Intro to Cooking: Yummy and Customized Oatmeal

Remember those nasty instant-oatmeal packages you would toss in the microwave on those mornings when you were all hungover but starving? Yeah, forget them. This isn’t that. This is waaaaay, way better.

Oatmeal is the perfect breakfast to warm you on a cold winter morning, or to keep you full and alive in a long, boring lecture until lunch. It’s tasty, healthy and super versatile, meaning it’s pretty much the perfect college meal.

So how do you make it well? It’s simple.

First, you need to get yourself some rolled oats. Not the quick-cooking kind – the regular kind. The only other staples you’ll need are milk (any kind, even soy is OK) and salt. And we all have that stuff lying around, right? Once you’ve got that down, then you can lay out your own personal oatmeal sundae bar: nuts, dried fruit, cream, sugar, honey, fresh berries, yogurt, chocolate chips, etc.

So here’s how you make your oatmeal:

1. In a small saucepan, put 1 cup of milk (or 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup milk) and a sprinkle of salt. Set the saucepan on medium-high heat.
2. When the milk starts to bubble up and simmer, pour in 1/2 cup rolled oats. Reduce the heat to low.
3. Cook at a simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring every so often so the oatmeal doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
4. When the oatmeal is the consistency you like, scoop it out and serve it!

Some of my personal favorite oatmeal combos:

• A teaspoon of honey, a few drizzles of heavy cream, and a fresh peace sliced up on top.
• Brown sugar and berries: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, whatever.
• Vanilla yogurt and sliced almonds with honey.
• Wheat germ with mashed banana and a few chocolate chips.
• Some chai tea or chai spices right in the bowl with cream, sugar, and raisins.

Any other great combos out there? Share ‘em here!

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