by Christine Hunt
It used to be called porridge and since before the time that Oliver Twist naively uttered “Please sir, I want some more.” oatmeal has been a staple of the world’s morning meals. Unfortunately this hearty, whole grain standard has been replaced by boxed cereals laden with sugar, artificial flavors and colors with little to no fiber or nutritional value.
If you would like to get back to some basics for breakfast but don’t have the time to prepare them, give some of these recipes a try. They can be prepared ahead of time, some in a crock pot, and will add flavor, fiber and variety to your morning dash to work or school. Oatmeal is easy to heat up so consider making a big batch and reheating it as the week progresses.
Oatmeal will help you lose weight, boost your nutritional intake, provide lots of fiber, lower your cholesterol and provide you with anti-oxidants. It’s inexpensive and faster to prepare than you might think so, give the old standard a new look and potentially create a new you!
Basic Oatmeal with a Flair
By Christine Hunt
Oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfasts and the way I have found to speed things up in the morning is to make a big batch one day then heat up portions as I need them. I use Bob’s Red Mill Organic Oatmeal and a batch will last me and my husband about 3 mornings. The first big batch takes less than 10 minutes and heating up additional servings takes less than 3 minutes. Below is the combination of ingredients that I use but you can use honey, regular sugar, other fruits – anything you want to satisfy your taste preferences.
- 2 cups oatmeal
- 4 cups water
- ground cinnamon
- dried cherries
- dried cranberries
- fresh fruit
- brown sugar
- coconut milk
To speed up the cooking process I combine the water and oatmeal together, then put on the stove. While the water is heating the oatmeal is absorbing it and the cooking time is usually less than 10 minutes. The burner should be set on medium-high to get it boiling then can be reduced to low or medium to thicken up.
I then spoon the amount I want to eat into a bowl and combine about a teaspoon brown sugar, a shake or two of cinnamon, fresh fruit or a combination of dried fruit, some chopped pecans and I’m done. My husband likes to add some coconut milk.
What is left over I spoon into a storage container and pop into the refrigerator until next time. When that time comes I put water in the bottom of a small saucepan (I seldom use the microwave but you could and use a microwave safe bowl) then spoon in the amount of oatmeal I want that day, add the brown sugar and dried fruit and heat it all up, stirring occasionally. I add the pecans and cinnamon on top once in my serving bowl.
On The Glow Basic Oatmeal Squares
Yield: 9 large squares
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 35 min.
Think of this oatmeal square as basic baked oatmeal that can be dressed up any way you like. Each large square contains a tablespoon of flax and a teaspoon of chia seeds as well as 7 grams of fibre and 6 grams of protein. Feel free to add in nuts, dried fruit, chocolate, and other mix-ins as you desire. Just be careful about frozen fruit. When I made a trial with frozen blueberries they became quite soggy. Use fresh blueberries and you should be fine.
- 5 cups regular rolled oats (not instant oats), divided
- 3 tbsp chia seed
- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp ground flax
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 5 cups almond milk (or other milk)
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
- 2 tbsp nut or seed butter
- 1 banana, chopped small
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- Dry sweetener, to taste if you want them a bit sweeter
- Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8 inch square pan with two pieces of parchment paper.
- In a blender or food processor, blend/process 1 cup of the oats until a flour forms. Or you can just use 1 cup of oat flour.
- In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: oat flour, 1.5 cups rolled oats, chia, flax, baking powder, salt, cinnamon. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: milk, syrup, nut/seed butter, banana, vanilla until no clumps remain. Add wet to dry and stir until combined. Add dry sweetener to taste if desired. Fold in any nuts or dried fruit that you desire.
- Pour mixture into prepared pan and smooth out. Bake for 35-40 minutes until lightly golden along edge and it springs back slowly when touched. I baked them for 40 minutes, but baking time may vary. Place pan on cooling rack for 10 minutes, carefully remove, and cool on rack before slicing.
Source: Oh She Glows
Carrot Cake & Zucchini Bread Oatmeal
Serves 2 – 4 (2 large portions, 3 medium portions or 4 small portions)
- ½ cup steel-cut oats (use gluten-free, if desired)
- 1½ cups vanilla-flavored non-dairy milk (such as coconut, almond, rice, etc. – I used coconut milk)
- 1 small carrot, grated
- ¼ small zucchini, peeled and grated (I used a little more, maybe ½ small zucchini)
- pinch of salt
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of ground cloves
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar or maple syrup or agave nectar
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- I also added 1 tsp. of pure vanilla extract.
The night before:
Oil the crock of your slow cooker. Combine all of the ingredients, except pecans, in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
In the morning:
Stir the oatmeal, taste and adjust the seasonings, and add more milk, if needed. Top with chopped pecans.
Source: 86 Lemons
- 2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 375°.
Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine the milk, applesauce, butter, and egg. Add milk mixture to oat mixture; stir well. Pour oat mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Serve warm.
Slow Cooker Overnight Quinoa & Oats
- 1 and 1/2 cups steel cut oats (no substitutes)
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 4 and 1/2 cups water, or almond milk
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Optional: 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, fresh berries, splash of milk, additional sugar for topping
- Spray your slow cooker with non-stick spray. (Do not forget this step!)
- In a mesh strainer, rinse out the quinoa really well.
- Combine the steel cut outs, rinsed quinoa, water or almond milk, brown sugar, maple syrup, salt, vanilla extract, and cinnamon (if desired) into the slow cooker.
- Stir really well and then set your slow cooker to low or, if you have a programmable slow cooker, set it to when you will wake up.
- This meal is ideal at 6-7 hours (best at 6 hours if you have a fast crockpot) and after that it becomes mushy and not so great.
- If you sleep 6-7 hours then turn it on low right before going to sleep or set the program to start preferably 6 hours before waking up.
- Once you wake up, immediately turn it off the heat and transfer to another dish or to breakfast bowls.
- Serve with a splash of milk, fresh berries, and additional brown sugar if desired.
If you leave the mixture in the slow cooker for longer than indicated after being cooked, have an excessively fast cooking slow cooker (haha!), or cook it for longer than indicated your results will be most likely mushy and perhaps even burn along the edges.
Source: Chelsea Messy Apron
To your health!