I was so excited a few weeks ago when I brought home my super-healthy container of organic steel cut oats. Then my heart sank when I read the instructions. It would take over 35 minutes to make, which it did. When I make breakfast, I usually have to do it fast because as soon as I start to feel hungry in the morning, the hunger rages.
I learned something, though. I made too much oatmeal but realized I could refrigerate it and heat it up again the next morning. What may seem obvious to all of you seemed to me a streak of pure genius, until a friend told me, "I've been doing this for years." The next day, I scooped out a cup of the cold, hard, but cooked oatmeal and added it to a pan of an inch of boiling water. I stirred the cold oatmeal until it softened and then added frozen blueberries (from my long-lost blueberry trees back home!) and then pecans. In just a minute or two I had a piping hot, fresh bowl of oatmeal. The following several mornings were just as easy. Now, if I can suffer through making a large pot of oatmeal from scratch once every five days or so, I know I'll have left-overs to last all week.
As far as toppings, anything goes: nuts (especially if you toast them first or caramelize them in honey), seeds, dried fruit, coconut, berries, mango, apricot, bananas, vanilla, cinnamon, etc.
For a bright purple oatmeal that your kids will love, put blueberries in right away and stir until they bleed into the oatmeal.