Happy Monday! I’m still kind of in that writing funk (maybe the politics took it out of me) but I promised my sister I’d write a post for this week’s segment about a very important food: oatmeal. Chances are, you have a container sitting in your pantry somewhere, collecting dust. The truth is, while we’d like to be eating more of the stuff, it usually just seems so…blah. Especially compared to pancakes or waffles. However, I’ve come to love oatmeal so much for it’s health benefits that I start my morning with it nearly every day of the week (I save my breakfast experimenting for the weekends). Hopefully, these tips and tricks will take you from a skeptic to a believer in no time!Start with the oats. There are a few different kinds of oatmeal out there: quick-cook, old-fashioned, steel-cut, and Irish oatmeal. Basically, they differ in the way they are cut and processed, so they’ll end up with a different texture. I personally like old-fashioned oatmeal, and I try to get organic as often as I can! Bob’s Red Mill is a shining star in this department.
Realize your breakfast potential. Oatmeal is touted by nutritionists because it’s rich in fiber, which keeps you fuller longer and can help prevent glucose spikes (aka no AM sugar crashes). In addition to oats, I love adding in these ingredients, which mimic the texture of the oatmeal while adding plenty of nutritional benefits!
- ground flaxseed: Opt for ground flaxseed instead of whole, because your digestive system can’t process the tough outer shell. This will up your fiber intake as well as give you a healthy dose of omega-3’s!
- chia seeds: I’m all about chia these days, especially since it creates the same texture as oatmeal when soaked in water. Yet again, these are another amazing source of fiber, omegas, and even a little protein!
- vegan protein powder: oatmeal already has a ton of staying powder, but I’ve found that mixing in a little protein powder after cooking (add the flax and chia before) really helps to keep me full well until lunchtime.
Pick your (preparation) poison. If the thought of turning on the stove makes you sigh, try prepping your oats in the slow cooker and leaving it overnight, placing the ingredients in a mason jar and refrigerating for a breakfast that can be eaten hot or cold the next day, or, if you’re like me, throw everything in the microwave for a minute and a half and pray for the best! It’s basically like making a bowl of cereal, except this is warm, delicious, and so much better for you. Add that FLAVOR! Oatmeal by NO means has to be boring. To prove it, I’m sharing three of my all time favorite ways to enjoy a bowl…
Blueberry Muffin Oatmeal. Start by putting 1/2 cup oats, 2 teaspoons of ground flaxseed, and one teaspoon of chia seeds in a microwave-safe bowl. Rinse 1/4 cup of blueberries and add to oats. Add water until the oats are covered, then microwave for 1 minute fifteen seconds. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla protein powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 tablespoon honey, and milk until oatmeal has reached desired consistency.
PB & Banana Oatmeal. Place 1/2 cup oats, 2 teaspoons of ground flaxseed, and one teaspoon of chia seeds in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover oats with water and microwave for 1 minute 15 seconds. Stir in 1 tablespoon peanut butter until blended, then add milk until desired consistency is reached. Top with half a banana cut into slices, a dusting of cinnamon, and a drizzle of honey.
Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal. Put 1/2 cup oats, 2 teaspoons of ground flaxseed, and one teaspoon of chia seeds in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover oats with water. Add 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and 1 tablespoon pure pumpkin to oats and mix well, then microwave for 1 minute 15 seconds. Stir again and add milk and honey to reach desired levels of consistency and sweetness.It’s time to dust off that pantry staple and get ready to have one of your most delicious mornings ever.
To oatmeal and happiness!