We are all about sprucing up our oats here at Ocean Ranch and have come up with some creative ideas to add to your repertoire.
Oats provide a blank canvas from which to create your masterpiece.
First of all, oats do not need to be cooked with plain water. Just as you would cook any other grain dish with a broth, fat, or spices to add flavor you can cook your oats this way as well.
Some traditional spices that work well with sweet oatmeal dishes are ginger, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, and vanilla. Sometimes we are looking for a floral note to add to our oatmeal. I make a floral stock by steeping any combination of the following herbs: chamomile, rose, lavender, or citrus blossoms. Another tasty way to cook oats is in orange juice or pineapple juice. You can experiment with juices, though we like to use a lighter juice as opposed to a concentrate.
You can also cook your oats with a combination of milks and juices. You can also throw in fresh or dried fruit to stew with the oats to add to the flavor profile of your recipe. Adding citrus zest or flavor extracts such as vanilla, rose water, pomegranate, or almond adds an extra surprise. Next comes the fats: add butter, coconut oil, or nut/seed oils.
For a savory oatmeal, the options are endless.
You can cook your oats with vegetable broth or a meat broth of your choice. You can also throw into the pot while cooking any combination of the following dried spices: garlic, onion, oregano, basil, rosemary, summer savory, chili flakes, Italian spice blend, dill, lemon, pepper, Cajun spice blend, etc. You can also throw in some sundried tomatoes, olives, corn, or fresh garlic to stew with your cooking oats. Adding sautéed onions, vegetables, garlic, tofu, or meat to your oatmeal enhances the flavor. To make a creamier version you can cook with milk or throw in some cheese like feta or queso fresco at the end. For fats we like to add butter, coconut oil, nut oils, avocado oil, or olive oil.
Another way to add pizzaz and added nutrients to your oatmeal is by mixing in a super food powder. For the savory recipes we like to add in hemp protein powder unflavored or a vegetable blend. For the sweeter versions, we add vanilla or coffee collagen protein powder. For added crunchiness, we top our oatmeal with organic granola or organic grain free granola. We also like to top our savory dishes with organic pepitas.
Stay tuned for our list of favorite oatmeal recipes!