I’ve never been a fan of sweet flavors for breakfast (except for coffee). It’s just not my thing. I’ve especially never been a fan of sweetening hot cereals like oatmeal and farina. No matter what my mother or grandmother did, adding more sugar or honey didn’t make the experience less unpleasant.
As I got older, I realized that I preferred more savory tastes. I’d take a plate of bacon and eggs over a box of doughnuts any day, because I prefer the savory, saltier flavors to start the day.
Once you hit a certain age, your doctor recommends foods like oatmeal more vigorously. Oatmeal is good for you: tons of dietary fiber, beta-glucan polysaccharides that can reduce blood cholesterol, relatively low caloric density as is. So it’s good for you, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it tastes good.
So how do you make something that’s good taste good to someone like me without ruining its health benefits? The answer turned out to be adding completely different flavoring. Instead of using sugar, I now make my oatmeal with savory ingredients. Here’s my recipe:
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic or onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, feel free to substitute Sriracha if you want to turn up the heat
- 1/4 cup quick rolled oats
- 1/2 – 1 cup of water, depending on how you like your oatmeal
- Put everything in a bowl or pot.
- Microwave or heat to boiling.
- Let rest for 1-2 minutes.
- Stir. Add water if needed to achieve desired consistency, then stir again.
- 1/4 cup oats: 75 calories
- Chicken bouillon, 1 tsp: 2.5 calories, 400mg sodium
- Garlic, onion, black pepper: no nutritional value or calories
If you have the space and appropriate storage, you can use liquid chicken stock instead of bouillon; I use the powder only because it’s much easier to store at the office and doesn’t spoil. You can, of course, use any other soup base as well, such as aji-memmu, miso, curry, etc. You’ll note that this recipe is also super-low-calorie. The oatmeal is the only substantial contributor of calories.
If you’re not a fan of sweet-flavored oatmeals, try this instead! It might just get you eating oatmeal again.
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Also published on Medium.