The other day we received a cookbook in the mail called Whole-Grain Mornings. It’s written by English-teacher turned entrepreneur / baker Megan Gordon, who started a granola business (Marge Granola) in Seattle that’s become nationally-known. We were expecting the book, and I immediately began to pour over the recipes.
Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect because we’re not huge breakfast eaters (peanut butter English muffin and I’m good to go). However, as I paged through the recipes, I started to get excited. The book is full of innovative yet accessible ways to embrace whole grains: from California Barley Bowl to Yogurt Cups with Roasted Cherries and Toasted Millet. I compiled an entire list of recipes for meal inspiration throughout the day (not just the morning!).
When I passed the book off to Alex for perusal, he only made a few pages through before he decided to get his hands dirty: a recipe I’d passed right by because it said “The Best”. I’m generally suspicious of recipes with this preface, but he was already toasting the oats. After a few minutes, a smell filled our kitchen that was so nutty and sweet I forgot my hesitation. What resulted was indeed “the best” oatmeal I’d ever tasted: the oats were chewy (instead of the creamy texture of the stirred method) and deliciously nutty from toasting, topped with a bit of sweet maple syrup. We were both floored. “The best?” I guess she was right!
The rest of the book is incredibly lovely; beautifully written with lots of sweet personal details, and gorgeous photographs by the talented Clare Barboza. I think what we like most though, it that it is such an accessible resource: not only does it have our favorite oatmeal recipe, I can see ourselves taking inspiration from it for months to come. The book is available here. The best oats? Below.Print
Note that this method yields for a chewy oat texture, rather than the typical creamy texture. The recipe serves two, so double or triple for ample leftovers. A large pot works best, since it allows the oats to cook evenly.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (or coconut oil)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup milk or almond milk, plus additional to serve
- Pinch kosher salt
- Pinch ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
- Maple syrup, to serve
- Toasted almonds or pecans, to serve (optional)
- In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Add 1 cup oats and toast for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oats start to smell fragrant and nutty.
- In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, add 1/4 cup milk, one pinch kosher salt, one pinch cinnamon, and 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water. Bring to low boil over medium heat. Add the toasted oats and stir gently to combine, then cover the pot, turn off the heat, and allow to sit for 7 minutes.
- After 7 minutes, the oats are ready to serve. The texture will be a chewy texture, not creamy as with the stirred method. To serve, top with real maple syrup. Add toasted almonds or walnuts and/or additional milk if desired. Leftovers can be kept refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
Adapted from Whole-Grain Mornings by Megan Gordon
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is an acclaimed vegetarian cookbook author and cook based in Indianapolis. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious.