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Exciting Oatmeal!

Oatmeal doesn’t have to be dull, and much recent media attention has been devoted to its nutritional benefits.  However, processed oatmeal, like any over-processed food, should be considered a convenience rather than a staple.  It’s harder to find rolled oats, but they are available in most supermarkets.  Little more time is required to cook rolled oats to make porridge and the flavour is far superior to that of quick oats.
Oatmeal with Dried Cherries

Most people eat their porridge with milk or cream, like other breakfast cereals, but it’s not necessary for adults.  Bailey’s Irish Cream might make a good substitution for a brunch dish of porridge!

The easiest and neatest method for cooking oatmeal requires a microwave oven; of course, it can also be prepared on the stove top, but these instructions are for the microwave.

Ingredients (One Serving):

1 cup rolled oats

1-2 tbls dried fruit (cherries, raisins, cranberries, etc.)

~1 cup boiling water, to cover

1-2 tbls Demerara sugar or maple syrup

¼ tsp sea salt

1 tsp vanilla extract, rum, whiskey, or liqueur

1 tsp sliced almonds, toasted, for garnish (optional)

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Place oats, salt, dried fruit, and sugar (if using) in a heat-proof bowl, such as a shallow Corningware salad bowl or stoneware soup bowl.  Boil water in a kettle and add enough to cover the oats.  Place the bowl in the microwave and cook at high heat for 1 ½ minutes.  Allow oats to absorb water for a minute or two, then stir in maple syrup (if using) and vanilla extract.

Porridge is a great winter breakfast or brunch dish, especially when planning an outing like a winter hike or day trip on a Sunday morning.  Add some whole wheat toast or a bagel to the meal, and you won’t be hungry for a long while!

After enjoying your oatmeal, be sure to soak the bowl in cold water for easy cleanup.
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