(Let it be known that the original title of this post was “snoatmeal!” until I realized that sounded like a disease that horses got.)
Snow days in Austin are a big deal. There’s something really magical about looking out the window and seeing big, fluffy snowflakes drift across the sky… and realizing that you get to postpone taking that Italian Renaissance quiz — whee! I normally loathe the cold weather; I hate bulky clothes, I hate not being able to go outside, and I hate not seeing green things growing. But I feel like this winter has been good to Austinites–mostly just chilly days, punctuated by the occasional 70-degree afternoon. And on Friday, snow!
So I did what any self-respecting Texan would do on a snow day: brewed a pot of coffee, cooked a warm breakfast, and made a little snowman.
Toatmeal Toasted Oatmeal, serves 3-4. Heavily adapted from The Amateur Gourmet. Note: This recipe uses steel-cut oats, which is basically an unrolled oat. They’re like little pebbles, and they have a little crunch/chew when cooked. Though it takes a while to cook, it’s a wonderful treat for leisurely mornings!
2 tbsp. butter (or 2 tbsp. canola oil for vegans)
1 c. steel-cut oats
pinch of salt
4 c. liquid (I used 3 c. water, 1 c. soy milk)
1 ripe banana, sliced thinly or mashed (the banana adds sweetness and creaminess to the oatmeal. Preston said it tasted like banana nut bread.)
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon (optional)
Melt the butter over medium heat until it’s foamy. Add the oats and salt. Let the oats toast, stirring occasionally, until they are golden-brown and start to smell like popcorn. (Keep an uncooked oat or two on the counter so you can compare colors.) Once the oats are toasted, add your liquid and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, add the banana and cook, stirring occasionally, until your oatmeal is nice and thick. The bananas should “melt” away, but if there are large chunks, mush them against the side of the pot with a spoon to help it along. If you think it’s ready, try a bite and make sure the oats are cooked completely.
Stir in spices and serve with milk or cream, brown sugar, fruit, or whatever you like to put on your oatmeal. The Amateur Gourmet suggests you try this oatmeal on its own, though.