December 4, 2008

I didn’t set my alarm last night so I woke up with the sunrise – at 6:30. It was nice to wake up gently.

I changed the sheets, put some laundry in and decided I was ready for breakfast – microwave style :mrgreen:


The result: Taste-wise the oats were the same as normal, but texture and temperature-wise, they were not. However, as they cooled, they changed texture to my normal thick and creamy style.

Technique: My technique today was to slow-cook them on medium power rather than hit ’em with high heat for 2-3 minutes. So I did a total of 8 minutes on power level 5 with stir breaks after 3, 2, 2 and 1 minute. When they came out they were piping hot (which doesn’t happen on the stove – they are perfectly warmed/hot on the stove) and they were……..mucusy. Despite the milk and banana. BUT, as they cooled, the mucusiness went away and they cooled and all was well. (You might think I am overanalyzing this, but since I love cooking oatmeal, I feel I have the right to overanalyze a new technique.)

Right out of the microwave texture – cooked, but gel-y. (I didn’t snap one of the texture as I worked through and they cooled). I am sure a food scientist could explain the starch/gelatinization process better than I can. 


The mixture: 1/3 cup oats, milk, water, 1 small banana, pinch salt, 1 tbsp raisins

Stirred in: wheatberries

Toppings: Coconut butter, 1/3 a peanut butter Z-bar (nice as a topping!!), and a spoonful of Smuckers Natural


The Conclusion: I still stand by my declaration that nothing can top stove-top oatmeal. But these oats were 90% as good. However, it took me just as long to make them due to the slow-cook process – the only difference was not cleaning the pot, which I will admit was nice to get to skip!


Appliance Strike

Not only was I without a stove this morning…

(Say goodbye!)


But I was also without a dishwasher because the brewer has claimed it for his beer bottling later in the day. I promise he will do a home brew post on his beer making soon!

DSC06572  DSC06571

Bar Exchange

I took Laura up on her bar exchange – they arrived yesterday with some nice coupons!!! Thanks Laura!! I am sending her some excess LaraBars soon :)


Today is ALL DAY ORGANIC STUDYING! With a run and perhaps some pilates on DVD mixed in :) I am meeting classmates at the Charlotte library after lunch.

Happy Thursday!

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{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Biz319 December 4, 2008 at 8:44 am

So happy about your new stove! I have never seen those Clif bars before! Is that lemon, vanilla and cahew??


2 zestycook December 4, 2008 at 8:45 am

Kath, Looks like you are in for yet another busy day! Oats with a twist. They still look great.
Have a great Thursday!



3 Charlie Hills December 4, 2008 at 8:47 am

Home brewing! Can’t wait. I’ve always wanted to try that. Though, I’m sure all my bottles would explode. Then we might have matching stoves.


4 VeggieGirl December 4, 2008 at 8:48 am

Love the close-up of the oats!!

Hooray for the new stove!!

Good luck studying!!


5 K December 4, 2008 at 8:56 am

Glad you got your oats, Kath! Good luck studying :)


6 Amanda December 4, 2008 at 8:57 am

Justin’s got our dishwasher all filled up with bottles as well :-) He’s FINALLY bottling the beer he and the husband made months ago tonight while I’m in class.

Hope you enjoy the new stove!


7 Mary Ponzio December 4, 2008 at 8:59 am

I was wondering…have you ever tried to slow cook your oats in a slow cooker? I have oats every morning just like you and I have always been tempted but never have attempted it. I would imagine it would turn out very creamy…


8 Katie December 4, 2008 at 9:03 am

WHOA! What happened to the stove?? I saw you were getting a new one, but I didn’t know this one shattered? :(


9 Betsy in Pittsburgh December 4, 2008 at 9:07 am

I’m curious about the slow-cooking method too. I keep meaning to try it with steel cut oats.


10 Janie December 4, 2008 at 9:11 am

I have tried slow cooking oats (steel cut), and it didn’t work very well. I need to tweak the method somewhat. I think you need to use less water in a slow cooker than you would on the stove. After 8 hours my oats were still watery:( Very disappointing to wake up to. If anyone has mastered the technique please share!


11 Moran December 4, 2008 at 9:12 am

I always use the microwave for my oats…I let them sit for a couple of minutes and then the texture is okay…


12 Bridget December 4, 2008 at 9:15 am

My fiance makes his own homebrews too! He’s been doing it for about 4 years now. My fave is his Belgian white which I’m trying to get him to make to serve at the wedding :) He bakes his bottles to sterilize them, puts a little bit of foil over the openings.


