Every time someone challenges me on my opinion about oatmeal raisin cookies (yes, this regularly happens; the right answer is that they're delicious), I have to resort to other means of convincing them that oats are a wonderful addition to any sort of diet. The most basic of these is oatmeal—just oats at their most fundamental, with plenty of what I like to call "fixins" to make my favorite breakfast meal of all time. What I have below is a super easy, seasonal recipe I make during the summer. When September rolls around I'll switch out the berries for peaches, then apples with cinnamon in October. It is not groundbreaking!!! But it is constantly satisfying, and sometimes I feel we need a reminder that simplicity is more than enough. Which is also why I dedicate this recipe to Emily Ferber who is in her mid-twenties and still doesn't know what to eat for breakfast:
(Makes one perfectly sized breakfast)
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup water
- a drop of pure vanilla extract
- a hearty scoop of peanut butter
- honey, to taste
- raspberries and blueberries, washed
- milk (or your preferred substitute)
- Bring water to a boil, then add the oats and the vanilla extract. If the peanut butter you're using is unsalted, throw in a dash of salt here. Turn the heat down to a low-medium setting and let simmer (stirring occasionally) for about five minutes, or until most of the water has cooked out. Thickness is based on preference, but note that the peanut butter will also thicken it up a bit.
- When the oats are cooked, turn off the heat and transfer to a serving bowl. Add the peanut butter and honey while it's still hot, then mix together.
- Top with the fruit (tbh my favorite combination is raspberries and bananas, but I was out of bananas this week) and just enough milk to cool the oatmeal and keep from drying out.
Photo via the author.