Wednesday, February 16, 2011

oatmeal-mixing it up!

Now that classes have started up again, it seems like I'm literally running out the door every morning. My favorite way to fuel up a busy winter day is with oatmeal. I personally like steal cut oats the best. They cook up faster than oat groats and feel heartier than rolled oats to me. I also just discovered Trader Joe's Quick Cooking Steal Cut Oats, which I've been subsisting on ever since. Now, I know you must be asking yourself, as a foodie, how do I not get bored with the same breakfast every freaking day? They key is to switch up what I add to the oats! Here are some of my favorites:

1. Apple-cinnamon oats:
Chop or grate one whole apple. Bring 1 cup of apple cider (I like TJ's) to boil, add oats and lower heat to simmer. When about half way cooked, add chopped apple and lots of cinnamon (I also add ground flax seeds at this point). Pour the porridge mixture in a bowl and top with maple syrup and some nuts or seeds (I like chopped almonds) and raisins if you like!

I topped this bowl off with some pan-toasted rolled oats for some extra crunch!
2. Coconut-almond oats:
Cook oats as you normally would (using water or sometimes I use almond milk if I want something extra creamy) Top with shredded coconut, flax seeds and chopped almonds.

3. Simple berry oatmeal:
Cook oats normally, in salted water or non-dairy milk of choice. Top with fresh berries, such as blueberries and sliced strawberries. Top with aprox 1/2 T of maple syrup if you're feeling really wild :)

1. Chipotle-Cheezy Oats:
Add to cooked oats:
1 T ground flax seeds
1 T pumpkin seeds (pan toasting them until they brown/ pop adds a nice toasty flavor)
1 T nutritional yeast
1 pinch cayenne (or other spice of your choice, I've been using "hot peppeh" that I brought back from Ghana)
tons of black pepper
salt to taste

2. Simple Seaweed/Sesame Oats:
Cook oats normally. Top with flax and sesame seeds, occasionally half an ume plum if I feel like I need the extra health, and seaweed of choice. I have a nice three seaweed flake blend (dulse, laver and sea lettuce) and sometimes I crumple up half a sheet of nori and toss it in there too. Yum. Seaweed for breakfast!

What's your favorite way to cook up oatmeal?

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