food

  • “Take Care“

    All indus­tries have jobs that require train­ing. Food, and pro­duce specif­i­cally, are no dif­fer­ent. What sets us apart is the care and han­dling required of fresh food prod­ucts.

    Indi­vid­u­als who are new to the pro­duce learn­ing curve are promptly informed that they are not han­dling a can of veg­eta­bles on a gro­cery store shelf.

    What­ever the role played along the sup­ply chain, human hands are involved. Plant­ing, har­vest­ing, pack­ing, ship­ping, and prepa­ra­tion call for a deep under­stand­ing of tak­ing the best care, at all times, of the fruits and veg­eta­bles.

    Fac­tors like proper stor­age tem­per­a­ture and cold chain are fun­da­men­tal not only for prod­uct longevity, but also for how it may end up tast­ing on the plate.

    There is a sub­stan­tial dif­fer­ence for retail clerks between “throw­ing freight” and care­ful han­dling. Proper receiv­ing, put-​away and hand-​stacking can pre­vent dam­age (crack­ing, bruis­ing and smash­ing) to fresh goods.

    Some items are hardier than oth­ers. Pota­toes, onions and car­rots quickly come to mind. Still, giv­ing them a soft touch rather than a rough tum­ble will pre­serve their integrity.

    Bell pep­pers may appear to be sturdy. Slam­ming their car­tons down on a rack or shelf will crack their ten­der walls and loosen their mem­branes. Treat them as frag­ile cargo, along with most other unsus­pect­ing fresh ingre­di­ents.

    Pota­toes, toma­toes, avo­ca­dos, pears, whole mel­ons, and other fruits and veg­eta­bles are often stored at room tem­per­a­ture to main­tain qual­ity. Some items in this group like the room tem­per­a­tures for quicker ripen­ing purposes.
  • “Vol­un­tary“

    In the realm of fresh food prod­ucts, either retail or food­ser­vice, prod­uct recalls are not par­tic­u­larly unusual.

    A recall is the action or method of remov­ing or cor­rect­ing prod­ucts that are in vio­la­tion of laws admin­is­tered by the Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion (FDA).

    A food recall occurs when there is rea­son to believe that a food may cause con­sumers to become ill. A food pro­ducer ini­ti­ates the recall to take foods off the mar­ket. In some sit­u­a­tions, food recalls are requested by gov­ern­ment agen­cies, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion (FDA) and the U.S. Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture (USDA). Obvi­ously, prod­uct can be recalled for many rea­sons. This can include (but not be lim­ited to), the dis­cov­ery of organ­isms such as bac­te­ria like Sal­mo­nella or for­eign objects like bro­ken glass or metal. It can be due to a major aller­gen (dairy or nuts) not being dis­closed on a label.

    Most prod­uct recalls are char­ac­ter­ized as being “vol­un­tary”. This term is some­what ambigu­ous and may lead indi­vid­u­als to believe that a vol­un­tary recall is optional. That is def­i­nitely not true.

    A vol­un­tary recall is an indi­ca­tion that the man­u­fac­turer, grower or ship­per of the poten­tially harm­ful pro­duce has been in com­mu­ni­ca­tion and coop­er­a­tion with the fed­eral agency.

  • Appetite for New

    Cae­sar Salad is an ionic culi­nary favorite. There are plenty of riffs on this clas­sic fresh salad.

    Adding toma­toes, avo­ca­dos, hard-​boiled eggs and even grilled chicken or shrimp takes it to another whole-​meal prepa­ra­tion.

    Do you recall when you took your first bite of this reli­able and ele­gant salad? Per­haps it fixes a place in time rather than an age. Bet­ter yet, the per­son who may have made it for us. Think back.

    The few sim­ple, high qual­ity ingre­di­ents are com­bined into an exquis­itely per­fect salad. Romaine let­tuce, fresh gar­lic, fresh lemon juice, olive oil, parme­san cheese and rus­tic crou­tons seem too easy. They are a match made in heaven and prove to be sophis­ti­cated for any palette.

    Anchovy fil­lets are left up to debate. In or out, the salad stands on its own mer­its. No need to quib­ble. They can be served on the side for any­one who doesn’t like these tiny, briny fish. Sales were up eighty-​five per­cent on anchovies year over year.

