Now that school has started, if you’re like me, you find yourself on a limited budget with limited time to prepare breakfast in the morning.
My solution – oatmeal!
Now before you say “yuck!” hear me out. As a kid, my parents believed in a hot, nutritious breakfast, and oatmeal was a staple. Unfortunately, and my parents also believed that sweetener, especially white sugar, was bad as well. This means that many a morning bowl of oatmeal was bland, sprinkled with cinnamon and the occasional raisin and augmented by a small drizzle of honey. Yuck! Because of this, I’ve always found oatmeal a bit bland and the flavors that go with it (cinnamon and sugar, apple cinnamon, ect.) less than exciting.
One word – cranberries. Cranberries, and occasionally some nuts (like, say almonds) add a nice zing to an otherwise dull food.
If you make oatmeal yourself, you can find yourself eating a healthy, tasty, easy and quick to prepare meal in the morning, low in sodium, high in fiber, and one that will stick with you until lunch.
What you need –
quick cooking oatmeal (you can buy this pretty cheaply by the pound at Country Sun)
dried cranberries (I got at Trader Joes and keep in the freezer so they won’t spoil)
dried nuts (ditto)
sugar (or some kind of sweetener)
a microwavable bowl
The proportion of oatmeal to water is 1:3 or 1:2 depending on the style you get it in. The oats I bought are 1:2 or 1 part oatmeal to 2 parts water or I dump 1/4 cup of oatmeal and 1/2 cup of water into a microwavable bowl (make sure its big enough to hold the contents when boiling).
sprinkle in the amount of almonds and cranberries you want. Then add sugar to taste, I don’t like a lot of sugar in my oatmeal, but I need enough to make it palatable, thus the small spoon.
microwave this for 3-5 minutes until the oatmeal has absorbed the liquid. If the oatmeal comes out of the microwave too thick, try adding a bit of milk to thin out the porridge, or for a tangier flavor, try buttermilk.
Try substituting other flavors, such as cutting up bananas and adding a dash of nutmeg, or slicing up pears and apples into the bowl with a dash of cinnamon.
The results with be much tastier than the instant kind you can buy at the store and you will be controlling the amount of preservatives, corn syrup, sodium, and sugar you are adding into your diet. Getting Scottish or Irish style oats will also result in a nuttier flavor coming from the oats as well.