Old-Fashioned Mexican Oatmeal (Avena)

First Cinco de Mayo and now Mother’s Day is only a few days away. All kinds of excuses to eat the foods we love. If you want to serve your mom breakfast in bed this would be a comforting bowl of love.

Warm avena (oatmeal) is one of the breakfast meals my mom would prepare for us before school, especially during the winter. Today, instant oatmeal can simplify things, but I have to say there is something different about homemade oatmeal prepared on a chilly morning. I prefer a smoother, less chunky oatmeal, and the best way to prepare it is by cooking it longer than the directions call for.

Oatmeal flavored with cinnamon is a great breakfast for people with high cholesterol and/or diabetes, as oatmeal has a high fiber content and cinnamon has been shown to help glucose levels. When you puree it in the blender it becomes an atole, smooth oatmeal, which is a good way to prepare it for the elderly and the very young. It was my grandmas’ favorite when she got older.

Old-Fashioned Mexican Oatmeal (Avena)

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups water
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup low-fat evaporated milk
  • Ground cinnamon (optional)
  • Sugar (optional)
  • Honey (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan bring the water with the cinnamon sticks to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 1 hour. Discard the cinnamon sticks.
  2. Add salt and oats to the water and let it come to a boil uncovered. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Add milk and simmer for an additional 15 minutes until creamy.
  3. Serve in a bowl and add more milk or water if you want it thinner. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sweeten with sugar or honey. Serve garnished with blueberries and walnuts. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 1 week.
More recipes available at muybuenocookbook.com This recipe is also published in Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor

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