Posts tagged ‘cheap’
It is hard to start a post that I am so excited about, and has been this long in the making! My roommate and I eat impossibly large volumes of oatmeal, and never get bored with it. This shocked and surprised our friend, who challenged me to make a different flavor of oatmeal every day for a month. A chance to try to pull an oatmeal hater onto my beloved breakfast bandwagon was something I could not refuse. My roommate and I immediately brainstormed some of our favorite classic combos, as well as threw out some ideas that were a little more out of the
box bowl. The project took longer than a month, since some of the flavors took more than one shot to perfect, and since even I can’t eat oatmeal 7 days a week. (Shocked gasps are leaving your mouth, I just know it). But without further to do… 30 Days of Oatmeal!
The picture links to a page that contains separate links to all of the oatmeal flavors. Some were inspired by the little instant oatmeal packets, such as Honey Walnut and Maple Pecan. Others are just classics that I turn to when I don’t want to think in the morning, like Apple Cinnamon and Peanut Butter Banana. Some are fun twists on desserts, like apple or pumpkin pie, and a few even hide some veggies! (Hint: Carrot Cake and Red Velvet Cake.) One, Raspberry Coconut, was inspired by a friend’s Facebook comment,. There are some holiday themed flavors, and some that are mild and simple for days that you don’t feel like a bold breakfast bowl. Basically, there is something for everyone! My mom, dad, sister, and roommate have taste tested and approved many, and I have loved them all.
I should get paid by an oatmeal company as their spokesperson, for I simply cannot rave enough about my favorite breakfast. It is cheap, it is healthy, and it can be so good – what’s not to love? Plus, oats are filled with fiber, which helps get rid of bad cholesterol (LDL) and boosts good cholesterol (HDL). Oats do not have to be bland or boring, as demonstrated above. They also don’t have to be packed with sugar to taste good. Most of my bowls were naturally sweetened with bananas or apple sauce, and flavored with spices and extracts. I like to cook my oats in a mixture of milk (I usually have unsweetened almond on hand) and water to add creaminess. This also adds a bit more protein to your breakfast to help it stick to your ribs longer. I have been known to have audible hunger growls on the bus on the way to school if I eat protein-poor cold cereal! I also like to cook a smaller portion of oats (1/3 cup) in a normal amount of liquid (1 cup) for a bit longer, which makes them softer and fluffier, and also gives some wiggle room for all of the add-ins to incorporate well.
Try one of the 30 flavors I posted, or make your own! Start with your oatmeal base, mix in some flavor from vanilla, cinnamon, or nut butters, add some fruit or jam for sweetness, and get creative! The options are almost endless, especially when you consider that oats are great soaked in milk overnight on warm days, or oven baked for really cold ones! Not enough ideas here for you? Check out the real Queen of Oatmeal at KERF, or CCK’s baked vegan oatmeal flavors! Jump on the oatmeal bandwagon, my friends – you won’t regret it.
If I had it my way, I would make an all out breakfast everyday. I love pancakes, waffles, french toast, frittatas – I am a serious breakfast fiend. Unfortunately, early weekday classes leave no time for elaborate morning preparations. I wish there was a solution to my desire for a healthy, exciting breakfast every morning… oh wait, there is! I have been a huge fan of Kath’s overnight oats all summer, loving the endless variation of toppings and preparations you can include to keep things interesting. They take only a minute or two to put together the night before, take absolutely no time in the morning (especially if you eat it straight out of the jar!) and are a lot lower in sugar and higher in fiber (not to mention cheaper) than most prepared cereals. Cold oatmeal sound weird to you? It freaked me out at first too, but give it a try. It is really a refreshing change from hot oats on a summer morning.
Check out Kath Eats Real Food to see her endless variety of oatmeal toppings and her basic outline for overnight oats. My recent creations have been pretty tasty too, and help keep me full through long mornings of class and studying. I love peanut butter and banana together, and the peach was great with the creamy, cold oats. Chia seeds, which keep appearing in my in overnight oats, take on the texture of mini tapioca balls (like you would find in bubble tea) when they are soaked, which I totally love! They are definitely optional, or could be substituted with ground flax seed for the same omega-3/fiber benefits. My ultimate goal is to make mocha overnight oats, but can’t seem to get the chocolate and coffee ratios right… the experiment will continue. Leave it to a medical student to try to infuse their breakfast with coffee! For any of my fellow stressed out med students, check out this NY Times article that a friend sent my way. He and I both found it inspiration to keep studying for another day :)
Question: What are your favorite oatmeal toppings?
Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/3 cup oats
1 cup water (or 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup milk)
Combine all ingredients, except banana, in a jar. Let soak in the fridge overnight. In the morning, add half a slice banana.
Perfect Peach Overnight Oats
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/3 cup oats
2/3 cup water (or 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup milk)
3 tbsp vanilla yogurt
sprinkle of cinnamon
2 tbsp granola
Combine the vanilla, chia seeds, oats, and water in a jar overnight. In the morning, mix in the yogurt. Top with the sliced peach, cinnamon and granola clusters.