them in a crock pot overnight.  I usually use 3 cups of water to 1 cup of oats.  I like this method since you end up with velvety, chewy, creamy oats but it’s sort of a pain to clean the crock pot with all the brown crusty oats on the sides.
  • Prepare them from scratch – which is what I did this morning.  I used 3 and a half cups of water and half a cup of milk for 1 cup of oats and brought it to a simmer with a pinch of salt for around 30 minutes until I got the creamy consistency I wanted.  Sprinkle on some brown sugar, walnuts, sliced bananas, a little wheat germ if you’re feeling virtuous, and you’re all set!

You can get Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats in Healthy Options.  I got mine at Greenbelt 5, you can call them at (02) 729-6104.  The ones I got are 179 Php per bag, the organic ones are 229 Php.  Wheat Germ is from Rustan’s Supermarket, Magallanes.  Have a great day everyone!