Yes yes, I know… jet another guy who reinvents oatmeal for breakfast… My question is: have you tried preparing oatmeal in the morning rush? Me myself too used to be skeptical about eating oatmeal, but I gave it a try and after several attempts I have developed a mixture that works for me really well and the way of preparing it that does not take too much of my precious morning time … and no, it does not resemble in any way that awful thing than some of us can remember from early childhood.
So, why should you even bother to change your morning routine to something like that? Well, we have January, the month of New Year’s resolutions, the time of great changes, and I do believe that the longest lasting changes are being made in small cautious steps, so if you are one of many runners who thinks about eating better to increase performance, changing your breakfast habits is the best first step you can possibly take. It takes our organisms about three weeks to adjust to about anything, so give it a try and see how you feel after those three weeks – I bet you will not want to go back to your old breakfast and if you have even a tiny bit of creativity, you can make oatmeal a base of your breakfasts for a really long time without getting bored with it.
How to do it? I promised it to be fast and easy, but in order to keep this promise, some preparations should be done earlier. By that I mean ingredients. I hate putting up with paper or plastic bags in the morning. In my case everything is falling from my hands and it gets pretty messy in my kitchen. That is why I advice to put all ingredients into separate jars – believe me – it will make your life a lot easier.
Here is my set of flakes seeds and nuts that I use (almonds, mountain oatmeal, dried cranberries, raisins, sunflower seeds, wheat bran and walnuts). Additionally, on the top there are also: dried coconut and cocoa powder that I add from time to time.
Being a lazy guy, I never bothered to weigh and properly check the amount of all of the things I put inside my bowl and I always used tablespoons as my measure units, but for the purpose of this post I did the weighing and the math which I will share with you in the next few lines – but for the purpose of preparation I just use tablespoons: six full tablespoons of oatmeal and one tablespoon of each of everything else. So, your first step is … turning your electric kettle on to boil some water. Once you did this – start putting your mixture into the bowl.
The next step is spicing. I just use cinnamon. I used to add a mixture of gingerbread spices or hot wine spices, which were basically a mixture of cinnamon, cardamon, clove, coriander, ginger and few more depending on the brand, but I find cinnamon more universal and my favorite of all.
Now, we move to the most difficult part of the whole cooking process, but in the same time the one that will blow your taste buds away.
Yes, you need to zest a lemon (just a bit) – just don’t forget to scrub the lemon first with a fresh washing-up cloth to make sure you don’t add to much chemicals to your bowl 😉 I don’t have a proper zester, but I my little grater works great too.
You can see on the picture above the amount of lemon peel I use, but it is up to you to pick your amount of lemon flavor. Once you are done with the lemon, you just need to mix everything up with your spoon and even-up the surface of your oatmeal.
If you have not forgotten to turn your kettle on before staring getting everything into the bowl, then your water should be ready by the time you are – this process takes me around three minutes altogether. Now you need to pour the hot water into the bowl approximately to the level of your ingredients. I just watch the water when it starts to show on the sides of the bowl. When I see it, I stop pouring and that gives me the consistency I like the most. In most of recipes you are told to boil the oatmeal in a pot for few minutes, but pouring the water over it is enough to make is soft and ready to eat. You will feel more texture, but for me it is rather an advantage. In addition, I believe that in most cases, the less you process your food the better it is for you.
You can also put cold water into the bowl and microwave it for one minute, then stir and microwave for another 30s. You will get similar results, but I really don’t see the point of using microwave when you can just boil the water in an electric kettle.
When you are done with water, just leave the bowl for three to five minutes and it is ready for anything you want to add as a final touch.
When you are in the hurry, you can have your oatmeal like this – it is wonderful, but if you are willing to spend additional two minutes, you can add some fruits or yogurt, which will add some vitamins, or more carbohydrates and protein, depending on your needs and preferences. As my daughter usually leaves some of the fruits that my wife prepares for her the previous evening, I usually have a nice mixture of fruits ready to put into my bowl and if I am not lucky, I just put in a peach or some frozen cherries, …and if I am lazy or out of time, I put a tablespoon of jarred apples or cherry jam. Everything goes 🙂 This is the part when you can choose your favourite fruits or juices and have your breakfast differently each day of the week.
This time I went with canned peaches – one of my favorites fruits for my oatmeal.
As you can see, by the time I took them out of the can, the water in the bowl was already gone.
Now just put the peaches into the bowl and it looks like this. Don’t tell me you didn’t get hungry now 🙂
OK, now it is time for some nutritional facts:
Of course it depends on what kind and amount of ingredients you buy and add, but my set is:
50g of oatmeal, 10g each of everything else, 120g of peaches.
The nutritional value is approximately:
If you don’t like the idea of eating 20 grams of fats for breakfast (which I think for me is quite all right – as those are good unprocessed fats) you can get rid of walnuts (60grams of fat in 100grams) almonds (52grams of fat in 100grams) or sunflower seeds (43grams of fat in 100grams). If you add yogurt or more oatmeal or bran you will end up with high protein/carbohydrate and low fat meal, but I wouldn’t recommend getting crazy about perfect proportion of nutritional values – just go with the best taste you can get and general proportions – this is how you will keep on preparing it and profiting from everything it has to offer. Just to mention: vitamins: (especially B, E, C), microelements (potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium) and macroelements (in good proportions to have a kickstart for the whole day). Last but not least 14grams of fiber causes that I don’t think about eating for the next five hours and that is something in my case as I am always hungry.
That’s it from me for today – just give it a try and you will love it. Even my four year old daughter likes it, and that is the best proof of deliciousness.