I grew to love oatmeal during my freshman year of college, when a warm breakfast became necessary to make it to class in the midst of my first Boston winter. On a related note, I started drinking tea that same year, but that's a post for another day. These days, I prefer using steel cut oats when possible (ahem, when I have the time). I've found that I can make a big batch on Sunday that will supply breakfasts to begin the week. Read on for my favorite variations.
Option 1: Top with a fried egg plus a generous sprinkling of salt and freshly ground pepper. Bonus points if the yolk is still a bit runny, as it will mix into the oatmeal nicely.
My sister introduced me to this, and I was initially a bit skeptical. She discovered it while studying abroad in South Africa, and made it for our family upon returning home. It's become one of my favorites; it's simple and satisfying, a true power breakfast.
Option 2: Add apple butter (I prefer an unsweetened variety) and sliced almonds.
This revelation came from a visit to Boston's Flour Bakery last winter (which is fitting, given that oatmeal is forever linked to bearing up to New England winters in my mind). It's a nice alternative to the standard brown sugar or maple syrup versions, but delivers similarly comforting flavors plus a bit of crunch.
Option 3: Sprinkle with a handful of hearty, raw trail mix for a tasty crunch.
I mix equal amounts of whole almonds, cashews, pepitas, and raisins in big batches. In addition to using it to top oatmeal, it's a great snack on its own. You can add sunflower seeds or swap in another dried fruit of your choice too.