In Defense of Plain

Plain oatmeal, to be specific.  But as I ate my oatmeal this morning, I thought about other foods I like ‘plain.’  Now don’t get me wrong.  I like ‘fancy food’ as much as the next person.  I have truly been enjoying the food Vicky has made for me this week.  Each entree has a long list of ingredients, and each of them is a REAL food, herb, or spice.  Things like quinoa citrus something or other–quinoa with orange, lime, jalopeno, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, olive oil, zucchini, and I don’t know what else.  YUMM!

But back to my original premise.  Last night I read a blogger who was talking about making steel cut oats.  And it made me hungry for oatmeal.  And honestly, every time I see oatmeal in all its glorious variations on the blogs, I want to eat it.  And I have tried a LOT of those variations–pumpkin, peanut butter and jelly, banana nut, blueberry, ‘apple pie’…you get the picture.  And every time I ate one of these I thought, I think I like plain oatmeal better.  So this morning that is what I made.  I did add some raisins, because to my mind that is plain oatmeal–what I grew up eating.

This morning I added some brown sugar, because that is also what I grew up with, and I wanted to enjoy that again.  But guess what.  It was too sweet.  Oooh, I never thought those words would come out of my mouth.  I really am trying to add less and less sweetener to my foods, and to enjoy the true flavor of the foods.  I guess its working.  Anyways, I thoroughly enjoyed my ‘plain’ oatmeal this morning.  I thought about all the other foods I like ‘plain.’  I think it has to do with the food I was raised with.  I like plain vegetables (yay!)  I like plain chicken.  I love plain walnuts (I can get carried away with these…)  And of course, I like plain oatmeal.

I guess I’m talking to all those ‘picky eaters’ out there who don’t like their food touching other foods.  It is okay to enjoy the singular flavor of a plain food.  After all, that’s how God created them, right?  You don’t have to embrace all the new and unusual food/flavor combinations out there in order to lose weight.  It can be done one food at a time.  In fact, since learning to eat differently, more healthily, I think I appreciate even more the simple flavor of a single food.  Sometimes I crave a big plate of plain zucchini squash, or a really delectable apple.

Go forth and enjoy your weekend.  Eat one plain and simple food, and concentrate on really enjoying the flavor of it while you munch.

Do you have a favorite ‘plain’ food?


15 thoughts on “In Defense of Plain

  1. You know I love you, but I canNOT eat my oatmeal plain. I have tried, and will most likely not being trying that again. 🙂

    I will however say that a plain ol’ crunchy apple is one of my favorite foods to eat. And I can eat plain walnuts or almonds all day long!

    And in about 2 minutes I’m going to eat a plain banana. Yum!!

  2. I like plain foods, too…in fact, I still enjoy most veggies just steamed, with a little salt and a lot of pepper. Oatmeal, however you fix it, is just not for me. But I’m glad you enjoyed your plain oatmeal, and I’m laughing at the brown sugar being too sweet now. So weird how our tastes have changed, no?!?

    • Ooh, you’re getting into dangerous territory there, Juice. I do like a good apple pie, especially if there is some good vanilla ice cream on the side.

  3. I’m liking plain fruit particularly oranges lately. Also like plain baked sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli. Since I have been eating more plain unprocessed foods lately, I have much less indigestion and heartburn. In fact none. When I do have a rich sauce, I am surprised when my stomach reacts badly because I forgot rich foods have that effect on me.

  4. I like simple fresh food. That doesn’t mean i can’t enjoy something complex but many food combinations that I read on various Blogs have me almost gagging. On the other hand some combinations seem so natural they feel like plain food. I’ve come to appreciate plain yoghurt, especially the thicker Greek version. I rarely use marinades and although I like spices I cannot enjoy artificial flavours, especially the cheese found on crisps and bought crackers. I like my rice wafers plain. I’m still wondering about oatmeal and pumpkin. Sounds very odd to my Kiwi brain. Here Pumpkin is a vege with a small concession to American pumpkin pie which is rarely seen as we are not fans of that type of dessert pie. Our dessert pies centre around various versions of apple/fruit pie. Now i’ve made myself drool over memories of Key Lime Pie, not something you would ever find here. And what about the amazing cherry pie we scoffed down in Santa Rosa, CA. Oh my! it was amazing and so no doubt were the calories.

    My latest ‘discovery’ – Baby silverbeet/chard lightly cooked/blanched and served whole, stalks and all. We have all these self sown plants so I’ve begun to use them as soon as they have two or three leaves as large as my hand. Makes a delicious side dish and a perfect substitute for spinach. Hmm! methinks there is a regular Blog subject. Kiwi food compared to what we know about USA. I was amazed by the differences as we are strongly influenced by what we see on TV and of course the big chains such as MacDonalds, but apparently still have our own Kiwi-style cuisine.

    • MargieAnne–I do think that would be a good post. I am always amazed (at myself) thinking that all people eat the same way we do. And then to find out there are foods we have never heard of or tasted, well it fascinates me.

  5. You know that saying “plain old vanilla”? Well, vanilla is one of the most complex and heady tastes out there. Who says plain has to be boring?

    Although, instead of plain oatmeal, you could reframe that and say unadorned oatmeal 🙂

  6. ‘Unadorned oatmeal’–love it! And I have become a lover of good vanilla as I grow older. When I was a kid, I did think of it as ‘plain old vanilla’ and did not understand the attraction…

  7. Steel cut oats, I have some, in the cabinet. I have wanted to try them but havn’t yet… I eat a lot of plain things, have a spice rack full of spices that have never been opened.

  8. I am NOT a steel cut oats fan. I can’t remember if there is actually a nutritional advantage to them or not, but not a fan. I ate my oatmeal WITH raisins (boiled them in the water before I added the oats) for the first couple years and then this summer switched to just eating the oatmeal plain (when I started really watching my carbs to drop the last 20 lbs). And now raisins gag me. Prefer it REALLY plain. I just add skim milk.

    Even my kids have found that anything with added sugar gags them to no end. Taste buds really DO adjust if given the opportunity.

  9. I am 100% plain.


    (even —shhh—- salad. my entire life. never tasted salad dressing…or mayo for that matter :))

  10. My husband and I both prefer plain food of all kinds (meat, veggies, oatmeal and all the rest) to food with many ingredients and spices added. If you start with good-quality, fresh food, then IMO, nothing much needs to be done to it except to cook it to your satisfaction, and eat it with perhaps some salt or butter if needed. That’s the way I eat every day, and I’m very satisfied. In fact, when I’m invited out to a meal that’s complex and involves many ingredients and fancy dishes, I often don’t really enjoy it much, and am pleased to get back to my own cooking (although I may say otherwise to the host/hostess!). it also makes weight control effortless, but that’s not our motivation–it’s taste.

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