Tea Infused Oatmeal
I’m a dually-caffeinated type of gal. I begin each day with a steaming cup of unadulterated strong black coffee – and in the afternoon I have a pot of tea, hot when the weather’s cool and iced in the summer. Notice I said “pot” of tea rather than “cup” of tea. I am a tea lover who has bred a family of tea-lovers. My husband and I keep a fully-stocked tea chest in our dining room… black, white, green, oolongs, herbals and tisanes are artfully arranged by type. Hidden in the kitchen cabinets is our coveted selection of loose teas.
I even like to cook with teas, using them to infuse flavor in smoked duck breast or adding a delicious twist to homemade cookies. The other morning, I had a surprising “Aha!” moment with tea. I was eating a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast thinking about how uninteresting the selections were for flavored oatmeal packs. Every brand seems to offer the same selection: apples & cinnamon, maple & brown sugar, raisins, cinnamon & spice. Predictable and boring.
I always buy plain oatmeal and make it with water adding my own ingredients, usually fruit and perhaps some nuts. While eating I was thinking about a recent trip to Harney Teas in Millerton, Connecticut. It dawned on me - “Aha!” - that my oatmeal might taste even better if I made it with Harney’s new Hot Apple Spice Tea rather than with plain water. I immediately made another bowl of oatmeal with the tea and topped it with some chopped apples and a little maple sugar. You would not believe how much richer the flavor was just by using steeped tea rather than water.
I can’t wait to make my way through our tea chest trying out different combinations steeped into my oatmeal. This opens up a new world of oatmeal flavors –Chai! Zinger! Raspberry! Lemon! Matcha! Maybe a little Jasmine tea with chopped Asian pear… the possibilities are endless. Depending on your choice you might have the added bonus of a pretty colorful oatmeal. I’m sure my grandchildren (and Dr. Seuss) would get a kick out of blue oatmeal made with Harney’s Indigo Punch Tea – made with rosehips, apple and butterfly pea flowers.
To make tea-steeped oatmeal, infuse 2/3 cup hot water with 1 teaspoon loose tea (or 1 teabag) until strong.
Pour 1 packet (50 g) of plain oatmeal into a small bowl. Pour in the steeped tea, stir and let sit for 1 minute until all the oatmeal is hydrated. Stir again before eating. Top with your favorite fruit, nuts or a little sweetener.