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  • Writer's pictureEmily Yeo

Savoury Golden Oatmeal

If you have been around here before you know I have a weird relationship with oats. I appreciate oats and what they do for my body: they are satiating, have quite a bit of fibre and surprisingly a good amount of protein in there too. Savoury oats! Have you tried them? I’ll admit, I was a little nervous. I’m accustomed to oatmeal that tends toward the sweeter side. I have seen other people make savoury oatmeal in the past and was a little curious, but never curious enough to try it out myself. So I figured I might as well take a walk on the wild side, and see what I could come up with. While I do like a sweet breakfast from time to time, my favourites are savoury, and this is one of my all-time favourites. I think the key to enjoying savoury porridge (or just braving it for the first time!) is the practice of forgetting that oats = sweet porridge and instead seeing oats as a much more versatile ingredient that can be used in sweet and savoury dishes. I've tagged this as breakfast because I am a total savoury nutcase, but you could totally have this for lunch or dinner. It's sort of like a much quicker, easier risotto - creamy and full of flavour.

Sweet is what you typically see when you browse Instagram. Nowadays, however, I’m just as likely to add a savoury twist to this classic dish. If you have never heard of savoury oatmeal before, it might seem unusual and slightly out of your comfort zone. I mean, oats with nutritional yeast doesn’t jump to mind as a dreamy breakfast combo! But trust me – not only is it super easy to prepare, but also delicious every time. The nutritional yeast adds a slight cheesy undertone, but is far from overpowering. A small pinch of turmeric and cumin, in turn, brings in a wonderful golden colour and makes the kitchen smell amazing. Another reason it’s a go-to meal for me: savoury oatmeal comes together in about ten minutes and dirties just one pot. It’s a great vehicle for eating more greens too. Simply mix them right in during the last minute of cooking, or add them raw for a crunchy topping.

Cooking tomatoes at the beginning of this little bowl means that you are able to caramelise some of the natural sweetness of these tomatoes to give a bit of extra depth of flavour that you didn’t know you needed in the morning. Cooked tomatoes add a bit of umami to this dish, which is just what a warm bowl of oats need. Anti-inflammatory turmeric is what gives these oats their golden hue and slightly pungent, bitter flavour. It contrasts perfectly with the pepper and a nice, heaping spoonful of nutritional yeast, which of course I had to add because heck, I add it to everything. (Also, protein. And B vitamins. And umami. And “cheesiness.” I never lack for reasons to use nooch). If you’re out of turmeric, try using curry. If you don’t have spinach but you do have kale, bok choy, chard, beet greens, or another leafy green, add what you have. Frozen, chopped broccoli florets would be an excellent addition, as would green peas, snap peas, or green beans. No matter how you make these savoury oats, they’ll remain easy, quick, and really nutritious. With each bite, I’m enamored by the different flavours, textures, and comfort this savoury oatmeal brings.

Savoury oatmeal is now my go-to breakfast or lunch when I am craving comfort food, feeling lazy, or really need to go grocery shopping because I have a mostly-empty bag of rolled oats, kale on its last leg, a bag of starting-to-brown shrooms, and nutritional yeast. Previously, I would have looked over the oats and made a very sad little salad with these ingredients. But these days, I know I can turn them into a warming, filling, and delicious bowl of vegan savoury oatmeal. This is truly one of those “template” recipes that can be adapted to fit whatever you have.


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