Oatmeal Is Actually Not All That Boring

National Oatmeal Day is October 29th

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

By David Hammond

When confronted with the choice between a pile of gray grains and two sunny-side up eggs, crisp red-brown bacon and buttery toast, most will find the latter breakfast much more appetizing.


Lately, though, there's nothing I'd rather see for breakfast than the gray grains of oatmeal, which for years I'd avoided as being just too drab to consider as the first bite of the day.


No one will ever say that starting the day with a bowl of cooked oats is a bad idea. Heart healthy, weight loss-promoting, cholesterol-lowering, fiber-full, gluten-free, immunity-boosting, with more protein than most grains, oatmeal is, it turns out, awesome.


But oats are so…gray.


To spruce up my oatmeal, I add berries (generally recognized as a good breakfast food) and maple syrup. About maple syrup, we discovered years ago that we preferred Grade B maple syrup to Grade A maple syrup: Grade B seemed to have a deeper, more complex flavor than Grade A. Because Grade B sounds less good than Grade A, there are now several layers of Grade A, and I choose Grade A, Dark Color & Robust Flavor. It's still sugar, of course, but maple syrup, like agave syrup, has a lower glycemic Index, and a little sweetness helps the oatmeal go down.


To boost the protein in my oatmeal, I sprinkle on three tablespoons of hemp hearts, which have a light, nutty flavor and no crunch at all. The hemp hearts contribute about ten grams of protein to the bowl of oatmeal, which added to the protein in a half-cup of uncooked oatmeal, nets out to about 16 grams of protein.  Adding a few tablespoons of MCT-fortified creamer (for brain health), this is a bowl with about 18 grams of protein. That's more protein than a breakfast of eggs/bacon/toast, with way less fat and calories. Also, less mess to clean up.


Which brings us to the issue of making oatmeal in the morning. I used to think it was a drag spending my early morning moments stirring a steaming pot of grains, but there are easier ways to make oatmeal. We put a cup or so of rolled or steel-cut oats into a pan with about a cup and one-half of water and let it all sit overnight. In the morning, all you must do is heat up the oats, give it a few stirs, and it's done in like three minutes.


There are many places in Oak Park where you can procure oatmeal for breakfast, including an "oven-baked" version at Delia's Kitchen. However, oatmeal is something I'd rather just make at home, which is exactly what I intend to do on National Oatmeal Day (October 29) and into the foreseeable future because, turns out, oatmeal doesn't need to be boring.

Love the Journal?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Wednesday Journal and RiverForest.com. We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

No Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2019 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad