I eat oats for breakfast pretty much every morning. On the rare occasion that I don’t, it throws my entire day off-kilter. I don’t need coffee, I just need my oats!
Oatmeal from rolled oats fills my bowl most mornings. I used to be a quick oats gal, but I switched to rolled oats because they’re available in bulk (sure, you can recycle the cardboard canisters from non-bulk oats, but reducing > recycling). The bulk oats also happen to be organic, an added bonus.
For speed and convenience, I cook my oatmeal in the microwave. I worried that rolled oats would take a lot longer to cook, but they really don’t.
I shuffle into the kitchen first thing in the morning and measure out 1/2 cup rolled oats. Combine the oats with a generous 1 cup of water and let sit and soak for at least 10 minutes (this is the secret to rolled oats cooking as quickly as quick oats).
After it soaks (longer is fine), pop the bowl into the microwave. I cook mine for about 2 minutes and 15 seconds (this may vary). Do NOT start the microwave and walk away, or you might return to an oatmeal explosion (not a fun way to start the day, and yes, I know this from experience). I keep an eye on the oatmeal, pausing and stirring twice, while I assemble the toppings.
- Something sweet — I use honey or brown sugar, just a touch, I’m going for breakfast, not dessert here.
- Fruit — since I stopped buying bananas, my oatmeal fruit staples are chopped apples (when they’re in season), raisins, or dried apples.
- A sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg — these add a lot of flavor
- A splash (or more) of milk (usually soy milk) — I cook the oats in water, and a touch of milk at the end adds a rich flavor.
- 1 heaping tablespoon of ground flax
- 1 T. (?) peanut butter and/or some unsalted, roasted sunflower seeds
This is NOT my ordinary oatmeal, but a no-cook, to-go version: 1/3 cup rolled oats soaked in soy milk (perhaps a bit too much milk in the photo above) for a couple of hours. Topped with sliced local peaches, homemade granola, and almond butter. I added a touch of maple syrup to the last few bites.
Oats make a very healthy breakfast, especially with the addition of cinnamon and nutmeg. Adding fruit and nuts or nut butter rounds out the meal with extra vitamins, minerals, protein, and fat.
“Oat products have high soluble fiber content, which aids digestion. Oats reduce cholesterol levels, which makes them good for heart health and they are high in protein. To obtain the heart benefits of oats, the product must contain at least three grams of soluble fiber” (1).
“These data indicate that black peppercorn, nutmeg, rosehip, cinnamon and oregano leaf may serve as potential dietary sources of natural antioxidants for improving human nutrition and health” (2), emphasis added.
“. . . antioxidants in cinnamon have been linked to lower inflammation, as well as reductions in blood glucose concentrations in people with diabetes” (3).
2. Su, L, et al. (2007). “Total phenolic contents, chelating capacities, and radical-scavenging properties of black peppercorn, nutmeg, rosehip, cinnamon and oregano leaf.” Food Chemistry, 100 (3). Abstract here.
3. WebMD. “Spices and Herbs: Their Health Benefits“