The thermometer has been on a roller coaster in Southern Ontario this winter. In the past week we have gone from temperatures well below 0, above 0 - with rain and back down again.
Its made it difficult to settle into winter, brace yourself for the cold and acclimatize. Its strange though - my cravings for warm comforting food has not diminished.
During the winter, I have oatmeal almost everyday. I know there are all kinds of recipes all over the Internet to make oatmeal and I know its oatmeal - big deal. But it can be almost like a dessert if you make it right. I have had a few mornings I've had to pack my breakfast and eat it in the office (professional - I know). But I've also had co-workers ask me what I'm eating because it smells so good.
The secret to great oatmeal is the method its cooked. If you cook it in milk whether its cows milk, almond or soy, the oatmeal takes on a smooth creamy texture and cooking it in milk boosts the nutritional content.
Oatmeal is also a great recovery meal to have after an early morning run. You have your primary base of carbs, plus protein and antioxidants from the nuts and berries if you add those to the mix like I have. The cinnamon and vanilla add a dessert like flavor to this that eliminates the need for extra sugar... although a splash of maple syrup is nice on pretty much anything.
My Favourite Oatmeal
1 cup milk (your choice cow, almond soy)
1/3 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Add the milk and oats to a pan and heat until the mixture comes to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon and vanilla.
Pour into a bowl and top with cranberries and walnuts.