When I want a little comfort food, I like it to be healthy, especially when there are unpleasant bugs going around. I want to be careful not to compromise my immune system with sugar; however, comfort often means sweet (at least, a little).
Enter a traditional favorite: oatmeal.
I go heavy on the spices because they’re so good for the immune system, and they also lend a bit of sweetness. And don’t be afraid to throw in the butter. Good food includes plenty of healthy fats: fats are not only good for the body’s systems and your brain, they also carry the flavor.
Kathy’s Comforting Oatmeal
Serves 3 – 4
4 or 5 hours before, or the night before:
- 2 cups oats (use whatever is on hand: rolled / old fashioned; quick; use only 1/2 cup if using steel cut oats)
- Filtered water
- 2 Tbs kefir or yogurt
When you make it:
- 2 Tbs cinnamon
- ¼ tsp each of powdered spices: nutmeg, cloves, allspice
- 2 Tbs butter
- Several dashes Himalayan or mineral salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Fresh or dried fruit, such as raisins, chopped dates, or fresh or frozen peaches
- Sweetener (you may not need this with the fruit), such as pure maple syrup, sucanat, stevia, or coconut palm sugar
- Dairy or non-dairy milk
- Peanut butter (I know – weird – but I tried it once and I like it)
- Put the oats into a medium-size saucepan. Add enough water to cover the oats. (You’ll need extra water for steel cut oats: the ratio is 1:4, i.e., if you use ½ cup oats, then 2 cups water.) Add the kefir or yogurt, and stir. Allow to soak 4 or 5 hours, or overnight. (I discuss benefits of soaking grains here.)
- When you are ready to prepare your oatmeal, put the oats on to a low simmer until cooked: 5 minutes for quick oats; 10 minutes for rolled / old fashioned oats; 15-20 minutes for steel cut oats.
- Add the spices, butter, salt, and vanilla.
- Add optional ingredients.
- Stir together and heat it back up.
- Serve hot.
Sometimes I make “Apple Raisin Stuff:” I chop up apples, add a little water and some raisins, and simmer until the apples are soft. I throw in some cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and allspice. I keep it in the ‘fridge or freezer to use in pies or to mix some into my oatmeal.
What do you like to put in your oatmeal?