In this post I’m gonna share a few stories about my all-time favourite breakfast: porridge oats. I’ll offer my opinion of the best varieties of oats and other grains, too. And as the food I’ve cooked the most in my life, the recipes I’ll share are arguably my most finely-tuned.
Oatmeal is easy fodder, both in a literal and figurative sense. Like any good comfort food of the warm-and-mushy ilk, it is nostalgia in a bowl. Memories are suspended like globs of oats adhered by whitish goo, much like inside the hippocampus of the brain. Goldilox liked hers warm and just right. Oliver twist wanted more. According to Bob Marley’s tearjerker “No Woman, No Cry,” Bob Marley prefers a cornmeal porridge. In a practical sense oatmeal is cheap, dead easy to cook, and it is good for you. When I was an itinerant student in Vancouver, BC, I shared a basement apartment with a science student who ate oats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She was the brokest, healthiest person I had ever met.
I swear by plain oats with a pinch of salt before a big running workout or race. I eat it before a big day of climbing in the mountains. I also eat it before a big day of normal life. Sometimes I add blueberries, apples, nuts, flax seeds, bananas, dates or whatever the hell I want. Get creative. Be bold. Or, be lazy. Sometime I eat my oats raw with yogurt on top.
Want evidence of its health? Check out this stacked paper from Harvard School of Public Health that says eating more whole grains (like oats) is associated with a 15% lower mortality, mainly related to heart disease. In the world of public health, 15% is a significant finding.
Some notes on oats:
Enjoy your oats hot, warm, or cold. (Goldilox was too picky, don’t you think?) Enjoy it at breakfast time, at lunch, dinner, or as a midnight snack. Take comfort in its mushiness and in its nutritiousness. Laugh at how cheap it is. Life is good and it starts with a bowl of oatmeal. After all, it was probably the first real food you actually ate, and seeing as how you don’t need teeth to eat it, it might just be your last.
Thanks for being here // BC
Written by Erik Veitch
I'm Erik, the Burnt Chef. I'm a Finnish-born Newfoundlander living in Norway. I have a passion for cooking and a deep fascination for the culinary history of the North. Simplicity guides my cooking. Time, place, and history guide my storytelling. This is my personal blog about food.