13 Jen December 4, 2008 at 9:18 am

Home brew, huh?! Sounds good to me!!

Your nuked oats look just as gorgeous as the stove-top version!

Enjoy your day!


14 Rose December 4, 2008 at 9:18 am

I most certainly agree that stovetop oats are the way to go! I think it’s definitely worth the time spent…


15 claire December 4, 2008 at 9:23 am

wow. very complicated and detailed oats. :)

I just put mine in the microwave on high for 2 min. When they come out I give them a good stir and then let them cool. tasty.


16 Fancy December 4, 2008 at 9:26 am

Kath, if you had to choose…..what is your all-time favorite bar in terms of how long they keep you feeling full/taste?

Have a great day—good luck with the new stove!


17 Tina December 4, 2008 at 9:35 am

I love the nuking oatmeal method! In fact, I’ve never had stove-top oats! Insane, right?

Hey, instead of a bar exchange, can we do a homebrew exchange? :) I’m so jealous of your hubby’s brewing skillz!


18 sonia December 4, 2008 at 9:42 am

Has your husband considered a career in the creative fields – he would be a great cartoonist. Ofcourse the way you describe all the breads, he would be an awesome baker too. Let me know if you guys open shop :).


19 tanya December 4, 2008 at 9:45 am

I’m an oatmeal nuker. And I never even thought about doing it on medium power. Maybe that’s why I like oatmeal … but I can’t say I LOVE it :-)


20 Kathryn December 4, 2008 at 9:46 am

I admire your patience in cooking breakfast. I’m a 2 minute or less microwave oat kinda gal. No patience for waiting. I guess I just can’t tell the difference!


21 caroline F. December 4, 2008 at 9:51 am

Very cute Home brew cartoon, and great idea for the bar exchange! Happy thursday, good luck with the stove again !


22 Madison December 4, 2008 at 9:52 am

lol that is such a cute cartoon!! =)


23 claire December 4, 2008 at 9:55 am

That is how I cook my oats…a slow cook, in the microwave. I’ve never done them stovetop…I guess I’m just too lazy to stand there with them. I like to go get things done while they’re cooking!


24 Mel December 4, 2008 at 9:57 am

I totally agree that oats are better on the stove top! At least you got your beloved oats though.


25 Megan December 4, 2008 at 10:01 am

I am anxious to hear what you think about the Nectar bars. I think you did great with your microwave oats!


26 BethT December 4, 2008 at 10:06 am

My hubby is lazy and ONLY cooks his oats in the micro. His strategy is to leave it a little shy of the full amount of liquid while cooking. He then stirs in milk and/or water at the end, to taste, until it reaches his desired consistency. That works pretty well. He also doesn’t nuke the ‘nana because I think that’s what makes it mucusy…


27 ashley (sweet & natural) December 4, 2008 at 10:14 am

What does the hub need the dishwasher for? I’m so curious!


28 Charlie Hills December 4, 2008 at 10:16 am

I’d say for sterilizing bottles…


29 halie December 4, 2008 at 10:16 am

Microwave oats are great for me during the week because I make my brekkie at the office, but I love making stovetop oats on the weekend!

I think it’s so cool that you guys are making a home brew! I’ve recently started to enjoy beer, but I only enjoy micro brews, mostly ones from my area – Oregon has A LOT of micro breweries!


30 Jenn (eating bender) December 4, 2008 at 10:25 am

I like your method for cooking microwave oats – I think it would help prevent the explosion that occurs every time I try!

I’m glad that you liked the ZBar as a topping – I crumble it over everything, from oatmeal to Greek yogurt to frozen yogurt – it’s great!

Can’t wait for that post on home brewing – have a great day!


31 Courtney December 4, 2008 at 10:32 am

I’m telling you, you haven’t had oats until you have had them from the crock pot! Maybe it’s a texture thing for me but they always come out so chewy and delish. It’s the only way I will eat em’. Well, with tons of toppings too of course.

Those Z Bars are so good. I think I may like them better than regular Clif bars! Have a good day.


32 Allison K December 4, 2008 at 10:38 am

I made oats on the stove top this morning for the first time, and I think I might prefer the microwave! I use 1 minute oats, with water and a banana sliced in and then nuked for 2.5 minutes (so why are they called 1 minute oats?). And I like how they come out a bit chewy.