    What’s life chang­ing is get­ting an impor­tant intro­duc­tion to any num­ber of ingre­di­ents, foods or prepa­ra­tions that stay with us for a life­time. Those new food expe­ri­ences serve us through­out our cook­ing reper­toire. We build on what we find to be the most tasty and enjoy­able foundation.
  • Board Games

    Play­off games and the Super Bowl are one giant invi­ta­tion for Amer­i­cans to snack. New year’s res­o­lu­tions to “eat bet­ter” go out the win­dow once game time grabs our atten­tion.

    The req­ui­site chips, crack­ers, dips, salty nuts, meat and cheese plat­ters make graz­ing part of the tele­vi­sion watch­ing foot­ball ritual.

    Pots of chili, grilled sausages, and foot long sand­wiches have tra­di­tion­ally fed large crowds for game-​watching. This year, smaller house­hold gath­er­ings will pre­vail for com­mon sense activity.

    Fewer mouths to feed doesn’t elim­i­nate those highly crave-​able game day foods. A bag of Ruf­fles potato chips and French onion dip come to mind. Clas­sic, yes, but cer­tainly not on the 2021 snack res­o­lu­tion list.

    The thing about mind­ful eat­ing is plan­ning and prepa­ra­tion that goes in to it. A full day or after­noon of munch­ing is best served by a decent pre­lim­i­nary strat­egy. Set a good inten­tion to include guilt-​free munchies. They won’t kill the health­ier eat­ing goals already estab­lished. Real foods equal good eat­ing.

  • Burger Royale

    Pulp Fic­tion, the 1994 cult clas­sic by Quentin Taran­tino, ref­er­ences many iconic foods in the film.

    The Burger Royale puts a Euro­pean twist on an all Amer­i­can favorite. The five dol­lar shake at Jack Rab­bit Slim’s makes movie-​goers won­der what that extrav­a­gant drink might taste like.

    The cur­rent food sup­ply chain puts an end to guess­ing about what an expen­sive shake or burger might taste like. Menu prices are going up fast.

    Con­sumers are cer­tainly spend­ing more for food. Costs for “take out”, din­ing in and prepar­ing meals at home have all increased post-​pandemic.

    Lots of fac­tors account for the ris­ing costs. Those increases, not unlike with other indus­tries, are being passed on to patrons.

    Toi­let paper and pasta short­ages were evi­dent six­teen months ago. At the start of national COVID-​19 out­breaks, the run at retail gro­cery stores led to pantry hoard­ing.

    Today’s price hikes are real. The cost of every­thing from lum­ber to food to air­fares is climb­ing. Com­pa­nies report short­ages of prod­ucts, mate­ri­als, and work­ers. As the pan­demic wanes, we are left to grap­ple with long-​term sup­ply chain issues.

    We see first-​hand the robust return and re-​opening of food­ser­vice. That’s great and wel­comed news for every­one. One down side is how busi­nesses are choos­ing to cope with new oper­a­tional challenges.
  • Cook the Books

    It’s not always easy to get inspired to cook. Even with a myr­iad of inter­net tuto­ri­als on grilling, sum­mer sautéing, and roast­ing, it’s some­times dif­fi­cult to muster any real cook­ing enthu­si­asm.

    More meals are now being pre­pared at home dur­ing our stay in and stay safe pro­to­cols. There is no time like the present to dust off the stacks and piles of gifted or pur­chased cook books col­lected over the years.

    Most have a trusted “go to” copy of Joy of Cook­ing or The Sil­ver Palate. Tat­tered, stained and gen­er­ally worn with pages lit­er­ally falling from the bind­ing, our most used ones are not in mint con­di­tion. How about the rest of the group? They are pris­tine, hardly cracked and wait­ing patiently for some kitchen love.

    Now is the time to intro­duce your­self to the quiet of kitchen ther­apy. Recon­nect to fam­ily roots. Chan­nel the grand­mother or aun­tie in those more dif­fi­cult recipes we’ve always wanted to tackle.

    Explore new places through the smells, plates and tastes of Africa, China, India, Mex­ico, Spain and Morocco. Go any­where in the world while con­fined to the com­forts of home.

    There is also the mat­ter of mas­ter­ing cer­tain cook­ing tech­niques. Rolling, pinch­ing, knead­ing and brais­ing sur­prise us with pie, dumplings, bread or spicy veg­etable entrees and sides.
  • Culi­nary Heroes

    Chan­nel surf­ing through the tele­vi­sion cook­ing shows usu­ally yields at least one good prac­ti­cal tip.

    If its not about learn­ing some­thing new, then it def­i­nitely serves up a friendly reminder.

