I love oats! Almost every day begins with a steaming bowl of Aldi’s old-fashioned oatmeal. (Yes, even in the summer.) It’s just the right speed for my morning wake-up. Put on the coffee in my tiny percolator, and throw a cup of oatmeal flakes in a pan with 3 cups of water. The directions say you need a ratio of 1 part of oatmeal to 2 parts of water. But I get better results with a 1:3 ration, as long as I’m willing to simmer it for 5 minutes instead of the 3 minutes in the directions. Then the burners get turned off, the oatmeal pan covered, and I let the oats and hot coffee sit while I check my e-mail and weather. The aroma of the freshly brewed coffee mixes with the mellow oats to give a relaxed, happy feel to the morning. After enjoying the smell for awhile, I finally eat half of the oatmeal (leaving the other half for my husband) and drink my large mug of coffee. Really, it’s a great way to wake up, winter or summer!
But you say, “Hot cereal just isn’t my thing!” Then consider having your oats cold. Cheerios (or just about any store’s generic equivalent) is also an excellent way to start the day. I’m not talking about the chocolate version, or the kind with sugary strawberry coating on it. No, just the basic original recipe. You can get a large box of the original, unsweetened oat cereal for under $2.00, as long as you buy it at Aldi’s.
Today was grocery day for me, so I hit my two favorite stores: Meijer and Aldi’s. At Meijer, the official Cheerios brand was on sale for the 12 oz size – regularly $3.48, on sale for $2.48.
I didn’t bother to pick up any there, because I was headed for Aldi’s, where the same size of their store equivalent is $1.79. That’s not their sale price, it’s the regular price – and it tastes exactly the same! It’s great plain, or with sliced bananas or dried cranberries on it.
But oats aren’t just for breakfast. Our friend Jennifer made the most delicious homemade granola bars I have ever tasted. They were less sweet than the commercially-made ones, but totally satisfying to the sweet tooth. They’re great for box lunches, for that mid-afternoon lag, or in the evening instead of a rich dish of ice cream. So consider the humble oat plant, and try it out any time of the day!