Kneads and Cravings: Rethink your oatmeal opinions with this punchy mixed berry recipe

Sometimes we make dietary changes because it's part of a resolution ... other times we make these changes so our medical professionals don’t feel compelled to chuck a clipboard at us.

One of my relatives recently had a health scare that resulted in their doctor giving them a binder full of dietary restrictions. Needless to say my relative was not a happy camper when he observed that his new diet plan appeared to be lacking in flavor.

My relative sent me a copy of the list asking if I had any advice or suggestions to make his diet plan less bland while working within his parameters. His new diet plan calls for minimal salt, fat and sugar and many of the things he is allowed to have...well they resemble a toddler’s adventures with solid food. Understandably he was less than pleased with the dull list of items.

One of the things he can eat is oatmeal, which he told me is fine, but tends to be boring. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never been a big proponent of oatmeal, mostly because when I think about oatmeal, I think of the sad goop that you can make from the microwavable packages (there’s nothing wrong with it, I personally don’t enjoy it).

Here’s the thing, oatmeal is often considered bland, but it doesn’t have to be boring. If anything oatmeal is pretty versatile, considering the oats are used to make a variety of different recipes. In an effort to inject a little flavor into my relative’s new breakfast routine I decided to throw together a pot of mixed berry oatmeal and let me tell you, if you’re someone who isn’t a member of team might want to reconsider your opinion of it after trying out this recipe. My relative quickly scarfed down the mixed berry oatmeal I made for him and then asked if I could give him the recipe...after I whipped up another bowl for him.

Mixed Berry Oatmeal

Serves 2

1 cup cut oats

1 cup milk (you can use water as well, but the milk makes it creamier)

1 cup mixed berries (chef’s choice)

2 tsp honey

1tsp brown sugar (optional)

Boil the milk in a pot on a stove. Once the milk has boiled, stir in the oats until the milk is fully absorbed. While the oatmeal is cooking, place the fruit and honey in a pot and stir for roughly five minutes. Once the fruit starts to breakdown remove it from the heat.

Once the oatmeal is done cooking, spoon it the oatmeal into two bowls and sprinkle brown sugar on top if desired. Top the bowls with half the fruit mixture and serve.

For my mixed berries, I used raspberries, blackberries and blueberries but chefs can use whatever berry combination they prefer.