    The use of fresh culi­nary herbs is one such recent prompt. Any recipe really comes alive with the power of fresh herbs.

    How­ever sub­tle or heavy-​handed in use, herbs have the magic to trans­form any appe­tizer, entrée or dessert. Con­sider their astound­ing sen­sory appeal. Visual, taste and smell. Inhale.

    Coin­ci­dence to the tele­vi­sion watch­ing week­end was atten­dance at a din­ner party of a really fan­tas­tic home cook. Full dis­clo­sure, she is an indus­try pro­fes­sional who knows her way around good food, excep­tional restau­rants and many signed cook books.

  • Curry Curry

    Food is cul­ture. Every­thing hav­ing to do with food — from cul­ti­va­tion and prepa­ra­tion to con­sump­tion, reflect cer­tain aspects of dif­fer­ent cul­tures.

    Indian cui­sine con­sists of a vari­ety of regional and tra­di­tional dishes native to India. Given the diver­sity in soil, cli­mate, cus­toms, eth­nic groups, and occu­pa­tions, these cuisines vary sub­stan­tially.

    A climb­ing food trend is the pop­u­lar­ity of Indian restau­rants. Depend­ing on the influ­ences of regional dif­fer­ences, spe­cific spices, herbs, veg­eta­bles, and fruits are used. These are based on what may have been avail­able in the home­land regions.

    Indian food is heav­ily influ­enced by reli­gion, in par­tic­u­lar Hin­duism. The cui­sine is also shaped by cen­turies of Islamic rule, par­tic­u­larly the Mughal rule. Samosas and pilafs are exam­ples.

    Exotic ingre­di­ents and a full range of fla­vors– spicy, sweet, sour and hot, make it a desir­able and excit­ing food explo­ration.

    Famil­iar spices that are com­mon to many Indian dishes — cumin, corian­der, turmeric, and gin­ger, pro­vide numer­ous ways of using them and com­bin­ing them. There are at least thirty other spices behind those four.
  • Deja Food

    Thanks­giv­ing left­overs are a bet for at least one good sand­wich or warm plate of com­fort post hol­i­day feast.

    If soups, sal­ads and sides don’t lend a cer­tain kitchen inspi­ra­tion to the day after foods, rethink the approach.

    A few sim­ple fresh ingre­di­ents will ignite a spark to the dol­drums of those glass dishes stacked in the fridge.

    Intro­duce gin­ger root, cilantro, edamame and shi­take mush­rooms for a boost of fla­vor to any bowl of Asian noo­dles or rice dish. Spice it up with chili pep­per paste (kochu­jang) or chili pep­per flakes (kochukaru).

    Fresh herbs like basil, mint and Ital­ian pars­ley boost taste buds with a dif­fer­ent take to cold sal­ads. Tar­ragon or baby dill move things in an alto­gether new direc­tion.

    Peas, arti­choke hearts and fen­nel bulbs and fronds add more than just bright green­ery. Allow the dis­tinc­tive tex­tures and extra­or­di­nary fla­vors to sur­prise the palette. It’s not grandma’s turkey salad if wal­nuts, apple chunks and curry pow­der get folded in to the mix.

  • Eat My Words

    Restau­rants are tun­ing up menus to reflect stream­lined offer­ings and their need to do more with less. Smart oper­a­tors are not hav­ing to com­pro­mise on qual­ity food that tastes great over bet­ter effi­cien­cies.

    Now, more than ever, we eat first with our eyes. This includes scan­ning menus online or using QR codes on smart­phones.

    Good com­mu­ni­ca­tion is key for every suc­cess­ful busi­ness. Menu writ­ing is a com­mu­ni­ca­tions art­form and tal­ent nec­es­sary for food­ser­vice providers. Chalk­boards, ink on paper or vir­tual links help sell what’s for break­fast, lunch and din­ner.

    Words mat­ter and how they are used on a menu can entice orders and impact rev­enue. The power of per­sua­sion when it comes to food descrip­tions makes or breaks ini­tial per­cep­tions.

    Set­ting appetite expec­ta­tions is only a word or phrase away. Loaded cau­li­flower casse­role tells the diner to expect a hot, cheesy, gooey and indul­gent dish.

    Descrip­tions regard­ing culi­nary prepa­ra­tions pique inter­est. Roasted, grilled, poached, fried, toasted, whipped or stuffed tell much about what will be deliv­ered on the plate.