33 Heather McD (heather eats almond butter) December 4, 2008 at 10:46 am

Hey Kath,
We have the opposite problem here in our house as our microwave broke about a month ago. I’m not a fan of the appliance, but my husband used to use it daily. We still have not gotten a new one, and we get along quite fine without it. On the other hand, if our stove broke, I don’t know what I would do. I probably use it at least 3 times a day. Stove top oats are definitely the best!


34 Christy December 4, 2008 at 11:05 am

I am definitely looking forward to your hubby’s beer brewing post. My brother makes his own beer too and I would love to see other styles of brewing. Also, I just want to say that it cracks me up when you always tell us what you mis-typed! I do that all the time! :p


35 runjess December 4, 2008 at 11:12 am

I finally made oats on the stove the other weekend…for perhaps the first time in my life. Far superior to microwaving. You’re right, they always get too hot in there!


36 WendyF December 4, 2008 at 11:18 am

Never take your oats for granted…Oh those real oats look delicous. I am hunkered down in a hotel in Amsterdam for the first part of my trip. I did bring the 3 essentials: 2 weeks of instant oats, my Peets Holiday blend with my french press coffee cup and bath salts. :-)

What kind of beer is the husband brewing? Yippe another homebrewer ! My fiance has been brewing(from grains)for many years and just brewed a Christmas Dunkel and a belguim style. We mostly keg our brews.


37 Julia (Santa Barbara Dreaming) December 4, 2008 at 11:21 am

dishwasher for beer….? Interesting. My family has never used the dishwasher. My mom is convinced that handwashing is the only way to get dishes spotless, so I have developed her habits too. Are we all destined to become like our parents? haha 😉


38 Runnergirl December 4, 2008 at 11:26 am

I don’t know if you have ever tried this, but I thought I would share since you seem to love oats so much . . . . this morning instead of just adding plain water to cook my stovetop oats I heated the water and added a honey vanilla herbal tea bag for ~2 minutes before adding and starting to cook the oats. It gave my whole bowl a delicious sweetness! I couldn’t believe that I had never tried this before, combined with banana, blueberries, and fresh ground almond butter was unbeatable!!


39 seelee live (for the love of peanut butter) December 4, 2008 at 11:39 am

helloo!! i remember asking you a while back about microwaved oats. well congratulations-you tried one this AM! i read the comment above from runnergirl and i think thats such a good idea, i am definitly trying it!

have a fun day!


40 Maggie December 4, 2008 at 11:42 am

I don’t mind microwave oats :) I make mine at work so that’s kind of the only option I have. One weekend I’ll have to try real stovetop oats… but I don’t want to spoil myself and not like microwaving them anymore! (I don’t use instant, I still use just normal oats in the micro.)

The beer sign is cute :)


41 Oh She Glows December 4, 2008 at 11:47 am

haha your husband draws much like my husband…:)

Thanks for the info on nuking the oats! Very informative :)



42 Ellen December 4, 2008 at 12:03 pm

A tip for microwaving oats– I use the slow cook microwave method also, but to make it even simpler, the night before combine your oats/milk/water so in the morning you can add just a touch extra water and nuke on full power for a 2 minutes with one stir in between, when I add the banana. The pre-soak seems to take the place of a long, medium power microwaving and makes them even better, I think!


43 Teddy December 4, 2008 at 12:08 pm

you should do a raw week until your stove is fixed… that could be fun.. although it’s a little cold for it.. raw week is best in the summer when it’s too hot to cook anyway



44 Hil December 4, 2008 at 12:08 pm

I alternate between stovetop and microwave oats. I like microwave oats fine, and on some days, I just can’t stand the thought of washing a dish. I like microwaving them especially well if I’m adding dried fruit…it sucks in all the moisture and becomes really juicy and delicious in the microwave.


45 lauren December 4, 2008 at 12:36 pm

the lemon, vanilla, cashew flavor Nectar bar is the BEST. love those. enjoy!


46 Becky December 4, 2008 at 12:37 pm

HAHA! my boyfriend does the SAME thing when he bottles his beer! He discovered that we have a “sterilization” setting on our dishwasher and has officially completely claimed it as his own. I wouldn’t mind so much if he left me cute pictures, though :-)


47 Jennifer December 4, 2008 at 12:49 pm

Kath I never see you mention it, but I’m just wondering if there are times you wake up in the morning and decide, screw the gym, my husband (in my case, bf) is just way more snuggly and warm. I know that’s my excuse sometimes =)


48 Jennifer December 4, 2008 at 12:50 pm

Kathryn- same way- 2 minutes or less for me, I don’t have the patience for more, ESPECIALLY if I am starving.


