Note: Since I did not do my usual Food Friday post yesterday, I thought I would make up for it today.
I used to buy instant oatmeal packets from the store. The kind that is pre-measured, pre-flavored, and you just add hot water. As a person who reads nutrition facts on packaging, I don’t know why I never read the oatmeal box before. Well, for some reason, a couple of weeks ago, I finally did. I was shocked at what my seemingly simple breakfast food contained. There were hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, artificial colors, preservatives, other things I could not pronounce, and loads of added sugars. I felt let down, and I vowed never to buy pre-mixed oatmeal again.
With some inspiration from this blog post, I set out to the local natural foods store for some organic quick oats in a giant bulk bag. I then found this cooking method online. I now make myself a wholesome, nutritious, delicious breakfast in the morning, that has a very simple ingredients list, and no sketchy stuff in it.
As an added bonus, my breakfast is incredibly filling. I am never starving by lunchtime when I start my day this way. Also, I get to change up my toppings to suit my mood or the changing seasons.
I recommend experimenting with combinations of the following:
~fresh, chopped fruits
~real maple syrup
~cinnamon/nutmeg/pumpkin spice topping
~anything else that inspires you…
In order to keep things as simple as possible, I would try to avoid dried fruits or applesauce that have been sweetened, and nuts that have been seasoned or salted. I recently bought some unsweetened, un-sulfured dried pineapple rings and gosh, were they glorious! The sugary, candied stuff never appealed to me, so I gave this a whirl and was astounded that a dried fruit could be so, well, fruity. I also recommend buying nuts in bulk, since it is cheaper, and storing all nuts and seeds in the freezer to extend their shelf life.
This microwave method is just as fast, if not faster, than waiting for water to boil on the stove for the instant packet variety.
My current favorite oatmeal flavor combos are:
Apple Cinnamon: with chopped fresh apple or applesauce and a hefty sprinkle of cinnamon.
Maple Walnut: a generous drizzle of maple syrup with chopped walnuts and some raisins.
Tropical: chopped dried pineapple rings, dried coconut flakes, and something to sweeten, such as agave.
This morning’s combo included almond slivers, chopped walnuts, dried raw pumpkin seeds, maple syrup, and dried cranberries. Yum!
I am thoroughly enjoying my re-discovery of morning oatmeal. What a perfect start to an Autumn day!