I have been a long-time lover of oatmeal since I was a kid. While I know a lot of people find it to be bland or mushy, I was always happy to eat it for breakfast. When I was younger, my mom kept a constant stash of those Quaker Oats instant oatmeal packets in the kitchen. My absolute favorite was the maple and brown sugar, and even though she would try a variety, I always went back to that one. I ate it a lot as a kid, and then again in college (perfect for dorm room microwaves!). However, once I was a few years out of college and working a telecommuting job with more time to spare in the morning, I began making my oatmeal on the stove using traditional old-fashioned oats from the canister. My preferred preparation was to top my oatmeal with a splash of maple syrup or brown sugar, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a chopped apple. Divine!
However, I started shying away from oatmeal during the summer, instead opting for seasonal things like cottage cheese with fresh berries. Usually in September, I get back into my oatmeal groove. I was thrilled when I came across this recipe for a chilled oatmeal that you can prepare the night before and top with fresh fruit in the morning.
I will preface this recipe by saying that I think you pretty much have to like oatmeal to like this recipe.
That being said, this is an awesome way to enjoy oatmeal during the warmer months when a hot breakfast is the last thing you want to eat. It very much reminds me of a chilled rice pudding, although obviously not as rich. It goes without saying, but you could add any type of sweetener to this oatmeal, and top it with any type of fruit – summer berries, peaches, bananas, pears in the fall – anything!
If oatmeal is your thing, but you shy away from it in the summer, definitely give this a try!
Combine the oats, ¾ cup of the almond milk, water and salt in a small saucepan. Bring it a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the oats are tender, about 4 minutes.
Remove from the heat and transfer the oatmeal mixture to a bowl and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining ¼ cup almond milk and 1 teaspoon of the maple syrup. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
In a small bowl, toss the chopped plum, remaining 1 teaspoon of maple syrup and cinnamon in a bowl; let stand for 5 minutes. Serve the chilled oatmeal topped with the fruit and any accumulated juices.