Some Breakfast FYI

I used to hate oatmeal. Kinda like I've always hated tomatoes. 

You'll note I said 'used to', I've now developed a fondness for oatmeal, I don't think, no, I know, I will never develop a fondness for tomatoes. 

Eating, as you know, is so much more than just how something tastes, though that is the primary focus of food. Eating is also about how food looks, smells, and it's also about the texture of food. For all these reasons, I don't like tomatoes. However, I will eat tomatoes if they are in something, salsa, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, you get the idea. I will NOT have them on my sandwich or hamburger in their raw, natural, slimy state. I shudder just thinking about it. 

But this post is not about tomatoes, it's about oatmeal. So scintillating, I know.

So, what caused me to change my mind about oatmeal? Baby Sis. She, and her gentle insistence that I try her brand of oatmeal, made me a believer of how good it can actually be. It didn't have to be cardboard tasting and slimy. It could have texture and when a few condiments are added, hot dang, it's darn good.

Here's the brand of oatmeal Baby Sis uses, as do I, now that I've seen the light.

I can't buy it in Texas so Baby Sis ships it to me from the Great Northwest. Hank and I brought several sacks back on a return trip from PDX but it posed a slight problem with the TSA screeners. We had to unload all six bags to prove to them that they were not bombs. For some reason TSA thought they had the density of bombs. Really? Oatmeal is as dense as a bomb? Hmmm...

I noticed on a recent trip to the grocery store that there is something called 'steel cut oats'. I was curious. I bought a box to see what the difference was. The package says that they remove the outer husk from the oat then use steel blades to cut the oats, hence the name. Evidently, this is how the Irish eat oatmeal, at least that's what the box implies. 

There are differences. Big differences. 

Here's the Snoqualmie oats:

Here's the steel cut oats:

The steel cut oats' shape is more in keeping with what the actual oat looks like, it also takes a lot longer to cook. And I do mean A LOT LONGER. Thirty minutes after you add the oats to the water you will have a bowl of steel cut oats versus eight minutes on the other.

Since the cut oats go through fewer steps in the processing, they probably have more of whatever it is oats have that's suppose to be so good for us. The texture is firmer than the rolled oats and the flavor a bit nuttier, which if you like nutty, is a plus.

I didn't see any recipes for oatmeal cookies on the steel cut oats so I'm assuming you shouldn't use these for cookies, unlike the rolled oats. 

If you have thirty minutes in the morning, cook some of the steel cut oats, it's worth the time. But, then again who has an extra thirty minutes in the morning. And if you don't have access to the Snoqualmie oats, I suggest these

Notice these are not the quick cooking oats, those are the ones that had me turned off to oatmeal, blah! Slimy mess those quick ones! The 'old fashioned' take about five minutes to cook, a bit less than the Snoqualmie, not quite as good either, but in a pinch, they'll do.

I like to put a touch of cinnamon, a bit of brown sugar and some dried fruit in mine, gives 'em some flavor. Hank says I'm crazy to add all that to the oatmeal. I say it's like having an oatmeal cookie in a bowl.

Well, there you have my two cents on oatmeal. No one paid me to give you my two cents, I put them in all by myself.



  1. I think I like you even more (if that's even possible) now that I know you can't stand tomatoes. Justin says it's all in my head and if I'd just try them I'd like them. Whatever. He couldn't be more wrong.,

  2. I'll refrain from commening on the tomato hating (you're c-r-a-z-y!...whew, had to get that out) and let you in on another oatmeal brand: Bob's Red Mill. Btw, Bob's is a local/PDX area company (yay). It's really good too, maybe as good as the Snoqualmie. You should be able to find it in Big-D. Larry can get it at Sunflower Market - which I fell in love with when I visited last month - so I bet any other granola-y type store will have it. Don't forget to add a little bit of salt (a pinch will do) to the boiling water before addijg the oats.

    P.S. Snoqualmie also makes a great pancake/waffle mix. Way better than Bisquick.

  3. I've never tried steel cut oats, but have always been curious. You've made me want to give them a try!

    ~Heidi K.

  4. You ought to ask John Melvin about his oat meal, he buys whole oats and rolls them himself, they must be good because he eats them EVERY morning.

  5. oh, liz, that would be way too much trouble! if waiting thirty minutes for steel cut oats is too long, having to roll the oats myself would be way too much trouble.

    Baby Sis, i will give Bob's a try, though I'm partial to Snoqualmie, i'll just keep sending you the money to send them to me :)

  6. Amy, there is no liking tomatoes in my book, no matter if some find me c-r-a-z-y for thinking such. i've tried them over and over and, nope, not gonna like them, no way, no how. Bleh. Yuck. Phooie! And you can tell your hubby I said so.

  7. Here's a trick I've learned. I cook the steel cut oats (Red Mill or bulk from my favorite grocery store) the night before. In the morning I just re-heat it in the micro-wave (I know, bad ju-ju for some people, (Baby Sis)). Way better that the instant. If you're a fan of Good Eats, Alton Brown has a really good episode all about oats and oatmeal.