3 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped, optional
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, plus more, to taste
1 cup lowfat milk, divided
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a medium saucepan, bring the water and salt to a boil. Stir in the oats and raisins, reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
In the meantime, place nuts, if using, in a dry skillet over a medium-high flame, and toast, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
When the oats are cooked remove pan from the flame and stir in the vanilla and nutmeg. Swirl in the brown sugar and place the oatmeal in serving bowls. Pour 1/4 cup of milk on top of each bowl, and top with toasted nuts and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Note: For a quicker version using quick cooking or plain instant oatmeal: Cook the oatmeal according to the directions on the package. Stir raisins, brown sugar, and nutmeg into the cooked oatmeal. Top with milk, nuts (toasted or un-toasted) and cinnamon.