Oatmeal is my all-time favorite. Growing up, my dad would make big batches with brown sugar and cinnamon before weekend soccer games and I would load my bowl with even more brown sugar and bananas--keeping me full and energized throughout my entire soccer game. As I have learned more and more about nutrition and grown my cooking abilities, my simple bowl of oatmeal has transformed into so many tasty variations--sweet, savory, salty, crunchy, sticky, warm, cold, etc. etc. My dad and I now call each other each time we find a new great oatmeal combination for the other to try. And before you tell me that you hate oatmeal for some silly reason like the texture or it's too bland, hear me out and stop eating the instant kind from the packet--that stuff does have bad texture and IS bland but I will assure you mine is not.
***There are four different types of oatmeal: steel-cut, rolled, quick and instant. They all start out the same, the only difference is how they are processed and how they hold up during cooking--making some more ideal for certain things. I, personally, like steel-cut the best (and they are the least processed) if I'm just eating a bowl of oatmeal, they have more of a chewy/crunchy texture and aren't as mushy. Rolled oats are flatter and flaky and are great for muffins, granola bars and cookies. They absorb more water and cook in about 5 minutes on the stovetop (I will cook them in the microwave if I'm short on time and this way they maintain some of their texture.) Quick oats cook in about one minute and can be microwaved with a similar texture to rolled. Instant oats come in packets and are primarily cooked in the microwave (and are the main reason some of you hate oatmeal!!!) To cut down on prep time for steel-cut oats I will prepare 4 servings at the beginning of the week and let it set in the fridge in a container and then cut 4 equal portions. Then all I have to do is pop the square into the microwave when I'm ready to eat it and put all my toppings on!
***Oatmeal provides so many great health benefits including fiber, B vitamins and they are a great whole-grain source. They are also slow digesting so they won't cause a sugar crash helping you to stay fuller longer. It is one of my favorite pre or post workout meals and I could eat it for every meal in between!
Here are some of my favorite oatmeal recipes:
Steel-cut vanilla protein oatmeal with fruit
1 serving steel-cut oats cooked in water, milk, or almond milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
Sweetener of choice (I use stevia but you could also use maple syrup, agave, honey, Splenda, brown sugar, etc.)
Any fruit (I like berries the best!)
Steel-cut savory oats with dippy eggs
Hear me out on this one! I was a little hesitant at first as well but this one has ultimately changed my perspective on oatmeal forever! I used to ride the sweet oatmeal train but after I went savory I never went back.
1 serving steel-cut oats cooked in water
Salt and pepper oats to taste
2 dippy eggs (over-easy) could cook the eggs however you like but the yolk adds so much moisture. If you like dipping toast in the yolk you'll love this!
I often upgrade my savory oats as well
Same ingredients as above plus:
Any sautéed veggies you like (spinach, onions, zucchini, peppers are my go-to)
Cheese (I use 1 low-fat Baby Bell)
Any type of meat (sausage, bacon, ground-turkey, ground beef)
Old-fashioned overnight oats
I often make these with an almost empty jar of peanut butter (about 2 tbsp. left in the jar) you could also make them in a mason jar or container with a lid
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup of milk or almond milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (if your protein powder isn't sweet enough, or you just like super sweet stuff like me add a little bit of extra sweetener of choice)
1 tbsp. chia seeds
Fruit of choice (as much as you like)
Put all ingredients in the jar and shake, shake, shake. They turn out best the longer your refrigerate them (I typically keep them in the fridge for 12+ hours)
Baked oatmeal egg muffins (recipe for 12 muffins)
cheese of any kind
chopped veggies (I use peppers, onions, spinach, and zucchini)
1 1/4 cup quick or rolled oats
Salt, pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crack all 12 eggs in a bowl, add seasoning and whisk. Pour equal amounts of egg mixture in muffin tins (grease tin if you're not using a non-stick pan). Next, put equal amount of veggies into each tin and then sprinkle oats on top pressing them lightly down into the egg mixture. Sprinkle cheese on top and place in the oven for about 10-15 minutes.
I make pancakes all of the time! I mean who doesn't love a good pancake. And while there are plenty of good pancake recipes out there that use oats, these are simply just oatmeal in pancake form. A lot of the time staple foods in out diet (i.e. chicken, veggies, rice) get boring because we tend to cook them in the same way. Oatmeal is no different. By simply changing the texture or the cooking method the same foods can taste completely different.
Directions: Cook old-fashioned rolled oats on the stove-top in milk or water. Make sure they are a thicker consistency (most of the liquid needs to be absorbed) add sweetener of choice (I used brown sugar and cinnamon.) Grease skillet and drop pancake sized mounds of oatmeal when skillet is hot. Cook on both sides for about 3 minutes until slight crust forms. They will not completely hold their shape but they will come out with a completely different texture to traditional oatmeal.
***It is extremely hard to make oatmeal look aesthetically appealing, but let me tell you, what it lacks in looks it makes up for in taste!