Inspired by this post over at The Deliberate Agrarian, and also by my Sue Gregg Breakfasts cookbook, I decided to make some thermos oatmeal last night for breakfast this morning. I grabbed my two 32 oz. stainless steel thermoses out of a moving box (yes, we still have plenty of those unpacked around here), the bag of oat groats I got on sale at the local health food store, and a pan to boil water (still haven’t found the teapot). Using a 3.5:1 ratio, I put a cup of oat groats (whole grain oats) in each thermos, followed by roughly 3 3/4 cups boiling water (in each). I capped them, turned them on their sides, and went to bed. This morning, this is what the oats looked like:
Looks like oatmeal, yes? While this might not surprise you, that cooked oats looks like oatmeal, it surprised me. See, I have cooked oat groats and steel cut oats before, and while I loved them, they took forever to cook on the stovetop, and turned out delightfully nutty and slightly chewy. I really love that about them, but my kids prefer the mushier texture of oatmeal. And I prefer the cooking time of regular oats.
But this? Was so easy and fast. I boiled water (and my vintage GE electric coiltop stove boils water faster than any stove I have ever owned before), dumped it all in two thermoses, and was done. (Note to self: one thermos is enough for all four of us.) The texture is mushier like oatmeal, but still retains a little body, like steel cut oats. When we start using our fireplace insert, I can boil water in a teapot on top of that, saving even more money by cutting out the stove.
I’m encouraged. I wanted to buy a 50 lb. bag of organic oat groats when I place my bulk foods order this week, but I didn’t want to have to buy a grain roller/flaker to have oatmeal. Now I know that I don’t have to buy the flaker (though I kind of still want to).
Sue Gregg says you can cook just about any grain in a thermos for breakfast cereal. If you want to know more about this topic, just google “thermos cooking,” and you’ll come up with lots of links.