    Sea­son­ings and fla­vors get prime text space. Smoky, savory, fiery, nutty, tart, pep­pery, cit­rusy, zesty, and but­tery get the mouth and brain work­ing together for the selec­tion. Food and mood are strongly teth­ered together. What food crav­ing needs to be con­quered today?
  • Essen­tial Labor

    Labor Day 2020 comes in the midst of a global pan­demic and an era of essen­tial work­ers.

    Since early March, front-​line work­ers, across mul­ti­ple indus­tries, have faced unprece­dented con­di­tions to per­form our most cru­cial ser­vices.

    Typ­i­cally, Labor Day marks the offi­cial “end of sum­mer” fes­tiv­i­ties, vaca­tions and leisure pas­times. Kids go back to school and fam­i­lies set­tle in with more struc­tured rou­tines.

    Sport­ing events, con­certs and back­yard bar­be­cues are Amer­i­can high­lights from Labor Days past. Not this year. Card­board cutouts will suf­fice to enter­tain base­ball fans and online vir­tual con­certs intend to ser­e­nade lis­ten­ers.

    Back­yard grilling will be served to a restricted num­ber of peo­ple. No crowds or large par­ties allowed this year. Gath­er­ings will be lim­ited. Amaz­ingly, those respon­si­ble for feed­ing Amer­i­cans have shown remark­able resilience.

    Farm­ers in Cal­i­for­nia have bat­tled destruc­tive fires through­out major grow­ing regions this sea­son. Still, they con­tinue to har­vest, pack and ship.

    On the table, and with­out much inter­rup­tion, we con­tinue to eat our fresh pro­duce. Mel­ons, toma­toes, sweet corn, cook­ing veg­eta­bles and salad ingre­di­ents mag­i­cally find there way to the gro­cers and restaurants.
  • Good Med­i­cine

    Cold, damp months perk up from win­ter cit­rus. The skin, zest, juice and tangy flesh brighten up culi­nary choices with great fla­vor and a lively vibrancy.

    Cit­rus fruits add color, tang, sweet­ness, and tart­ness. They eas­ily bring some needed bal­ance to savory, rich, or sweet dishes.

    In addi­tion to numer­ous culi­nary ben­e­fits, cit­rus fruits also pro­vide a wide range of healthy, “good for you” attrib­utes. They are proven to be good med­i­cine dur­ing win­ter and beyond.

    Dieti­tians and health pro­fes­sion­als heap high praise on cit­ruses for their high vit­a­min C con­tent. One medium orange pro­vides more than 100 per­cent of the rec­om­mended daily vit­a­min C needs.

    Cold and flu sea­son is rea­son enough to boost our immu­nity. Fight­ing the risk of COVID-​19 is why the dou­ble down efforts focus on the cit­rus defen­sive. Lucky then that we are headed into the peak of cit­rus sea­son.

    Cit­ruses help our bod­ies get rid of free rad­i­cals and pos­i­tively impact a range of meta­bolic func­tions that help us thrive.

    What’s so amaz­ing is their ver­sa­til­ity. Beyond being a per­fect out-​of-​hand snack, cit­rus fruits can be enjoyed in a myr­iad of ways.
  • Greek with Envy

    After a year or more of going nowhere, Amer­i­cans are on the move. Vac­ci­nated indi­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies are get­ting back to their des­ti­na­tion “bucket” lists.

    Encour­aged to “play it safe” and see the United States, theme parks, hotels, camp­grounds, state and national parks are bustling with sum­mer tourists.

    Inter­na­tional travel ambi­tions are com­pli­mented by rel­a­tively rea­son­able air fares and afford­able accom­mo­da­tions. Nearly every­one we know had to can­cel 2020 vaca­tion plans.

    Rec­om­men­da­tions to travel safely are well announced. Coun­tries to avoid are well-​supported. Much of Europe is still off-​limits to Amer­i­cans. Croa­tia and var­i­ous other Balkan coun­tries, includ­ing Alba­nia, North Mace­do­nia, Ser­bia and Mon­tene­gro, are open.

    North­ern lights in Ice­land are tempt­ing. Bali may be open but still may require mul­ti­ple days of quar­an­tine upon arrival. Cana­dian bor­ders are not fully allow­ing Amer­i­cans to freely cross. Greece is open for leisure Amer­i­can vis­i­tors. Ahh Greece.

