One of the reasons I could never really follow a regimented paleo diet. I just love my oats way too much.
Besides that heavenly texture and their yummy taste,
I love my oaties because:
They help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. The soluble fiber in oats helps remove LDL (bad) cholesterol. Oatmeal is super satisfying thanks to that soluble fiber, which absorbs a considerable amount of water, in turn helping to slow the digestive process - keeping you fuller, longer. :) Oats contain a wide variety of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. There is also a bajillion ways to eat them.
Oatmeal should never, ever be boring or dull!
A lot of people don't understand my love of oatmeal. If I could eat it everyday, for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I would. I maybe even have ... But I'm always hearing the same, "Oatmeal is so dry." or "Oatmeal is so lumpy" or "I only know how to make it if it comes in a packet."
I think if you have to use this, that's alright! Look for an oatmeal low in sugar and without a lot of additives. If you're in a pinch for time and need something healthy, this is the way to go. There are plenty of mornings when I grabbed a packet of this and an apple for breakfast, and made it with hot water from the coffee pot at work.
But, if it's a kick-back kind of Sunday, like at our house ....
Get dirty with your oats!
I use instant or quick oats for my oatmeal. I prefer the texture over steel-cut. I also don't make my oats in a pot, I just pop them in the microwave. :) I don't like messing up the kitchen or extra pans any more than I have to. If I'm trying to cut calories, I simply mix my oats with water. If I'm feeling indulgent, I use Almond Breeze.
A serving of oatmeal is dry 1/2 cup. I keep a 1/2 measure inside my oatmeal canister so I never over-measure. I felt like Einstein when I adopted this habit.
I have no idea how much liquid I use ... I eyeball it, when the oats just start to float, that's about when I stop. I like mine a little more liquid, my husband likes his a little thicker. Remember, as the oatmeal sits, it will continue to absorb water and thicken. I take my mix of water and oatmeal, pop it into the microwave for 1 minute, stir, and if I need to, add a little more liquid, and cook for another 20-30 seconds.
Adding mix-ins before cooking is pretty fabtastic, too.
Adding things like dried fruits and nuts really brings out their flavor when they're cooked into the oats. At this time, I usually add dried cranberries, pecans, walnuts, or frozen fruits. Or all. This is also a good time to play with extracts, like lemon extract, vanilla, coconut, just go crazy. Don't forget spices! I love cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and nutmeg.
This particular morning, I added vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, chopped pecans and over-ripe bananas into the mix. These bananas were about to get tossed into the freezer (along with the other 900 I have in there to be used for banana bread) but they worked perfectly for oatmeal. Just chop them up and throw them in, they'll mix and break up after it cooks.
If you're worried about service (your bowl looking pretty) I made two servings in a tupperwear. After cooking it in the microwave, I portioned it out into two bowls.
I added some fun stuff to my bowl and some fun stuff to the mister's bowl.
My bowl is photographed there on the left, the bird-poop looking one. I'm quite fond of Sun Butter, which I first discovered on an airplane flying to Texas. It was served on Alaska Airlines in one of their picnic type lunches with crackers and such. I seriously died it was so good. Pay no mind that it looks like baby poop.
For the base we have banana pecan oatmeal. And like a sundae, I just continue to build.
Fage Greek Yogurt
Sugar Free Maple Syrup
drizzle of honey for the mister
If you're going to be adding lots of goodies, it's tastier to make the oatmeal a little thinner. Just a note to self for later. :)
And a side of fresh orange. (:
If you could have your favorite breakfast, what would it be?