Chilly nights are here….winter is on the way. What to eat that is warm and yummy for breakfast? I bought some instant GF oatmeal at the health food store. It was pretty tasty and got me thinking that maybe I could make my own version which could be a lot cheaper and easily varied. I looked around on some sites and cookbooks. I found one by the queen of entertaining, she who spent a few weeks in the big house. No names here! All I had to do was use gluten free oats which are available at Freys Better Foods, at Giant and at Wegman’s grocery store.
There was a bit of prep work; the oats need to be toasted for 15 minutes which gives them a lot more flavor than the ancient grains version I had purchased. A sheet pan is perfect for this toasting. Just keep an eye on it for the last few minutes to make sure nothing gets too brown.
I put some dried cranberries and golden raisins in my version. Other options could be chopped dried fruits like apricots or apples, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, or any sort of nut you like. I think a combo of two items is really a great idea. Like some fruit and some nuts. I like dried cranberries and sunflower seeds. I have also topped mine once it was cooked, with some hemp seeds which are nutty and kinda like sesame seeds.
The oats were coarsely ground in my small food processor in two batches. If you use a big one you could probably do it in one batch. I poured the chopped oats into a storage jar with a tight lid and added the sugar, salt and cinnamon. Then I poured in the toppings. Easy and it only takes a few minutes to make it in the morning.
Instant GF Cinnamon Oatmeal
2 cups old-fashioned gluten free oats
2 tbsp. light brown sugar
½ teaspoons coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread oats on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until lightly toasted but not browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool. Pulse oats in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Mix sugar, salt, and cinnamon, or more to taste into the oats as well as half to 2/3 cup of a combination of add-ins (see suggestions below), before storing in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Or freeze it to keep even longer .
Additions: dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, walnut chunks, pecan bits, raisins, dried apricots cut into small bits, currants, dried blueberries or cherries, flax seeds, hemp seeds.
To make: heat 2/3 cup of water, lightly salted, to the boil. Stir in a heaping 1/3 cup of the oatmeal mixture. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring a couple times. Cover and let stand 2-3 more minutes before scooping the hot cereal into a bowl. It is already sweet enough for my taste but you can add more brown sugar or some honey to the dish. A fresh topping would be a great addition of nutrients and even more flavor. Sliced banana, some blueberries or sliced ripe pear and you are about to enjoy a fairly inexpensive yet healthy gluten free hot breakfast that only took 2 minutes to cook.
Note added December 2015: I made a batch recently and baked it extra browned but when I tasted it the flavor in a bowl of cooked oatmeal it was lovely; roasty dark and full of toasty oaty goodness. So if it gets dark, still grind it up and test it; you may love it!
Originally published in this blog November 2014.