Oat-y goodness

With winter here, Recycla and her family are starting their days off with one of their favorite breakfasts:  Oatmeal.

Ahhhhhh…

A bowl of oatmeal is a warm, nutritious breakfast that tastes good and gives any Eco Warrior enough energy to battle even the most dastardly Hummer owner.

When Recycla says oatmeal, she doesn’t mean one of those single serving packets of oats, sugar, and artificial ingredients.  Oh no.  Oatmeal in Recycla’s home comes in an 18 ounce cardboard container so that there’s less packaging waste and the cardboard can be recycled later. (She uses the plastic lids as plant coasters.)  And why buy something that’s flavored already when you can so easily add your own special ingredients, such as fresh or dried fruit, nuts, and any number of spices?

Recycla’s personal favorite is to cook her oatmeal with skim milk and then mix in raisins, cinnamon, and some of her homemade applesauce.  Yum! Alternately, she stirs in some of  the cherries she froze last summer, a teaspoon of flaxseeds, and a tiny dollop of honey.  Delish.  Last fall, she went with a couple of tablespoons of pumpkin puree, a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds, and a tiny drizzle of maple syrup. Divine.

Oatmeal has a number of health benefits, including the ability to lower one’s cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.  Even better, quick oats take only a minute to prepare in the microwave.  Best of all, oatmeal is inexpensive, so Eco Warriors don’t need to spend a lot of money on a breakfast that has staying power and will stick with them all morning. Recycla is a runner in training for a half marathon later this year. She eats a bowl of oatmeal before setting off on long runs of 6, 7, 8, or more miles.

Some weekend morning, when you have more time to dally over breakfast, Recycla suggests you try steel-cut oats (a.k.a. Irish oatmeal).  Irish oatmeal takes about 20-30 minutes to cook, but the result is a chunkier, nuttier, more flavorful oatmeal that will keep you full for hours.  Stir in some dates, maybe some walnuts, and enjoy. Alternately, if you have crockpot, whip up a batch before you go to bed at night and enjoy the results the next morning.

What about you Eco Warriors?  How do you like your oatmeal?

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10 thoughts on “Oat-y goodness

  1. Oh, how I love the oatmeal. I use rolled oats instead of quick-cooking – they take 2.5 minutes in the microwave. I make mine with half skim milk, half water for the liquid. So many possibilities for flavors – it’s like a blank slate! One of my major favorites (because I have a sweet tooth and am a choco-holic) – mini chocolate chips. They melt quickly because they’re so small, and I only use a tablespoon, so they’re not too caloric. I like a tbsp of choc chips plus 1 tbsp of peanut butter; or choc chips plus dried (or frozen) berries (cherries are a favorite for this, though any berries work well); or choc chips plus cinnamon for a Mexican chocolate… I also like freeze-dried or baked-dry fruit (no extra sugars added to those two, usually), almonds, coconut, vanilla, lots of spices – just about anything, really! Once over the holidays, I made oatmeal with 1/4 cup egg nog, 1/4 cup skim milk, 1/2 cup water – DELICIOUS. Not as healthy as without the egg nog, but for a rare treat? SO GOOD!!!

  2. I often follow Jen’s approach and use rolled oats in the microwave (also cutting out some of the milk and replacing with water) but love it with just brown sugar and some raisins. Yum. Actually, I’m starting to feel quite hungry now…..

  3. Once a week, usually, I make baked oatmeal. I get the slower cooking oats in bulk from the health food store and use those. It’s very simple to prepare (my recipe uses an egg, yogurt, and fruit puree) and I add whatever fruit I have on hand. It stays in the fridge overnight and gets put in the oven by whoever wakes up first. Delicious!

  4. Add me to the oatmeal fan club. And I’m a purist, salt and water to cook, and milk on top. I do add flax meal to the oatmeal in my bowl; if I cook the flax meal in it gets slimy.
    I happened upon a site which encourages oatmeal eaters to soak the oatmeal overnight in water and a little yogurt to increase absorption of nutrients. Evidently something called phytias (or something like that) inhibits absorption, and the soaking and yogurt soften that up. I’ve made it that way several times and it tastes fine.

  5. I actually prefer rolled to steel cut oats. I cook mine in milk (er…usually whole) with a banana sliced into it and a dash of cinnamon. Once a spoon sticks up in it, I add a little brown sugar, a dab of butter, and some chopped almonds. Very rich — I don’t make it that often!

  6. Quick oats, with raisins, brown sugar and vietnamese cinnamon, cooked with water in the microwave. No variations, ever.
    I’ve eaten oatmeal for breakfast most of my life. As a kid, I ate those packets. In college, I finally graduated to cooking it myself and when I realized I could do it in the microwave, I was hooked.

  7. We love it with brown sugar here–and I use those oatmeal containers for wrapping presents! Drop the gift in and tie a big bow around the middle (after peeling off the label, of course!).

  8. I get oatmeal from the bulk section of the local health food store. I buy rolled oats, spelt, rye, and whatever else they have that looks like oatmeal but is another grain. Then I mix it all up, cook it and throw some half and half on top.

    I have been re-using the same Quaker container for years!

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