As a kid, my mom would often take my little brother and I along to Starbucks on lazy weekend afternoons. Though it was certainly not breakfast time, one of my favorite snacks to get there was the Starbucks “Perfect Oatmeal.” Both my brother and I enjoyed the piping hot bowls of oatmeal sweetened to each customer’s exact desires with just the right sprinkle of brown sugar, and made even more wonderful with the addition of choice toppings: I liked to dump in all the nuts and fruit, whereas my brother was a bit more selective.
I think the idea behind the “Perfect Oatmeal” at Starbucks is if you want something done right, do it yourself. I for one was always happy to sweeten and top my own oatmeal, exactly as I wanted. I get that same satisfaction by cooking oatmeal at home: this way I can completely control the taste and ingredients. Yesterday for breakfast I created a singular bowl of oatmeal, just for me, that included some of my favorite textures and tastes, each to just the right degree to cause harmony for my tastebuds. It does not resemble the Starbucks version of “Perfect Oatmeal,” but for me it was even better because it was my perfect oatmeal.
Now I feel like Goldilocks: the porridge was just right! I don’t know if it will be for you, so feel free to play around with what you add. For me this oatmeal was just sweet enough, just crunchy enough with the sliced almonds, and just juicy enough with ripe cherries. Dried blueberries add an intense blueberry flavor and chewy texture. Enjoy it your way, and make it just right for you.
Cherry Berry Almond Oatmeal
makes one serving
- 1/3 cup Bob’s Red Mill 5 grain rolled hot cereal
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 tbl organic light agave syrup
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- a generous splash of cinnamon
- 2 tbls dried blueberries
- 1 tbl sliced almonds
- 8 fresh cherries, pitted (I don’t have a cherry pitter, so I had to cut out the pits by hand with a knife. But it was worth it!)
Pour water into pot on stove. Heat to high until water boils. Add oats and dried blueberries. Turn heat to low. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. While cooking, add the agave, vanilla and cinnamon.
Remove from heat. Pour oatmeal into serving bowl. Top with almond slices and cherries. Let cool for a couple minutes, until it’s not to hot, not too cold, but just right!
I hope this oatmeal is as perfect for you as it was for me. Feel free to sweeten less or more and sub out fruits and nuts to taste. Enjoy!
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