The elevator pitch for the recipe is a really good one: With one little equipment swap, you can make a quicker, creamier bowl of oatmeal, and leave no stubborn pot soaking in the sink.
This was how talented food stylist, author, and TV starSamantha Seneviratne hooked me at a Genius video shoot years ago. She’d picked up the trick in a test kitchen and really put it to use feeding her toddler son Artie. Ready for it? Grab a nonstick skillet for cozy oats that cook down quicker and creamier than in a deep pot (and clean up way easier).
But, at least in my family, there’s even more to Sam’s genius than that. This is the breakfast my three-year-old asks for as she’s going to sleep. The one that taught her how to measure as we made it together morning after morning; the one with few ingredients to spill and slosh.
It’s the recipe we always double or triple now, because we all want more and the fridge and freezer welcome it. It’s the one that convinced me that Cocoa Puffs always had it right: Chocolate brings joy and ballast to bleary mornings. Only now, it’s powered by almond butter and sweetened with only as much maple as you like.
This is the recipe I squirreled away first for the Simply Genius cookbook, and the one I (and other parents) make the most. For the book, Sam also shared three more riffs: raspberry-cardamom, banana-cacao nib, and nutty multigrain—with leftover grains like quinoa or farro swirled in.
But the truth is, you can take Sam’s ratio and technique to any oatmeal you can dream up—again and again, no pots in the sink to hold you back.
Got a Genius recipe to share—from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Please send it my way (and tell me what's so smart about it) at [email protected].
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I'm an ex-economist, lifelong-Californian who moved to New York to work in food media in 2007, before returning to the land of Dutch Crunch bread and tri-tip barbecues in 2020. Dodgy career choices aside, I can't help but apply the rational tendencies of my former life to things like: recipe tweaking, digging up obscure facts about pizza, and deciding how many pastries to put in my purse for "later."
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