January is National Oatmeal Month
October 16 is National Oatmeal Day
December 19, Oatmeal Muffin Day
National Oatmeal Cookie Day - April 30
Definition of Oatmeal
- meal made from ground oats, used in breakfast cereals or other food.
- a grayish-beige color flecked with brown: [as adj.] an oatmeal jacket.
- porridge - Oatmeal cooked in water or milk as a breakfast dish; originally Scottish. Also similar thick soups made with other cereals.
"In the United States and Canada, oatmeal means any crushed oats, rolled oats, or cut oats used in recipes such as oatmeal cookies. Oatmeal is a product made by processing oats. Oatmeal is coarsely ground unsifted oats. Rolled oats and steel-cut oats are also called oatmeal. The porridge made from this is also called oatmeal or oatmeal cereal. However in other parts of the English-speaking world, oatmeal means coarsely ground groats (i.e. oat-meal, cf. cornmeal, peasemeal, etc.). The groats are coarsely ground to make oatmeal, or cut into small pieces to make steel-cut oats, or steamed and rolled to make rolled oats. The quick-cooking rolled oats are cut into small pieces before being steamed and rolled. Oatmeal porridge contains more B vitamins and calories than other kinds of porridges........" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oatmeal
Oatmeal's not just a breakfast cereal
More oatmeal is eaten in the month of January than any other time of the year but oatmeal is not just for breakfast. One of the favorite ways to eat oatmeal is in the form of a sweet cookie. Yep, oatmeal cookies have been a favorite for many cookie lovers. Oatmeal Bread is also a favorite way to eat oatmeal too.
Oatmeal is used in some alcoholic drinks, cosmetics, soaps, external medical treatments, and is sometimes an added flavor in canned animal products. It is also used as a thickener in some brands of canned chili con carne...... " http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oatmeal
A bit of Oatmeal Gruel Facts
Many years ago in very poor villages, the people use to eat a dish called gruel. This dish was made from a type of grain like rye, barley or oats. In some areas of the world rice was also used as gruel. This meal was either stewed with water or milk if milk was available, then served with salt for their main meal. To change it up for more of a sweet flavor, sugar and milk would replace the water and salt. This dish was usually stewed to be thick but in hard times gruel was made to be very thin so it would stretch to feed all the family that it was needed to feed. Many times gruel was all there was to keep a family alive and looked more like thin dirty water than a type of porridge or oat soup.
Believe it or not, in this day and time, Gruel is actually a favorite meal for children in America. Yes that’s right! We no longer refer to it as gruel like we once did, we simply know it as “oatmeal” or porridge, but still a favorite for kids just the same!
A favorite way that oatmeal is eaten is with milk, brown sugar and a bit of cinnamon. Another favorite way to eat oatmeal is with lots of butter, milk and sugar. Our health conscious population loves to eat it with raisins, currents, dried fruit or fresh fruits like peaches, strawberries, blueberries, bananas or apples diced on top. We can't leave out the pecans or walnuts either. I myself love it with chopped walnuts and honey on top. Hey try it with maple syrup too. Maple syrup is popular for oatmeal eaten for breakfast.
Our Grandparents favorite way to eat oatmeal is likely to be with milk and a smidgen of sugar and salt. A bit on the plain side but always served with buttered toast and eaten for breakfast. The younger generation actually eats oatmeal as a snack or as a dessert. It's even becoming popular to eat it with chocolate chips and marshmallow cream on top and eaten really hot. Wowwww! Yep, oatmeal's not just for breakfast.
Oatmeal Gruel Recipe
1/3 cup rolled oats
(note: rolled oats are not the same as quick oats or instant oats)
1 pint water
1 pint hot milk
1 teaspoons salt
Add salt to water and bring to a boil.
Stir in rolled oats.
Cook for on medium for 2 hours, depending on size of oat grains.
Drain if you want and replace water with hot milk.
Are there other types of Gruel?
Yes there are. We mostly know gruel to be some type of grain. Our History tells us that oat gruel, barley gruel, rice gruel, cornmeal gruel, millet gruel and flour gruel are all popular as gruel meals. You can even boil breadcrumbs or crushed saltine crackers as gruel too. Potatoes gruel is a delicious meal served with crusty bread. Yes we even have potato gruel. My personal favorite is potato gruel and crushed saltine crackers.
In the South (United States) families have grown up with what we call potato gruel. Potatoes were cheap and easily grown in the garden. Potato Gruel was a life saver when times were tough. You could have potatoes all year round when kept in a cool dry place like the food cellar. Potato gruel is still a mainstay for meals and it’s truly a comfort food. There’s nothing better than a big cottage bowl of potato gruel that's heavenly salt & peppered and served with crusty bread on the side. You will want to sop up every drop of the potato gravy. It’s truly heaven!
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Oatmeal and your Health
Studies have shown that people who eat oatmeal have healthy hearts, which is one reason why this food has retained its popularity. The soluble fiber in oatmeal can help to lower cholesterol, and oatmeal may also reduce blood pressure.
Gruel in the movies
The old movies always talk about orphans being served gruel daily in orphanages. Remember Charles Dickins and Oliver Twist? "Please Sir, may I have some more?" Gruel was served to orphans as an economic necessity. Gruel was even served in work houses in the early 1800. Both being true to life and not just in the movies. Gruel was served even in Medieval times and popular all over the world.