    Rea­sons for travel to for­eign places are often times per­sonal. The cul­ture, the peo­ple, the his­tory and geog­ra­phy play a role. So does build­ing life­long mem­o­ries with com­pan­ion trav­el­ers. The food of every cul­ture and within each coun­try tells a story cen­tral to the travel expe­ri­ences.

    Greek cui­sine has been greatly influ­enced by both East­ern and West­ern cul­tures. Any num­ber of authen­ti­cally pre­pared Greek dishes reminds one of why we need to travel.
  • Greens & Beans

    Few hum­ble ingre­di­ents pro­vide such com­fort and sus­te­nance as greens and beans.

    By beans, we nat­u­rally mean legumes– that class of veg­eta­bles that include lentils, peas and beans of all types.

    Can­nellini, Ital­ian, chick peas (gar­banzo), black, white, navy, north­ern, lima, fava, Adzuki and but­ter top the list of pow­er­house beans.

    Legumes are typ­i­cally low in fat, con­tain­ing no cho­les­terol, and are high in folate, potas­sium, iron and mag­ne­sium. A good source of pro­tein, legumes can be a healthy alter­na­tive to meat.

    Due to their blend of fiber, pro­tein and nutri­ents, legumes aid in blood sugar reg­u­la­tion more than almost any other food group, a key qual­ity for dia­bet­ics and those con­cerned with main­tain­ing sta­ble insulin response.
  • Hand Pies

    Every­one loves pie, right? No argu­ment there. The only thing that might come close to sur­pass­ing pie is to have an indi­vid­ual hand pie all to one’s self.

    We’re not talk­ing about those gar­den vari­ety, store bought, waxed paper wrapped, card­board crust, sug­ary coated, fake fill­ing small pies. Nope.

    Instead, the bar is set high for ten­der, flaky pie crusts, ready for portable, lovely cre­ations burst­ing with local ingre­di­ents.

    Crisp, cool evenings war­rant get­ting back into the kitchen with the folks we love to hang out with. Hand pies are the stuff that mem­o­ries are made of when we include friends, fam­ily mem­bers and even cowork­ers if one is so inclined.

    It really doesn’t mat­ter if scratch bak­ing skills are not per­fected. There are plenty of “secret recipes and tips” avail­able to make the process less daunting.
  • It’s a Rind

    The word “water­melon” con­jures up images of free-​spirted sum­mer­time fun. Fam­ily gath­er­ings, care-​free beach days, back­yard bar­be­cues, and out­door camp­ing events keep water­melon on the top of the sum­mer gro­cery list.

    Over thirty states in the U.S. grow water­melon for the sum­mer sea­son. When domes­tic har­vests end, we move back to imported mel­ons from Mex­ico and Guatemala. This means there is a year-​round sup­ply of this fam­ily favorite.

    Most peo­ple eat the red flesh of water­melon down to the rind. Once fin­ished, they toss out the rest of the water­melon. Gar­den­ers know to put the rinds in the com­post heap. Back­yard chicken farm­ers give their hens a tasty rind treat.

    Those two good uses for the rind are not the only ben­e­fits of using the entire water­melon. The flesh, juice and rind are one hun­dred per­cent edi­ble.

    A few sug­ges­tions for putting the rind to good use make water­melon a zero waste food.

    Make Pick­les. Water­melon rind is pretty sim­i­lar to a cucum­ber. A quick boil and cool down of the cut up rinds allow them to absorb what­ever pick­ing spices and vine­gar pre­ferred. Sweet, sour, spicy or some­thing in between give water­melon pick­les a full range of options.
  • Late Bloomers

    Sum­mer is fad­ing fast. Vaca­tion days in the rear view mir­ror bring a dif­fer­ent focus with some new rou­tines shap­ing our plates. Before com­pletely let­ting go of sum­mer, how about tak­ing one last bite?

    The best of late har­vest sum­mer fruits and veg­eta­bles are ready for the final soirée. Act quickly, as the win­dow is clos­ing on the late bloomers.

    That glo­ri­ous camp includes heir­loom toma­toes, egg­plants (in all shapes, sizes and color), sum­mer and early fall squashes (zuc­chini, eight ball, spaghetti and but­ter­nut), and even some squash blos­soms still on the stem.

    Last of sum­mer basil makes for pesto for pasta, pizza or bruschetta. Use the toma­toes for tomato and herb salad or Cap­rese with a bal­samic driz­zle. Both are fresh, light and the per­fect com­pli­ment to any Sep­tem­ber din­ner party.

