Before we switched to real foods, I always bought the BIG box of Quaker Instant Oatmeal packets from Sam’s Club. We liked that we could get the huge container that ONLY had the maple and brown sugar variety. We used to eat quite a bit of it throughout the winter months…and then we’d grow tired of it and take long breaks. I haven’t had a packet of this stuff since last Winter and that’s the way I intend to keep it. Did you know that these little packets contain caramel color? This artificial coloring, which is made by a chemical process involving ammonia, has been proven to cause CANCER in animal studies. Maybe this doesn’t carry over to humans…but it’s a risk my family is not willing to take anymore. The oatmeal packets also contain “natural flavor.” Even though natural flavors ARE derived from either plant or animal sources, food companies are not required to disclose the sources used to create these flavors and could be the result of blending hundreds of chemicals together in a laboratory. If you want to read more about why you should avoid ‘natural flavors’ in your food, read what The Food Babe has to say about them.
Anyway, back to oatmeal! I tried making it two ways recently so I could compare and then share my favorite. I made the first batch with milk and the second batch with just water. Hands down, the milk was the winner. Oatmeal made with water was ok, but I enjoyed the milk version much better. Both times I then flavored it with pure maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon.
Ingredients for 2 small servings:
- 1 1/2 cups milk (I use organic whole) (You can also use almond milk.)
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- Pure maple syrup, cinnamon and raisins for topping
Bring milk just to a boil. Add oats, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover, remove from heat, and then serve in 2-3 minutes. Drizzle maple syrup on top then add a couple dashes of cinnamon. Sprinkle with raisins, if desired.
Other topping ideas:
- Organic mixed berries
- Almond butter & maple syrup
- Maple syrup, sliced bananas, chopped walnuts, & cinnamon
- Unsweetened coconut flakes & dark chocolate chips
- Apple slices sautéed in butter with cinnamon
What are your favorite oatmeal toppings? I’d love to hear!