PB&J-Inspired Oatmeal (with Peanut Butter and Frozen Mixed Berries)
You know the saying "you don't miss something until it's gone"? Well, that's exactly what happened when I moved to Europe five years ago, when I discovered you can't get good peanut butter here. Now, I wasn't always obsessed with peanut butter, but I go through phases. For a few months straight I'll eat it almost every day, and then I'll go on a break. But here in Europe I couldn't experience that freedom of choice. Anything that's sold as peanut butter just pales in comparison to the real American peanut butter, and I don't mean the big three American brands! All I crave is a good natural peanut butter.
Luckily I do fly back to the States often, so I am able to stock up on peanut butter that I can pack in my luggage. And once I've got it in hand, I'm always coming up with different ways to use it. I do crave peanut butter and jelly sandwiches now and then. But surprisingly or not, there is no grape jelly in Europe, and that's one thing I won't bring back in my suitcase for fear of the glass jars breaking. So I usually make do with other jams or jellies. But, honestly, I'm more about the peanut butter anyway!
And I'm more creative than a PB&J sandwich, for example, this PB&J-inspired oatmeal. I cook one serving of oatmeal for myself, stir in a few spoonfuls of peanut butter and a handful of frozen berries instead of jelly. Here, I'm using a bag of frozen mixed berries that contains red and black currants, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries. This specific berry combo is really good with peanut butter. Not to mention that I love the play on temperatures with the hot oats and the cold berries. And it's salty and sweet, giving me the same pleasures as eating a true PB&J sandwich.
PB&J-Inspired Oatmeal1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon unsalted roasted peanuts
1 cup frozen mixed berries
In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a rolling boil. Stir in the salt and the oatmeal. Lower the heat and simmer until the oats are soft, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Stir in peanut butter until it melts slightly.
Off the heat, stir in half the frozen berries.
Transfer the oatmeal to a bowl. Top with peanuts and the remaining frozen berries. Serve immediately. Yield: 1 serving.