Rise 'n Shine

I enjoy hot cereal ... especially oatmeal. But one of the regular complaints that I hear about it is the consistency it has. Okay, there may not be a lot of texture to this great morning opener, but there's no rule that says we can't change that. I got the idea for this morning twist on oatmeal after my husband got on his own oatmeal kick. It consisted of making a single serving of instant oatmeal and adding chopped dried fruit and Grape Nuts cereal to the bowl of piping hot oatmeal. The result was a crunchy hot cereal that filled the house with a delicious aroma.

Inspired, I opted to make some changes to my husband's creation. I made regular oatmeal on the stove with skim milk -- I've always preferred regular oatmeal's texture over instant, although it's a fine substitute in a pinch -- and added dried cherries (my favorite!), a touch of brown sugar (although maple syrup does wonders if you have it handy) and some wheat germ to add a little nuttiness and fiber. Then, just when you think it's perfect, I toss in some extra crunchy granola! Suddenly the whole bowl is different and wonderfully crunchy. I love to curl up with a bowl of this crunchy oatmeal in the morning and watch the birds delight in the offerings in the bird feeder on my porch while my cat, Java, delights in the birds! It's nice to have autumn here.

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Crunchy AM Oatmeal

  • 2 c. milk
  • 1 c. oatmeal
  • 2 T. toasted wheat germ
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. dried cherries
  • 1 c. granola -- choose your favorite variety

In a medium saucepan, warm the milk until steamy. Add the oatmeal, wheat germ, brown sugar and cherries and continue heating -- mixing frequently -- until the cereal is of your desired consistency. Remove the saucepan from the stove and add the granola. Mix well and serve immediately.

  • Yields: 3 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes