Harvard Health Letter

Wake up and use the microwave, Health Letter, say our readers

Several readers wrote to us after our June 2011 article about breakfast. We had nice things to say about oatmeal in that piece — as a morning source of fiber, it's hard to beat — but noted cooking time was a drawback. Not if you use a microwave, the correspondents reminded us. So true. And there's no reason to believe that microwaving oatmeal is going to detract from its nutritional value. Quaker says its old-fashioned oats will cook in two-and-a-half to three minutes in a microwave. The steel-cut oats we favor take about eight minutes total in the microwave, compared with 30 minutes on a stovetop burner. Another trick for cutting down on the a.m. prep time is to cook the oatmeal briefly the evening before and then let it soak overnight.

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