Oatmeal has been making my morning. Yes, just oatmeal. The simplest foods are the best without fail. This is oatmeal that has been soaked overnight in water with raisins so that it cooks as quick as the quickest oatmeal and turns a velvety smooth texture from the added acid. The soaking also neutralizes the phytic acid in the oats, making the oats more easily digestible and preventing the acid from robbing your body of minerals. It’s oatmeal that’s brought to a boil and simmers softly for five minutes or so while I stretch and wake my body up with a morning yoga. It’s oatmeal studded with plump raisins, sweetened with a glug of Connecticut maple syrup, and dressed up with a good dose of cardamom and cinnamon. Nestled in a bowl surrounded in a moat of hot milk, it is just oatmeal, inspired by Mom and made by Matt. I couldn’t imagine a better way to wake up.
The flavor and quality of your ingredients make or break this dish. A good bowl of oatmeal can nourish and revitalize your body, the perfect way to break a long night’s fast, so use organic (and local) ingredients you trust. Consider each ingredient: the oats should be rolled (never, ever, instant); the raisins plump and super tasty but not gritty and sweet (Thompson and flame work well); the salt a good one from the sea; the water pure and hopefully not hard; the cinnamon fresh and zingy because it’s freshly ground and its bark looks like it was just pulled from a tree in Mexico or Ceylon; the cardamom so floral it almost knocks you over; the maple syrup pure and local; and the milk whole and raw, or at least unhomogenized from whatever animal you so enjoy.
1 cup thick or regular rolled oats (but never quick or instant oats)
1/2 dark raisins
pinch of sea salt
2 cups water for soaking
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 banana, sliced (optional, when sweet and ripe and ready)
up to 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 cup whole milk (optional)
Soak the Oatmeal. Soak the oatmeal and raisins in two cups of water overnight in a small stainless saucepan in which you will cook the cereal the following morning, or in a ceramic or glass bowl.
Cook the Cereal.
Add all ingredients to the saucepan except the milk and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer, lid cocked, for 5 minutes, until soft. Turn off and let sit, covered, 10 minutes. If you’re using milk and you like it hot, bring the milk to a boil in another small saucepan and serve your oatmeal with a moat of milk.
TIP: By adding the bananas in while you cook they’ll turn creamy and caramelized with the oatmeal. If that’s not your fancy, slice and add ‘em at the end.
TIP: If you want a creamier, slightly stickier oatmeal, soak the oatmeal in 1 cup water overnight and then add 1 cup milk to your saucepan in the morning. Then add milk at the end to taste.