“Revolutionizing oatmeal.” That’s the claim made by Mush, a food stand at the Hillcrest Farmers’ Market. I have a doubt that anything oat-related can qualify as revolutionary, but it’s certain that the appearance of Mush follows a trend.
The term “overnight oats” has crept into the vernacular of health-minded eaters, particularly those drawn to the notion that eating raw food adds a nutritional boost. So rather than boiling oats to make oatmeal, you steep them in liquid overnight — seasoned, sweetened, fruited, or nutted to taste — and the resulting mush gives you all the excitement of oatmeal without that pesky warmth.
Not everybody’s going to be accepting of cold oatmeal, but I gave it a shot at home and became used to it pretty quickly. My issue with it is more logistical. Namely, I can’t get used to making breakfast ahead of time. It’s easy to make, but to be able to eat it first thing in the morning you positively have to make it the night before.
Mush has solved this problem, offering something like eight ready-to-eat varieties including chocolate, vanilla, and cranberry-apple. Like other stands it offers samples, so I was able to taste my way to what I liked best. I settled on peanut butter/banana, not because it was my favorite taste-wise but because if I’m going to eat healthy I might as well knock down some banana at the same time. Also, they use homemade peanut butter.
Mush also uses homemade almond milk in all of its overnight oats. Some people like to use regular milk or yogurt, but looking at the various recipes that have popped up online, over the past year milk alternatives seem to be the most popular. It works fine to soften the oats, though I would say having the soft yet fresh banana to break up the consistency really helps. The apple-cranberry did well in this regard as well, and I’m kicking myself for ignoring the banana-walnut because crunch is definitely welcome when you’re eating cold oatmeal.
At four bucks, Mush is affordable, though I would have liked to see some berries or other fruit included for the price, especially considering how easy it is to make your own at home. However, since I keep forgetting to do exactly that, I’m glad someone else has some ready to go.