a peek inside the fishbowl

20 Apr, 2008

The beginning of an oatmeal revival?

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Recipes and Food

I don’t think oatmeal – as a breakfast food – has a very good reputation. For some reason it has a stigma of being kind of unhip.

What’s hip: good bacon and eggs eaten in a diner with cups of steaming coffee, fruit salad, fruit smoothies with protein powders and greens+, powerbars/granola bars, organic cereals

What’s less hip: All-bran, oatmeal, cream of wheat

Why? Because it’s (a) what our grandmothers used to eat and (b) these things are supposed to help us with our, ahem, digestive process and talking about our digestive process is a social taboo (heh, that’s why this is so amusing – note all the stuff that’s being dropped in the background).

I didn’t think it would be fair to blog about the PC Blue Menu Multigrain Oatmeal, after all, it was already a staple in my pantry even before the Healthy Eating Challenge kicked in. (What am I talking about? Read the kickoff post here.)

It’s become a favourite comfort food and I love it. In fact, I had a bowl of it before I went to bed last night.


– it’s quick and easy to make (dump contents in bowl, pour milk, nuke for 2 minutes)
– it’s healthy, and one serving has 6 grams of fibre (good for the digestive process, if youknowwhatImean, nudge nudge)

Check out the ingredients:

Rolled oats, rolled barley flakes, rolled wheat flakes, oat bran, rolled wheat flakes, oat bran, rolled kamut flakes, rolled spelt flakes, oat hull fibre, guar gum, salt, millet meal.

That’s IT!

– I make it with 1% milk, so I’m getting my daily dairy without overloading on fats
– it fills me up
I control the sugar

Note the bolding on that one. :)

I find ordinary grocery store products – including regular instant oatmeals – to be disgustingly sweet. I want breakfast, not dessert! The amount of SUGAR they put in everything nowadays is staggering. It’s one of the reasons why our waistlines are expanding at the rate they are. Why not make everything a little less sweeter? Gah. I can’t be the only person who feels this way.

I add a teaspoon of brown sugar to my multigrain oatmeal and I’m happy.

I know a lot of people swear by steel-cut oatmeal. It’s supposed to be better for you. The PC dietician told me she makes a batch and keeps it in her fridge. Come to think of it this recipe looks pretty good. Hmmm. Perhaps that’s next on my “must try” list.

What about you? Are you oatmeal people, or not?

18 Responses to "The beginning of an oatmeal revival?"

1 | a grrl with a blog

April 20th, 2008 at 8:47 am


Oatmeal has always been a comfort food for me. I love it with some blueberries thrown on top.

I agree with you about the overly sweet stuff, though. Ick!

(Cream of wheat is also one of my comfort foods going back to childhood. Even when I’m sick now, that’s the first thing I want)

2 | Miss Vicky

April 20th, 2008 at 12:33 pm


I love oatmeal (real oatmeal, not the packaged sugary crap). But I love red river cereal even more.


3 | Jean-Philippe Daigle

April 20th, 2008 at 12:43 pm


To play Devil’s advocate for a second: I had the eggs benedict at Baker Street Cafe the other day, and I don’t think there’a a bowl of oatmeal in the world that can compete with that taste! Sometimes you need to treat yourself :)

4 | scattered mom

April 20th, 2008 at 12:50 pm


I love oatmeal! Especially with blackberries and a drizzle of maple syrup.


5 | porter

April 20th, 2008 at 9:23 pm


I’m with Miss Vicky, I love Red River cereal…always have. I also love oatmeal and agree that the packaged stuff is far too sweet (I don’t add sugar to my oatmeal) and I also find it too salty. I am not a big breakfast person, I’m trying to change this…but I love cereal, especially oatmeal as a snack in the evening when I’ve got the munchies.

6 | Amy

April 20th, 2008 at 9:45 pm


I’ve never been an oatmeal person, had it forced on me as a child. I also don’t like it on a textural level. I’ll take cornmeal porridge over oatmeal any day.