49 Christie December 4, 2008 at 12:57 pm

I have the exact same oven that you have that just broke. I had to call my husband in so he could look at what happened to yours. We love it so we kinda take it for granted. Glad you are getting a new one soon.


50 Cat December 4, 2008 at 12:58 pm

Way to make some gourmet microwaved oats!! Whenever I have tried to make my oats in the microwave it’s a disaster taste-wise… unless I’m reheating some pre-cooked oats. :)


51 Heather December 4, 2008 at 1:03 pm

That dishwasher sign is cracking me up… nice drawing!

Yea for the new stove!! I love stainless appliances.


52 Jenny December 4, 2008 at 1:07 pm

If anyone can perfect microwave oatmeal, it’s you kath! Glad you were able to enjoy breakfast, sans stovetop!

good luck studying today!


53 Nellie December 4, 2008 at 1:30 pm

I completely understand the texture issue, there’s certain foods I can’t eat because of texture. Yuck!


54 Christina December 4, 2008 at 1:31 pm

I haven’t tried Nectar bars yet, but it sounds like I need to!


55 Shelby December 4, 2008 at 2:00 pm

I totally agree with you…stove top oats are the only way to go. But I also like them baked in the oven. Everytime I try to make them in the microwave, they explode!!


56 Kath December 4, 2008 at 2:02 pm

Amanda ,
LOL. I hope we can try it sometime!

Mary Ponzio,
We don’t have a slow cooker :(

Fancy ,
I don’t think any of the bars really keep me full :( They are better just for delaying hunger. Kinds with nuts (LaraBar + Nectar + Kashi) are better for me than kinds with just oats (Zbars). I try to only eat bars that are natural, so I wouldn’t throw in protein bars in the mix.

Tina ,
Beer exchange would be cool! If only shipping was as easy as emailing…

And Tina…and Tanya,
You have to TRY stove-top oats before you just keep on microwaving!!

claire ,
Actually my stove-top oats are less hands on than the microwave were. I let them sit and warm up on medium heat for about 5 minutes while I do other things and just stir for the last 2-3 once they start to bubble.

Runnergirl ,
The thought of tea in oats doesn’t sound appealing to me, but I suppose I should try it before I knock it! I think it would be watery!

Ellen ,
That’s a great tip!

Teddy ,
Raw = COLD!!!

Jennifer ,
Yeah, on the weekends, when I do reverse workout/breakfast days. He’s gone by 3am during the week!



57 Rose-Anne December 4, 2008 at 2:27 pm

Hello again, Kath!

I just wanted to thank you for providing the free shipping code for Barney Butter (ship4free). It still works! Holy frijoles is that stuff good. I’m officially a convert. And like a good evangelical, I’m going to spread the word by stuffing Barney Butter into Christmas stockings this year.

If I had my way, I’d leave Santa a plate of green apples, a knife, and a ramekin of Barney Butter. Cookies are nice and all, but doesn’t Santa need to keep up his energy if he’s going to make it to every child’s house in one night?


58 Sam December 4, 2008 at 4:59 pm

I have actually never had a Clif Nectar bar but I have heard good reviews and I love Larabars. I agree microwave cooking isn’t as good although the oatmeal always sticks to the pot for me a lot and it is so annoying!


59 Rachel December 4, 2008 at 5:17 pm

I think Runnergirl meant tea as the cooking water, not tea dumped into the oats.


60 faith December 4, 2008 at 6:34 pm

if you happen to see this you could try the overnight oats method…soaking them and then microwing…thats what i do since i have to work at the crack of dawn to serve everyone their java!!! its pretty tasty!!!


61 Kath December 4, 2008 at 7:10 pm

LOL! I need some more nowwwww!

Rachel ,
Yeah, I realize that.

Someone mentioned that and I think it’s an excellent tip! Might try it tonight.



62 pam December 4, 2008 at 8:06 pm

I microwave my oats as follows:
1/2 cup oats and 1/2 cup water(equal parts oats to water)
Microwave for 2 minutes at 50% power(otherwise they boil over).
Hope this helps! I tried to microwave with soymilk instead of water and the liquid did not absorb the same, so if you use milk you’ll probably have the same problem.
Good Luck and hopefully your new oven will arrive soon!!!


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