Many people assume oatmeal is gluten-free. In its natural state, it is. But most oatmeal you buy may have traces of wheat due to manufacturing process, and if you’re very sensitive, you probably want to stick with gluten-free oats.
I’m not very sensitive, but I still bought a gluten-free brand, Bob’s Red Mill. I use the Quick Cooking Oats. I am a big fan of their products, as they seem to taste the best of any gluten-free brand I have tried, thus far, and they offer an extensive product line while being reasonably priced (comparatively speaking). I also have no trouble finding their brand anywhere, from local farm stores to larger markets.
Today I made a simple oatmeal on the stove. In my opinion, stovetop cooking tastes much better than anything cooked in the microwave. If you don’t believe me, do me a favor. Cook one bowl of oatmeal in the microwave and the other on the stove and compare the taste. (I’ll pretend you just took 5 minutes to do it). Now tell me you don’t notice a big difference.
Another great taste test is to compare the difference between vegetables steamed on the stove and vegetables steamed in the microwave. I know, I know, some companies sell those micro-cookers (I have some). They still don’t come close to making steamed vegetables taste as good as when cooked on the stove top. And stove top cooking is almost as quick (we may be adding 2 extra minutes,… big deal).
I cook my oatmeal in a metal pot that was advertised as a rice cooking pot (not to be confused with a rice cooker). It is a basic metal and is rougher than stainless steel. It’s kind of old-fashioned, I think, and I really like it.
I follow the directions for cooking the oats:
1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil (add 1/4 tsp salt, if desired…which I do).
2. Add 1 cup of oats
3. Stir occasionally for about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit a minute or two.
4. Add your toppings!
I added the following:
+ 1 tsp of brown sugar
+ 1/4 cup of diced, dried plums called “Plum Amazins” (Sunsweet brand). They are delicious!
+ A splash or two of Whole Milk*
Some interesting tidbits about dried plums:
- They have half the sugar of raisins (compare 29 grams to 13 grams per 1/4 cup serving. I can have both dried plums and that teaspoon of brown sugar for the same “price” as just eating raisins.)
- Dried plums have more vitamin A and C (though less iron).
- Personally, I like the taste better. Sweet, but not too sweet.
* I use whole milk in cooking, and save the low-fat for drinking. My reason is that whole milk adds a creamy taste to cooking, but the calorie and fat difference is really minimal when using in recipes.