“Please, sir, I want some more.”
Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist
Have you jumped on the savory oatmeal bandwagon? I am a bit late to the party I must admit, even if I have been a lifetime lover of breakfast oatmeal. SVOATS, as they are called, offer endless possibilities for inventive flavor pairings. Oatmeal with attitude! Just skip traditional oatmeal toppings and think of it as a whole-grain blank slate like you would rice, congee, risotto or polenta. I have to admit I love berries and maple syrup in my oatmeal and I hesitated to try the SVOATS food trend for far too long. Even Dickens was serving up savory gruel in Oliver Twist in 1838!
For my first attempt at SVOATS, I cooked my oatmeal like I always do. I doused the oatmeal with some low sodium soy sauce for a bold infusion of umami flavor. I mixed in chopped roasted asparagus, sautéed mushrooms, chives and lots of black pepper. To finish, I topped it with more chives, some red pepper flakes and asparagus spears. It was really good in a creamy-risotto-kind-of-way with none of the labor! Because oats are bland on their own, I was surprised at how much seasoning they required to really rock in a savory way.
SVOATS can easily move from breakfast to lunch and dinner and be taken in all kinds of flavor directions. They are great clean-out-your-fridge whole grains primed for a meal-in-a-bowl topped with lots of healthy veggies and a protein. The economical whole grains are as easy to whip up for 1 or for a gang. How fun would a brunch featuring a Make-Your-Own-SVOATS be with a big steaming pot of oats and a variety of savory add-ins? Oats are nutritional powerhouses providing low fat healthy carbs to satisfy cravings, and are known to lower cholesterol, satiate appetite and lower the risk of colon cancer. Win-win-win!
Need inspiration? Croque-Monsieur Oats with ham and parmesan. Apple-gruyère-rosemary oats. Tex-Mex oat bowl with corn, black beans, tomatoes, chopped chicken, a squeeze of lime and sliced avocado. Curry-raisin-caramellized onion oatmeal. Blue cheese-walnut-cranberry-squash with toasted pepitas oats. Adding a perfect poached egg on top is always a good idea in my books! See where I’m going? The neutral taste of oats is a blank canvas for spunky and bold creations of your own.
Need more convincing? Check out Huffington Post’s offerings here and wake up your morning oatmeal! After all, it is Oatober!