My friend Amy has been reminding me for years about the chai-spiced oatmeal we had once in college. I do not blame her though-it was really good (thank you, Kyle). I made a mental note to get creative with my spice cabinet and write down a basic recipe to send to her. It has only taken me a decade or so to finally follow through (I promise I am a better friend than that confession illustrates). And I’m so glad I did because, ladies and gents, this oatmeal is so yummy.
I was half-temped to wait until the fall to publish this recipe because, well, chai spices are all about fall and fall is all about chai spices. Obviously. But I could not wait until then. My stale promise was nearly 10 years old and making Amy (and you all) wait 6 more months would be just plain cruel.
You may be thinking that oatmeal can be “oh so boring”, and “why bother”. But hear me out. In my mind, it is the same concept as spaghetti noodles. It’s the spices, sauce, fruit, and sometimes booze (think spaghetti with vodka sauce) that make the dish. Of course spaghetti noodles and oatmeal are tasteless by themselves. But, just a little bit of creativity (or following a recipe) can change a dish completely.
Confession: I have some chai spiced steel-cut oats left over from a couple days ago. Several times a day I take the oats of the fridge and eat a few spoonfuls, cold, and I don’t even care; they’re so good.
CHAI SPICED OATMEAL
makes approximately 4 cups cooked oatmeal
1 cup steel cut oats
2 cups milk of choice* (I use almond milk, but any type will work)
2 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 teaspoon ground ginger
freshly grated cinnamon
Bring milk and water to a gentle boil and add the oats. Boil oats for 5 minutes, watching the pot so it doesn’t boil over (I lost count of how many times I’ve cleaned burned milk off my stove). Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for approximately 30 minutes (stirring occasionally). The oats should absorb most of the liquid and become soft, with the tiniest crunch (it’s almost not even a crunch). Remove from heat and add vanilla, honey, and spices.
Optional (but I recommend it): serve with fresh blueberries, coconut milk, and grated cinnamon
*You can use 4 cups of water instead of 2 cups milk and 2 cups water