No-Cook Oatmeal Surprise
It’s only a week away before the new school year starts. From our homefront, the kids are not really excited about the end of their summer break. For instance, one of them noticed that the trees’ leaves are turning yellowish orange. Another chimed in saying that the earlier sunsets and cooler evenings herald the impending turn of the season. This also means trying to go back to a routine of waking up early and fighting off the sleepiness that is further aggravated by bed weather.
Having noticed these changes and adjustments and knowing that school is just around the bend, I thought of experimenting on a breakfast meal that might give their lethargic bodies a right jolt. Two weeks ago, I happen to see Michael Smith‘s recipe book, “Family Meals,” at a local supermarket and saw a breakfast idea that reminded me of how pinipig is prepared by my grandmother. It never occured to me that oatmeal, which is traditionally cooked as a hot breakfast, can be ‘cooked in cold milk.’
Called Overnight Oatmeal Jars with Last-Minute Stir-Ins, this breakfast idea simply cuts down on the morning stress of preparing breakfast and the hassle of ensuring that the kids would be packed with enough nutrients to sustain them throughout the day. Having quick-cooking oats sitting in our cupboard for quite some time and extra mason jars supposedly for storing more fruit jams, I thought of giving the recipe a try. I made two; one for my wife to try and whoa! We both love it!
I also found out that there are a lot of ways of enriching the flavours of the oatmeal: Smith adds yoghurt, fruits, and nuts and Monica Matheny adds cocoa powder or peanut butter with banana to the oats. This made me more excited because my kids, who seem to be getting tired with our usual corn cereal with milk, can look forward to something new.
The recipe that I am sharing below is based on my memory of Smith’s suggestions and tweaked to my own taste. As well, you may have other ideas re tweaking this recipe so feel free to post your suggestions. You may want to ask your kids to prepare this one too. Enjoy and bon appetit!
No-Cook Oatmeal Surprise
6 tablespoons of Quick-Cooking Oats
1/2 cup of whole or skim milk
1 tbsp. plain yogurt
¼ tsp. cinnamon (or ¼ tsp. vanilla or lemon zest)
1 tbsp. brown sugar (or 1 tbsp. of honey or maple syrup)
1 tbsp. mixed nuts, chopped* (almonds, cashews, or walnuts)
5 pcs. medium-sized fruits, sliced (strawberries, blueberries, bananas, peaches or apples)
*You may omit the nuts if your child is allergic to nuts. Likewise, you can substitute whole or skim milk with soy or almond milk if your child is lactose-intolerant.