Has everyone else been toasting oats before cooking? I can't remember where I read the article, but recently read about toasting oats before cooking and them having a nutty flavor. I long ago gave up on oatmeal because I ate instant while I was in college and then found cooked oatmeal was a totally different and very bland thing. At first I thought it was sugar that made the difference -- but it wasn't really sweetness but adding . any sweetener just made them sweet and bland. LOL . DH enjoyed oatmeal, my dad enjoyed it -- I couldn't get there.
I recently read an article about toasting oats and nuttiness, so I decided to try it. THAT is what was missing! I'm guessing instant oatmeal is heated in the processing and the oats get at least lightly toasted. I googled to try to find the article I read. I didn't find that one, but apparently everyone has been toasting oats and selling toasted oat products while I had pretty much written oats except for baking. I'm a convert -- but wonder why I hadn't learned this trick earlier.
In case anyone else hasn't tried them, I both toasted a larger amount on a baking sheet in the oven as I do nuts and toasting them in a dry pan for a few minutes before adding the water for cooking. I want to keep it healthy, but I may have to try tossing them in a small amount of butter to see how that changes them and whether it is significant.
I love oats, especially steel cut and they are best toasted first as well. DH recently bought some lower sugar fig jam that was on closeout at Costco. A spoonful in oatmeal instead of sugar to sweeten is really good. I have to admit I also like mine at times with strawberry jelly, peanut butter, and sometimes a few chocolate chips and/or peanut butter chips thrown in to gild the lily (well....a lot of the time!). But hey, I don't top it with sugar then!! It also has to have raisins and cinnamon no matter what the toppings I add. Other ways that I have enjoyed it....with Greek yogurt; some cocoa powder (and a bit of sweetener of some sort) plus choco. chips; bananas-fresh and freeze dried; homemade granola; not a huge pumpkin fan here but if you like it that is another option; any other fresh or dried fruit. That's why I like it ... it's a blank canvas for lots of tasty add ins and toppings!!
KarenW, I agree -- blank canvas. We've been adding dried cranberries, raspberries, unsweetened applesauce, sliced almonds, chopped pecans, bourbon barrel maple syrup and I have some other things to try. My bananas should be ready soon. I've never had steel cut oats -- I first saw them after I had written off oatmeal. LOL . But I have been curious. Maybe I will try them now.
Traildoggie -- hope you like the toasting. It was a game changer for me. Still a blank canvas, but not tasteless, watery mush. I toasted some oats in the oven to have some for a cookie recipe but I tried starting the recipe by memory and messed it up. I need to try again to see how they taste when baking with them -- if I can notice the difference with all the other ingredients and baking the whole mix. I'll be trying again in the next week or so.
I do all sorts of odd things to oats when I eat them. For steel cut, I soak the night before (1/4 cup dry for my serving size with about 1/2 cup of water). 1 minute and 20 seconds in the microwave the next day and I have perfect steel cut oats. I add peanut butter if I want nuts, otherwise flax seed and salt. I prefer savory to sweet. If I have no clue what to have for lunch, I make steel cut oats and add spinach, cheese and 'shrooms. Perfect "cream of" soup.
Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'
I think we may have to try the steel cut. DH is somewhat reluctant to change. but if he likes something, it is new - not a change. I'm not sure if he is liking the toasted oats more or the fact that I will cook them if I am eating them. LOL .
I'm surprised that both of you who eat oats mentioned peanut butter. It never would have occurred to me to put PB or PBJ in oatmeal.