Yes, there are a million things I could choose to eat for breakfast, yet somehow I am always drawn to oatmeal. Not the fake, quick-cooking oats, nor the small packets of
processed cereal sugar with a bit of oats added, but just plain, old-fashioned, rolled oats, and I cannot seem to get enough. I could have all the Lucky Charms I wanted, yet I think oatmeal would still charm me more than any nutrient-void cereal ever could. Maybe it’s because oats are affordable, and as a budget-conscious college student I am all about healthy-for-cheap cuisine. That, and because this breakfast can sate my appetite for hours and provide the energy I need to make it to lunch (and they’re also delicious).
Oatmeal for the win.
Now if you think that oats are boring, I agree. They are a
bit lot on the bland side if made with water and left untouched. But hey, some people do it. No judgement here. Some prefer a dash of salt, while others take a walk on the sweet side. I, myself, am one of those people. I’ll throw everything possible into my oatmeal and have found that the following ingredients make for an outstanding bowl of oats.
Unsweetened almond milk– I cook my oats in almond milk, as opposed to cows’ milk or water. It comes in vanilla and unsweetened flavors, and both are soy and lactose free. I prefer the flavor that it provides, as well as the nutritional benefits. Almonds also help keep blood sugar steady. The milk is about 60 calories per cup.
Cinnamon– Everything is nice about this spice. Just a 1/2 teaspoon each day can also help control blood sugar and prevent the post-meal insulin spike that can trigger your body to store fat, rather than burn it. Cinnamon brings out the natural sweetness in foods such as oatmeal as well, which curbs the desire to add other refined sugars.
Walnuts– In moderation, walnuts help keep you full and may increase fat oxidation. They are great to snack on throughout the day, but they also add texture and crunch to a creamy dish.
Dried cherries– Cherries pack natural sugar but they also pack lots of antioxidants. These add a bit of ‘chewy’ to counter the ‘crunchy’ of the walnuts, as well as color. And I love color.
Honey– Honey is composed mainly of fructose and glucose, but its antioxidant and cleansing properties suggest that it is perhaps the tastiest natural medicine. Honey is good for the skin as it fights infection and aids in scarring, while also reducing redness and inflammation. You need only a drizzle!
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
handful of dried cherries and walnuts, chopped
1 (or 2) tbsp. honey
Boil oats and milk in medium saucepan; cook about 3 minutes. Remove from heat to cool and thicken. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Add cherries, walnuts, and drizzle with honey. You are now ready to kick today’s butt!