Monday, January 11, 2010

Melissa's Cheer"ies" to Oatmeal

Oatmeal. I am one of the few Americans who did NOT grow up with this as a staple. I was strictly a grits (Girls. Raised. In. The. South.!) girl. When I got married my husband, who WAS a Child of Oatmeal, thought it sheer blasphemy that not only did I NOT prepare this for breakfast, but thought it was totally and utterly….DISGUSTING! Even with pleading his case, oatmeal was not allowed in my kitchen or on my table until several years later.
When I began my weight loss journey and learned what a powerful food oatmeal could be, I began a mission to acquire the taste for oatmeal. I decided that if I could convince myself that raw fish was a delicious delicacy and red wine was to be adored, I could, I WOULD, find a way to love oatmeal. Having finally made the decision, I began the long, long road to oatmeal respect.

This was not going to be easy I decided. It did not have the “trendyness” of raw fish, nor the buzz of red wine. Hmmm. Why should I like this? What DID it have again? I asked my husband what his choice would be and he promptly answered Quaker instant oatmeal with cinnamon and apples. Yum, I thought. I like cinnamon. I like apples. And soon I found that not only did I really like these things, but how much I REALLY, TRULY HATED, HATED, HATED instant oatmeal! Can anyone say Wallpaper paste? Um, no thank you.

A few weeks went by and I decided to try again after reading yet another report touting the benefits of oatmeal. I called an oatmeal connoisseur friend and asked many questions. It was then I learned of steel cut oats. After much trial and error which included an oatmeal implosion in my microwave and an hour long cleaning frenzy of my kitchen ceiling, (I’ll spare you the remaining details and leave those up to your imagination), I FINALLY found a way to not only EAT oatmeal, but to ENJOY oatmeal. Maybe it was my taste buds finally giving in to what was being repeatedly forced upon them…..maybe it was my body relishing in the goodness I had provided it…maybe it was true love...ok not really. Whatever it was, it wasn’t bad. It wasn’t wallpaper pasty. Then again, it wasn’t the best thing that ever crossed my lips either. What it is though, is a way I can eat the stuff that’s not bad. A way in fact I do not have to force myself to swallow. So, here’s the recipe for non-pasty, adequate oatmeal with a decent cherry flavor. That’s all I got to offer yall on oatmeal.
Cherry Almond Oatmeal
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup steel cut oats
3 cups boiling water
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon low-fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon cherry butter
1/8 cup dried cherries
1 tsp. almond extract

In a large saucepot, melt the butters and add the oats. Stir for 2 minutes to toast. Add the boiling water and reduce heat to a simmer. Keep at a low simmer for 25 minutes, without stirring.

Combine the milk and half of the buttermilk with the oatmeal. Stir gently to combine and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Add the almond extract. Spoon into a serving bowl and top with remaining buttermilk and dried cherries.


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