National Oatmeal Month
Posted by Natalie Simone
The local weather team is claiming an “arctic chill” is coming through our part of the country. How perfect considering it is National Oatmeal Month!
Now, an oatmeal month can meal a lot of things. Let’s talk about all the ways we can eat oatmeal and get in some healthy grains.
Oatmeal in a bowl – everyone has different preferences when it comes to making their morning bowl of oatmeal. Some like to use the little packets pre-mixed with ingredients and flavorings and other like to know exactly what is going in their bowl of oatmeal. So let’s stick with the philosophy of the latter. We want to know what is in our bowl. But when there is a time crunch … having a pre-made, ready to go breakfast certainly won’t harm you!
When making my own bowl of oatmeal I still stick with instant whole grain oats because of time. Here are the three types of bowl oatmeal flavors that come to my mind:
- Sweet Oatmeal – For breakfast I’m a sweet lover. Unless it’s something where I’ve been up for a bit I just can’t get off wanting a sweet breakfast. Some classic oatmeal add ins are cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar. Sugar is where your healthy bowl of oatmeal can turn into a sugar/calorie laden bowl. I often sub the brown sugar for some stevia and maple syrup or whatever sweetener you have on hand. The maple syrup or honey helps give you that brown sugar molasses flavoring and of course the stevia gives the extra kick of sweet. Always top your oatmeal with fresh fruit – blueberries, strawberries, bananas, raspberries, cranberries etc. try to opt for what’s in season. And for a different flavor profile cook your fruit in with the oatmeal. This will change the texture and flavor of your fruit too.
- Savory Oatmeal – This is a new concept for me as a foodie! Thanks to the inspiration of Giada de Laurentiis I’ve been incorporating some savory oatmeal breakfasts into my life. A good first start is her oatmeal with olive oil and oranges. Another Giada recommendation from her book, Giada’s Feel Good Food, is to mix in ½ teaspoon of sea salt, the zest of ½ a lemon (or more to taste), 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, 4 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil in with your bowl of old-fashioned rolled oats.
- Craze of Overnight Oats – Another foodie craze that I’m new to is this overnight oatmeal idea. You can find tons of recipe ideas with a quick google search but check out Quaker overnight oats. They use chia seeds (which many do) and this is another healthful boost to your morning bowl. The overnight oat recipes I’ve found often are made in a mason jar, making it the perfect grab and go breakfast for a busy morning.