7 | words words

April 21st, 2008 at 7:30 am


You’re singing my favourite breakfast song!

Here’s the texture solution, for those who don’t like the gluey.


8 | DaniGirl

April 21st, 2008 at 8:50 am


I heart oatmeal. Madly.

I tried the steel-cut biz for a while, but it’s way too much work/time for an ordinary breakfast and the pot doesn’t clean well in the dishwasher.

Maybe I’ll try keeping some in the fridge, but wouldn’t you have to add massive amounts of liquid to keep it from turning into concrete?

9 | Kerry

April 21st, 2008 at 12:51 pm


Steel cut oatmeal is a staple in our house (with blueberries, maple syrup, and ground flax seeds). We prepare it overnight so that it is ready to go in the morning (otherwise it takes 30 minutes on the stove top). This method is very easy and only takes a few minutes to prepare:

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 cup of steel cut oats, a dash of cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Turn off the heat, give it a little stir, wait a few minutes, put the lid on, and leave it.

If you don’t wait a few minutes before putting on the lid, it will likely bubble over. Sometimes we add some cut up dates to make it sweeter. Try it!

10 | mel

April 21st, 2008 at 2:33 pm


If oatmeal 5 out of 7 days a week makes us oatmeal people, then HELL YEAH!

With berries, dates, dried fruit, nuts, a touch of maple syrup, bananas, apples… even plain. Delish. And filling. Mmmmmm….

Kerry: what do you do about warming it up in the morning? Just turn the burner back on for a few minutes?

11 | Sheila D

April 21st, 2008 at 3:26 pm


My dad, an old Scot, made oatmeal every day of his working life. He made it the night before, putting the dry rolled oats into boiling water and and let it cool in a wide bowl to a gelatinous state. In the morning he would cover it with boiling water while he did his ablutions. When it was warmed up, he’d add milk and honey. He told me that when he was a child they boiled up a large pot of coarse-cut oatmeal which took forever to cook and put it into a drawer which was made for the purpose. They’d cut out slabs of gelled oatmeal as needed and warm it up.

When I grew up, my hubby and I experimented with porridge. We started to cook it in half milk, half water, adding the oatmeal when the liquid was cold. It gets really creamy that way. My dad loved it and bemoaned the fact that he’d never discovered that technique. My hub’s German dad fried his oats in butter first then added the liquid and stirred it for half an hour while cooking it up really slowly. He called it Guck. My hub adds raisins for me but then for himself adds fried up onions, hot chili peppers, dried tomatoes and whatever else savoury takes his fancy. On that, we agree to disagree.

12 | ChristinaTE

April 21st, 2008 at 4:20 pm


The texture of oatmeal defeats me every time I try to eat it. I’m a granola girl instead.

13 | smothermother

April 21st, 2008 at 6:21 pm


Mmmm…. oatmeal! Love the stuff. And Max (my one year old) loves it too. With bananas.

14 | Kerry

April 22nd, 2008 at 1:08 pm


My hubby eats it cold in the morning (even in the winter), but I warm it up in the microwave for the rest of us. I’d like to avoid the microwave, but haven’t figured out a better way to do it yet. Maybe I’ll try adding boiling water like Sheila D’s dad…

15 | DaniGirl

April 23rd, 2008 at 3:17 pm


Oh, I love these suggestions… esp. Sheila D’s husband’s taste! I forgot to mention that I always add just millk and salt (sweet oatmeal = ick!)

16 | andrea

April 23rd, 2008 at 7:25 pm


Thanks for your great suggestions everyone! I bought my steel-cut oats today. Yay!

17 | a peek inside the fish bowl

May 15th, 2008 at 8:48 am


[…] – The beginning of an oatmeal revival? […]

18 | Steel cut oatmeal >> a peek inside the fishbowl

January 18th, 2011 at 11:23 am


[…] what you add to it that makes it exciting. I know this is a hot topic among some of you because the last time I wrote about it (during the Blue Menu Healthy Eating Challenge, remember that?) I realized that Oatmeal Is Big […]

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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