Spiced Pear Oatmeal

I’ve been obsessed with oatmeal for the last two years. I can’t get over it. It’s just too good. When I go home I like to make rolled oats or steel-cut oats, since I have stove and time to make yummy things on it. Recently, I was introduced to Silver Palate’s Thick and Rough oats, which I can’t get enough of. They’re incredibly nutty, hearty, filling and comforting. I was in North Carolina two weeks ago and had what I like to consider were real, Southern grits, and I have to say that comparatively, this oatmeal takes the cake in the stick-to-your-ribs contest. I normally like my oatmeal with cinnamon, honey, and fruit of some kind. Lately I was on a banana kick, since I go to the gym after breakfast, but after a banana fiasco, I couldn’t look at them or eat them for a while.

Before spring break, I stocked up on fruits and vegetables and put them in the crisper drawer of the student kitchen fridge. I stuck the bananas in the freezer, since I figured they wouldn’t keep in the fridge for an entire week. The morning after I got back, I went downstairs to make my oatmeal and opened the freezer drawer, thinking I’d find a pretty yellow frozen banana. Wrong. Instead, I found four blackened, mushy, disgustingly sweet messes of fruit in the freezer drawer. When I looked it up, I discovered that I was both right and misguided. Banana skins blacken in the freezer, but the cold temperatures do slow the ripening of the banana. Of course, I should have known what I was getting into after leaving bananas to ripen for a week, but anyway…don’t put ripe bananas in the freezer to keep unless you’re intentions are to save them for banana bread or a smoothie!

So I turned to the pears that were still sitting prettily in the fridge drawer. The weather was just warming up, so in an ode to winter, I decided to make a spiced pear oatmeal to say out with the old season, in with the new! It was a delight to say goodbye to winter and eat the warm oatmeal outside on a crisp, spring morning–although I can’t say I’m looking forward to April showers.

Spiced Pear Oatmeal (4 servings)

1 cup steel-cut or thick-cut oats

1 cup water

1 cup soymilk or milk

3 tablespoons honey

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. cloves

pinch of salt

1 pear, diced

1. Bring the soymilk and water to a slow boil. Be careful not to heat it up too quickly because the mixture will spill over rather rapidly.

2. Add the oats and turn the burner down to low heat. Cover the pot and stir it occasionally. Stir in the honey, pinch of salt, cinnamon, and cloves. After 15 minutes, I generally turn the burner off and just let the oats sit for another 15 minutes.

3. Dice the pear and mix it into the warm oatmeal.

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