My breakfast habits usually vary from season to season. I tend to alternate between Terri and Kendall’s go-to oatmeal recipe (oats, water, agave syrup, wheat germ, and flax seeds) and toast with an egg and fake bacon during the winter. During summertime, though, it’s all about yogurt. There are few things I love more than yogurt — especially that uber tart and rich stuff that I make at home — and I eat it very, very often during the hot months. Until this week. See, I bought a little container of good organic yogurt and a gallon of organic whole milk, stepped up on a stool to pull down my yogurt maker from its above-the-fridge hiding place, and set out to make some yogurt, but for some reason, the batch emerged looking nothing like yogurt and everything like watery curds. My big yogurtFAIL kind of killed my buzz. That’s when I remembered the half tub of oatmeal leftover from wintertime, sitting on the fridge all by its lonesome. So I threw some in the microwave and called it a morning.
But then I decided, as long as I’m breaking my breakfast routine, I may as well go nuts. I remembered something a friend once told me, about how oatmeal can actually be a thoroughly luxurious food. Channeling her mention of luxury, I added a generous tab of butter I got at the farmers’ market last week to my oats and water. After heating the oatmeal through, I tossed in some fresh cut peaches, a glug or two of really good milk from the market, a teaspoon or so of maple syrup, and — wait for it — just a slight drizzle of walnut oil. The result was simply divine. The walnut oil played up the nutty sweetness of the maple syrup, while the subtly sweet richness of the butter and milk provided contrast for those perfectly bright peach slices. I don’t usually do double-flips over oatmeal, but this is one recipe that’ll have me reaching for that tub of oats, even when there’s edible yogurt in the fridge.
Maple Walnut Oatmeal with Peaches
1/2 cup oats, not instant
1 cup water
about 1 tsp. butter, optional (I’ve made it several times without, and it’s plenty tasty)
1 1/2 tsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. walnut oil
a couple glugs of milk
In a large, covered microwave-safe bowl, microwave oats, water, and butter (if using) for 3 minutes. If doubling recipe, cook 5 minutes. Remove bowl from microwave, uncover, and add remaining ingredients. Stir to incorporate and serve hot.