A One-Trick Meal?
Ask anyone what comes to mind when you mention oatmeal and the response might sound something like:
Breakfast, bowl of neutral-colored porridge, flavors of maple and brown sugar (or apples and cinnamon), a man in a funny hat.
Compare this to some of the other grains like wheat, barley, corn grits, or even buckwheat and a bevy of dishes ranging from sweet to savory will come to mind. With such a long history of cultivation, why such a singular association attached to the breakfast staple? The answer isn’t that complicated.
The Grain No One Wanted
If grains are one big family, then oats are the middle child. Cultivated as early 2000 BCE in ancient Egypt and China, oats were seen as more of a weed by these cultures. Although the Romans would help spread knowledge of the grain, they viewed it more as “fare for barbarians.”
After centuries of neglect, oats would finally find an appreciative audience in the U.K. (thanks to the Romans,) where the climate in Scotland is perfect for growing it. The Scots even go so far as to celebrate them every year during their World Porridge Making Championship, where the dish is made sweet, savory and everything in-between.
A Savory Dish Worth Savin’
Hopefully the abridged history of oatmeal isn’t the only new thing you learn today, because we’ve got an easy, seasonal, savory oatmeal that will help expand your breakfast paradigm to a whole new host of possibilities.
This butternut squash oatmeal is a take on a breakfast classic that takes advantage of the natural sugars present in dates to lend a subtle sweetness. Then, you will find the roasted butternut squash and rosemary take center stage. What you’ll end up with is a hearty porridge packed with protein and fiber.
What you’ll need (makes 1-2 servings):
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup organic rolled oats
- Approx. 1.5 cups roasted butternut squash, chopped
- Pumpkin seeds
- Generous drizzle of date syrup
This dish is both easy and versatile. Love squash? Go all in and add more. Don’t like pumpkin seeds? Opt for flax and chia instead. You can vary the amount of oats you use depending on how much you want (as long as you keep the 2:1 water/oats ratio.)
To cook the oats, bring the water to a boil and add them in. In 3-5 minutes they should be ready. The roasted butternut squash in our cafe is already seasoned with salt, pepper and rosemary. Perfect!
Scoop your butternut squash oatmeal into a bowl and add your pumpkin seeds (Flax and chia work nice too.) Add a generous drizzle of your date syrup (we love the one by Just Date) and sprinkle cinnamon to taste. Yum!