The Breakfast Mission: Oatmeal
Okay, I’m going to try, for a while, to actually eat some breakfasts for the next couple of weeks, and see how it goes.
- I’m drinking my cafe au lait, so shut up about the caffiene I love it. And the 6 oz of milk I’ll be having in it can count for a little of the protein
- something whole grain
- something fruit.
- no more than 1 tsp added sugar (not counting what I put in the coffee. Again I say, shut up and don’t mess with me and my coffee.)
- no more than 1-2 minutes total hands-on prep, 5 minutes total preparation. This is key. If I can’t make it while my coffee is brewing, forget it.
The easiest way to make this happen, I already can tell, will be my favorite morning oatmeal. The humble bowl of oatmeal is nothing to sneeze at or dismiss, and especially if one is accustomed to those evil little packets of flavorless gluey instant stuff, it’s worth a second look.
“Old Fashioned Rolled Oats” are the basic template for what i’m working with. I know they make microwavable steel cut (“Irish”) oats now, and if anyone’s tried them I’d be happy to hear about it–but the old standby is what I use. Avoid anything labelled “quick cooking” oats–like I said, they are gluey and flavorless, and while yes they cook twice as quickly as the old fashioned ones, that’s simply saying that they cook in 90 seconds rather than 3 minutes, which isn’t that big a deal for most of us no matter how rushed our mornings are.
Quick Morning Oatmeal Master Recipe:
Start with half a cup of rolled oats and a cup of water if you’re pretty hungry, or (what I do) a third of a cup of oats and 2/3 cup of water. Put these together in a microwave safe bowl with whatever other ingredients you’re using, and microwave for about 3 minutes on high. (Watch to make sure it doesn’t explode, okay? Your microwave might cook faster than mine, and I’m not coming to your house to clean your microwave out for you.)
Other Ingredients –try one of the following, or more if it sounds good to you (the trick is to add them BEFORE cooking!):
- add 1 cut up banana, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and (optional) a little maple syrup or brown sugar. (The banana is pretty sweet) (This is my favorite!) You’ll get a totally different effect if you add the banana after cooking; putting it in first makes it go all squishy and bananas-foster-y…
- add 1/2 cup applesauce or 1/4 cup apple butter.
- add a handful of dried fruit, whatever you want–raisins, currants, blueberries, cut up apricots, and/or some chopped nuts
- add 1/2 cup pumpkin or sweet potato puree. (Puree, schmuree; I like to throw in the other night’s sweet potato chunks; like the banana, it’ll sort of melt into the oatmeal when it all cooks together.)
- (UPDATE) I don’t know why I never tried this before, but today I cut up about half a raw apple and put it into the bowl before the oatmeal and water. Like the banana, it cooked really nicely even in the 3 minutes of cooking time; I added a little brown sugar and cinnamon at the end, and it was like apple pie oatmeal. (Okay, I may have added more than one spoonful of the sugar…)
Let’s open this up, I’d appreciate other input! Anyone have any other favorite oatmeal additions? I’ll add them to the list as people put them in the comments. Help me out here–I don’t want to get bored!