Oatmeal: Declassified

by Alexandra

I’m always surprised at how many people claim to “not like” this classic breakfast food. I’m even more surprised when people wrinkle their nose when I mention peanut butter and oatmeal. Honestly, my freshman year of high school, I thought I invented peanut butter oatmeal but when I entered the blog world,  I learned just how wrong I was — PB&Oats has probably been around longer than I have. But, that’s neither here nor there…

Frankly, if you think you don’t like oatmeal, you just don’t make it right!

Reasons to love Oatmeal:

  • Boosts the Metabolism:Oatmeal has high levels of biotin, which is shown to increase one’s metabolic rate, not to mention that eating breakfast also boosts the metabolism.
  • Macronutrients:Oatmeal has 4 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, and only 150 calories in 1/2 cup, dry.
  • Heart Healthy: Oatmeal has absolutely no cholesterol, and can actually help lower LDL levels (bad cholesterol) in your body. It’s also a good source of heart-healthy B vitamins, Vitamin A, iron and calcium.
  • Keeps you full, healthy and happy: What’s not to love?

I must admit, I love oatmeal so much, that I have eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. What can I say? It’s that good!

HOW TO MAKE perfect OATMEAL:

It all comes down to the toppings. With my oatmeal, there are three must-haves:

Nut Butter

Get creative! I’ll bet there are way more nut butters available than you ever imagined! Meijer, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, or your local health food store have a wide variety of nut butters. Some of my favorites include: Coconut Butter, Cashew butter, Sunflowerseed Butter, and good old Peanut Butter. Feel free to add whole or sliced nuts, too!

Fruit

Fresh, dried, frozen/defrosted — anything goes! (Just please don’t use canned)

Something Sweet!

I like jam, especially a bit of Smucker’s Simply Fruit Jam! They have every flavor imaginable and absolutely no artificial ingredients!

Other sweeteners I like are Stevia (boring) Pomegranate or Blackstrap Molasses, Maple Syrup/Sugar, Raw Honey, or a good old fashioned squeeze from Mr. Honey Bear

I love adding cinnamon or other flavorings to my oats. Almond extract, Vanilla Extract, Cardamom and Nutmeg are some of my other favorites.

Sometimes I also like to add some Greek Yogurt to my oats for a tasty protein-boost. I usually go for plain, but feel free to use flavored. I recommend leaving out the additional sweetener (i.e. honey, molasses, etc)  if you do. I like my mornings sweet, but too much sugar is never good, especially in the morning.

Step One:

You need Oats, preferably rolled/old fashioned oats. I like steel-cut, but I’m often too impatient to wait for them to cook. Instant oats or oat bran work too.

For cooking, oats need a 1:2 water ratio. I recommend starting with 1/2 cup dry oats and 1 cup water. Feel free to use more oats, but make sure you use twice as much water. Never use less than 1/2 cup of oats, though. Even if you’re trying to lose weight, you need at least 1/2 cup of food, especially in the morning!

Place your oats and water in a small saucepan. Add a pinch of salt for “flavor enhancement” if you want. You can add the fruit here, or spices. Add the stevia at this point if you are using it.

I added 1/2 banana, 1/4 Gala apple (sliced), 1 chopped medjool date and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon.

Heat the oat mixture over medium flame until boiling. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 more minutes, stirring frequently, until water is absorbed and oats are very creamy. If you’re using extracts, stir them in after the oats are done cooking to preserve flavor.

Dump into a bowl, and add your toppings.

The other half of my banana, sliced, and some more cinnamon.

Then I drizzled on about a tablespoon of cashew butter and 2 teaspoons of sliced raw almonds. +Skim milk and vitamins!

Oatmeal for breakfast seriously cannot be beaten. The possibilities are truly endless!

Oats with most of an apple cooked in + 3 chopped dried figs, topped with honey, almond butter, the rest of the chopped apple and some Kashi Go Lean Crunch. (For a bit of crunch…obviously ☺)

Banana + Dried Fig + Raisin Oatmeal with cinnamon, maple sugar, peanut butter and roasted almonds.

Oats with a Pink Lady Apple cooked in, lots of cinnamon, Cashini butter and maple syrup.

Banana oatmeal with a Carrot Cake Muffin crumbled on top.

Oatmeal with Strawberries, Strawberry Jam, and Sunbutter!

Oatmeal with Banana, Craisins and Cashew Butter

Banana Oats with plain Greek yogurt, peanut butter and Blackstrap molasses

Oatmeal with a ridiculous amount of blueberries cooked in, and topped with Cashew Butter

Please eat oatmeal for breakfast tomorrow.

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