Because of its low cost (and therefore its abundance at the food bank), I have enough oatmeal to lower the cholesterol of an entire army. I prefer to make oatmeal with milk, but alas, milk costs money and is generally perishable, so I have none. My dwindling food supply and increasing food cravings have inspired me to experiment a bit. I am thankful for every day I have had my electricity back, because at this point I would be eating nothing but handfuls of dry oats. I still have a giant turkey breast in my freezer, but I have no idea what to do with it.
Back in 1994 or so, I ordered a bowl of oatmeal at a Denny’s restaurant. They served it with a giant dollop of butter. I thought that was strange, but it stuck with me enough to try it once I ran out of milk. It was surprisingly good. I eat almost nothing but oatmeal, so I actually ran out of butter somewhat quickly. I didn’t have much to begin with.
I have microcytic anemia and low iron stores. I don’t respond to iron supplements (not even prescription iron supplements) so I always try to get iron into my diet however I can. Through a message board, I was introduced to blackstrap molasses. It tastes…interesting. Some people on the message board compared it to black licorice. While there is a slight hint of that flavor, it is far tastier than black licorice. Especially with oatmeal and vanilla rice milk. Or oatmeal and butter. Or just oatmeal, when you’re poor and can’t go to the shop and you’re worried about getting iron and you happen to have a bottle of this stuff hanging around.
I also found a few recipes for peanut butter oatmeal. I thought it was worth a try, and it seemed like a good way to add some protein, fat, and flavor to my meals. Many recipes I found called for 3 tbsps of peanut butter. I used 1 tbsp in a big bowl, and that seemed like plenty. If I’d used any more, it would have been like that episode of I Love Lucy where Lucy hires the scary housekeeper who makes her eat the peanut butter sandwich from hell. Peanut butter oatmeal isn’t as good as it sounds, but it’s edible and filling, and that’s what’s important.
Cinnamon is another welcome addition to my porridge bowl, particularly because it may help reduce blood glucose levels.
I once came across a recipe for a breakfast cereal made with couscous and dehydrated milk. It was fantastic. I would repost it if I still had the recipe. I used Bob’s Red Mill brand dry milk powder, which has a naturally sweet taste to it. I’m not sure how I feel about drinking it straight, but it tasted great on oatmeal (or plain couscous disguised as oatmeal).
None of these recipes has taken my mind off of my incredible cravings for Mongolian Grill, but until my next food bank visit, it would be nice to pretend I’m eating something that isn’t oatmeal.