I’m no oatmeal expert, but I do make a lot of oatmeal. OK, maybe I am an oatmeal expert.
For a while, I was toasting the oats in butter (a trick I once wrote about here) which kind of makes the oatmeal taste like buttered popcorn. When I’m feeling indulgent, I’ll cook Irish oats and old-fashioned oats in a combination of whole milk and water, à la April Bloomfield’s English porridge. Lately, though, I’ve been keeping my oatmeal healthy: just water and then a few flavor-enhancing ingredients that make it feel special without making it too sugary or fatty.
Step one: cook your old-fashioned oats according to package instructions. That is, heat one cup of water in a pot, add a pinch of salt, and then add 1/2 cup of your old-fashioned oats.
MEANWHILE: in a small skillet, add a few tablespoons of flaked unsweetened coconut and a few tablespoons of almond slices. Turn up the heat and start toasting. You’re gonna have to do that thing that chefs do where they flick the skillet forward and make the ingredients toss back in on themselves. That way everything gets distributed evenly and everything gets a chance to make contact with the bottom of the skillet. (OK, if you’re nervous, use a wooden spoon.)
When the coconut starts to turn golden and smell like toasted coconut, dump the entire contents of the pan in with the still-cooking oatmeal. It’ll sizzle. Stir that around and then add a smattering of golden raisins (or use dried cherries, if you can find them. They’re even better.).
Spoon into a bowl and top with maple syrup if you want a little more sweetness.
But it’s a healthy start to your day, unless you read this article which says that Quaker Oats are filled with pesticides. Enjoy!