Monday, May 14, 2012

Rice Cooker Oatmeal & More!

Here's an easy, cleaner way to make oatmeal.

One of my favorite things to have for breakfast is oatmeal. That wasn't always the case.

I didn't like cooking oatmeal. Oatmeal is good and good for you, but it can be messy to cook. In the past I've made oatmeal on the stove in a pan,then I changed over to making it in the microwave. Both methods worked, but boil overs could result in a cleaning disaster.

 The rice cooker forever changed the way I make oatmeal. It's fast, easy to clean, and no boil overs. Use the real deal oats. I use the traditional Quaker Oats, or steel cut, or Bob's Red Mill. The pre-packaged, flavored envelopes are tasty, but have additives & sugar.

For one serving of the Quaker Oats, I use 1/2 cup oats, 1 cup water. Then you can get creative. Options are to add dried cranberries, raisins, prunes, plums, nuts, cinnamon.

On most rice cookers, once you plug them in, and close the lid, there is a lever to push down to the "Cook" setting. In a few minutes the lever will pop up to the "Warm" setting. At that point, open the lid, use the rice paddle to slide the hot, cooked, oatmeal into a pretty bowl. Serve with real maple syrup.

 Note: Even with non-stick surfaces, some rice bowl inserts will have a bottom layer of oatmeal or rice that gets a little bit browner and comes out of the bowl easily. That crunchy bit is pretty tasty and is not to be considered as burnt.

 Some rice cookers come with a steamer insert for making healthy, steamed vegetables quickly. Other foods you can cook in your rice cooker: Quinoa & Lentils; risotto, some pastas can be made in here as well.

 The other good feature about a rice cooker, is that you aren't heating up kitchen making rice or veggies. That's a good thing for summertime cooking and any of these foods cooked in a rice cooker would make a good side dish for anything on the grill. If you have electrical outlets near your picnic table, you can set it up to cook outside.

If you don't have a rice cooker,and would like to give one a try, start with an inexpensive 6-cup Rival. Walmart has them for about $13.00. Asian markets carry different brands and sizes. Amazon has a good variety of sizes and prices


Oatmeal, Raisins, Tatung Rice cooker w/steamer insert.
One half cup oats, 1 cup water. Then some walnuts, raisins, craisins, dates,
can be added to your rice cooker

All ingredients went into the bowl.
Red "Cook" light is on, lever is down.
Orange "Warm"light is on, lever is up.
Steaming oatmeal mixture ready to plate.

Emptied bowl insert, using rice paddle.
Added a bit of Massachusetts pure maple syrup.
What a great way to start the day.

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