The days are getting shorter, kids are back in school, and we can’t wear white anymore. Let’s face it: it’s fall. Oatmeal might be something that you think of as the sad gruel that David Copperfield had to eat in the workhouse, but it can also be a transcendently delicious dish. There are different types of oatmeal, and it can be used in many different ways. Here are a few types of oatmeal, some unconventional uses, and a few add-ins that you may not have thought of.
Instant oatmeal is the stuff that cooks up in a jiff with just some water. For an indulgent take, use full-fat milk instead of water, adding only two-thirds of the recommended amount. Also, be sure to top it off with a pat of butter or creamy coconut butter!
Old-fashioned oats are steamed then flattened so that they can cook quickly, but not as fast as the instant stuff. They are often sold in large canisters and are the ones used in oatmeal cookies. Because they easily absorb water, they can be used to thicken soup or can also be used in place of breadcrumbs in meatloaf.
Steel-cut oats are the oats that make up traditional, thick Irish porridge. These oats are the hulled grains of oats that are chopped into small pieces. They are tough, chewy oats that have to be cooked for a long time. Even when cooked, they retain their toothsome texture, which results in a very creamy potage.
Of course brown sugar and maple syrup are great additions to oatmeal, but why stop there? Oats are a grain, just like rice is, so why not experiment with some savory additions? Try:
- Parmesan cheese, frozen green peas, and prosciutto.
- Soy sauce, scallions, and sambal olek.
- Browned chorizo, hunks of avocado, and hot sauce.
- Cardamom, cinnamon, and toasted cashews.