How do you like your oatmeal?

Is it just me, or has oatmeal become a little overwhelming?! There’s steel cut oats, rolled oats, fast cooking oats and instant oats. You can cook them on the stove top, in the microwave or with boiling water. You can bake your oats or cook them in your crockpot. Then there’s overnight oats, prepared with colorful, special ingredients, placed in adorable Mason jars. I’ve never made overnight oats but every picture I’ve ever seen is completely mouthwateringly gorgeous. (So many recipes, I can never decide) All I’ve mentioned so far is just regular oatmeal. There’s more! Oatmeal is everywhere. It’s in muffins, cookies, granola bars, meatloaf, pancakes or anything else that may be out there, and I’m sure there’s more. I love that oatmeal is such a versatile food. It’s healthy, easy to find and I almost always have it on hand. But, oh my goodness… there are so many options! I don’t even know where to start.

Don’t get me wrong, I love oatmeal cookies. I just made some this week. My favorite oatmeal cookie is a delicious, buttery, gooey oatmeal butterscotch cookie. The recipe is in the greatest sweets cookbook ever. The Hershey cookbook. Yum!

Beyond cookies and just regular old oatmeal, and maybe the occasional muffin, I tend to feel a little overwhelmed. I always get excited when I see friends on Facebook start to trade oatmeal preparation suggestions. I look at the recipes with an initial motivation and desire to try them. When it comes down to it, it’s just too much work for me. On most days, the regular days, almost every day, I’m all about the easiest, most affordable, healthiest, tastiest option. If a meal is those four things, it’s for me! I’ve gone to the store with the intention of buying steel cut oats. (they’re all the rage right now… At least in California) I just can’t justify buying them! At my grocery store they’re like twise the cost for half the amount compared to regular cooktop rolled oats. I looked on Amazon, and that’s not the case there. The cost is actually very comparable. Still, I wanted to know the difference between these two oatmeal options, so I Googled it. Steel cut vs rolled oats. To preface, I’m not a nutritionist or a doctor. Just a woman who’s trying to feed her family healthy, easy, affordable, yummy food. What I found is that there’s no nutritional difference between the two. The difference is in cooking time, taste and texture. I do have an adventurous side, but I’m also a creature of habit. For now I’ll be sticking with my old fashioned rolled oats. (I also like to go against social trends whenever possible. It’s just how I am) Back to the easiest option. The overnight oats are the most tempting to try. I’m sure I’ll get around to it some day, but the problem is that I never have all of the ingredients on hand. Bananas yes, almond milk no. Regular milk yes, chia seeds, no. I’m sure I could throw something together if I wanted to, but then I’d have to put in additional effort. The truth is that I’m happy with my regular, tried and true stove top rolled oats prepared with a bit of butter brown sugar and milk. I’ve been eating it the same way since I was a little girl. I make a giant pot on Monday, put the leftovers in the fridge and it lasts all week. I like it, my kids like it, it’s a win for everyone in the house. It’s easy, affordable, healthy, (except for the sugar, but we all need a bit of sugar, right?) and yummy.

I really like oatmeal. I’m sure I’ll try those steel cut, pretty little Mason jar overnight oats someday. I’m sure it’ll be glorious! I’ll probably love them so much that I’ll never turn back to my tried and true. For now though, I’m good with how I like my oatmeal.

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