I’ve always hated oatmeal.

9 Nov

yuck-vegetables

That’s right. Always AND Hated. I know  –  strong words.

I don’t know if it is the color or the texture that has been the biggest issue. Both are pretty bad. That beige – y color is way to similar to when you’ve mixed all the play-doh together. Then there is the texture – slimey – gooey – doughy – with chance of possible clumps.  It causes the same reaction to ‘wet bread’ or undercooked food items. Gag. I’ve always had to put equal amounts of brown sugar to oatmeal ratio to get it down – and then where are the health benefits to that? I don’t even like oatmeal cookies. Really.

Maybe it’s the fact that it was one of the meals that my Dad would make for us kids and he always said that it would ‘Stick to your Ribs’. I’m sure he meant metaphorically -but I had the visual of huge oatmealy clumps to your mid-section. Ugh-oh and blegck.

It’s not that I haven’t tried it through the years – mostly by force. Either you are staying with friends or family and that is what they offer. Or if you are traveling and need to carb-o load for hiking or climbing – oatmeal is usually the first option.

So, I was on a web-site that I love and she mentioned pumpkin oatmeal made with steel cut oats and it looked so delicious. I thought – let’s give it a try. I went out and bought a small amount of steel cut oats from the bulk bin (I’m no dummy) and brought it home to take a gamble. If you don’t know, steel cut oats look like teeny tiny pellets – they are just less processed than rolled oats and have much more food value than instant oats. I made them like to would make pasta. I boiled water, added the oats and then drained the excess water off after about 10 minutes. At that point I added the other ingredients. Guess what?! NOT MUSHY! In fact, like pasta should be they were Al Dente. They are beautiful little grains that hold their shape and are not slimey because I washed all of the goo off.

I’ve tried a few different combinations for the oatmeal and really love to add a 1/2 tablespoon of almond nut butter, 1/2 scoop of protien powder(vanilla), 1 teaspoon of maple syrup and a splash of rice milk. It is warm, creamy, nutty and metaphorically ‘sticks to your ribs’.

So. I’m an oatmeal eater. Can you believe it? I can’t.

When I talk to clients about adding in variety of foods, eating the rainbow, mixing it up we eventually come to the conversation of foods that peopel don’t like. Won’t eat. Haven’t tried. Can’t stand the idea of. Hate the texture. My Mom forced me to eat it – now can’t stand it. It smells like dirt. (OK, OK, the last one is my own excuse. I now love beets but for years I could’t get over the fact that they smell like dirt.) You get the idea. We work with what they will eat and go from there.

What we all need to do is keep trying.  A little at a time, different times of year, a new recipe. Keep in mind that food can be prepared hundreds of ways, different methods, pared with different foods or combos. Some foods taste good only at certain times of year. Maybe roasting brings out the sweetnes of veggies that you’ve never tried. Maybe pureeing it and sneaking it into a food you already love. If you have a friend or a family member that says they love a certain type of food…ask them how they make it, what about it do they like, when does it taste the best, etc. That is what happened with beets for me. My friend Jodie loves beets and makes them often – she had us over for dinner and had roasted beets with toasted sunflower seeds. Because she’s one of my closests friends she forced me to eat some. Once I got them past my nose (remember-dirt smell?) I LOVED them. Roasted beets are sweet, full of great flavor and have a great texture, too.

So, how to start? Add one new thing in each week. Only buy a small amount, so you don’t feel like you’ve wasted anything. Try cooking/baking it several different ways to see what appeals to you. Keep your eye out for new recipes that have a little bit of it in a recipe – so you can try it. Be creative. Ask a helpful customer service person at whole foods or at your local co-op. I’m sure they can point to someone who knows how to use Jicama or Ginger or Sweet Potatoes.  You need to try new foods at least 5 – 6 different times before you can decide to put it on the ‘No Way’ list. It may or may not work with everything. I’ve always hated bell pepers. Green, orange, yellow. All of them. I always will – but at least I know I’ve tried them 10 – 15 times in different ways, different times of year, with other foods. It for sure is on the “No Way’ list – but I’ve tried my best.

Good luck, Be brave.

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