    Off the vine pep­per choices, make us dream of sump­tu­ous stuffed bells, chile rel­lenos and roasted Ana­heim, poblano, Hatch and jalapeños. South of the bor­der delec­tables go far beyond salsa. Pep­per pop­pers keep things lively for al fresco appetizers.
  • Pan­de­mo­nium

    The chaos and may­hem of gro­cery shop­ping a year ago seems like a wild faded dream. Dur­ing lock­downs and stay-​at-​home orders, we found ways to com­pen­sate for long lines and hoard­ing.

    As life begins to unfold post-​pandemic, new habits have emerged that retail­ers and food ser­vice providers have made invest­ments.

    We may all be count­ing on new ways to feed our­selves. Online order­ing and home deliv­ery have taken the sting out of food pan­de­mo­nium. We’ve learned new cop­ing skills.

    Meals can be either ready-​to-​eat or those ready to pre­pare. The pan­demic accel­er­ated ghost kitchens (also known as dark or cloud kitchens) and the wide­spread adop­tion of food deliv­ery by at least three to five years.

    No doubt, food deliv­ery had the lime­light 2020. As con­sumers adopted new habits, the gig econ­omy surged in that arena. Grub Hub, Uber Eats and Door­Dash were on Smart phone “Favorites”.

    The trend and adop­tion of dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies and e-​commerce was greatly advanced by per­sonal health safety con­cerns as much as con­ve­nience. Com­fort lev­els now push con­sumers to pur­chase prod­ucts online with con­fi­dence.

    Already on the rise in recent years, par­tic­i­pa­tion in online gro­cery shop­ping sky­rock­eted in 2020.
  • Parts Unknown

    Anthony Bourdain’s indeli­ble mark is as large as the void cre­ated by his absence. Three months after his unex­pected death, the food world still mourns.

    Shar­ing meals has the abil­ity to bring peo­ple closer together. Anthony’s tal­ent was in show­cas­ing cul­tural diver­sity with­out judg­ment.

    It may be impos­si­ble to quite fill the hal­lowed ground trav­elled by “Parts Unknown”, the CNN series that took us across the nation and around the world. The human con­di­tion was com­monly explored in every episode.

    Pol­i­tics and cui­sine fre­quently inter­sect. There are any num­ber of issues related to food that push farm­ers, restau­rants, retail­ers and con­sumers to higher ground and social advo­cacy.

    Sus­tain­abil­ity through grow­ing prac­tices, water usage, land preser­va­tion, labor prac­tices, immi­gra­tion pol­icy and food safety all impact our food sys­tem. Being informed on all such mat­ters is the tough part.

    Sto­ry­telling is dif­fer­ent from relay­ing mere facts and fig­ures. The why and how of some­thing being done car­ries an under­stand­ing of prac­tice. Ask­ing ques­tions and wait­ing for the answers is a way to cul­ti­vate more than a script.

  • Per­fect Por­ridge

    Since Jan­u­ary holds title to National Oat­meal Month, now is the per­fect time to exper­i­ment with this favored morn­ing grain.

    Oats have long been a part of the world’s diet for hun­gry humans and their ani­mal coun­ter­parts.

    The health ben­e­fits of oats are well doc­u­mented. From low­er­ing LDL lev­els (bad cho­les­terol) to weight con­trol and heart wise affects, there are many plus ups to enjoy­ing oats.

    Tra­di­tional think­ing puts a bowl of hot oat­meal smack cen­ter of the break­fast table. Bright “oats ideas” quick to fol­low are oat­meal cook­ies, gra­nola, muffins and breads.

    Before we leave the break­fast table and morn­ing rou­tine, it should be noted that healthy oats are right at home incor­po­rated into soups, pilafs, meat­balls, entrees and desserts.

    Whether one is a Quaker Oats oat­meal eater, or a fan of Bob’s Red Mill steel cut oats, there is a place at the table for all Jan­u­ary oats.

    Ardent pro­po­nents have cre­ated cold oats jars that are make ahead ready. These grab and go meals are a time saver for crazy morn­ing rou­tines. These jam jar jew­els boast lay­ers of oats, fresh fruits, chopped nuts, seeds (chia or flax) honey or maple syrup, along with yogurt or almond milk. Oat Cui­sine– Food carts and trendy break­fast spots from coast to coast are rein­vent­ing clas­sic oats.

    Unex­pected ingre­di­ents and cre­ative meth­ods (from brulees to frit­ters) have made oat­meal hip.