14 March 2011

oatmeal for oatmeal haters

I will confess that ever since we finished the kitchen, we still haven't gotten around to cooking a real meal in it (maybe it's because I'm too busy when I'm in there just staring at things and sighing to myself... have I mentioned that I love It??? or maybe it's that I'm hesitant to get all that pretty stuff messy), but I swear we're gonna get back on the stick soon.

In the meantime, here's my favorite breakfast recently, and I say this as someone who is generally not a fan of oatmeal. Too gummy, not enough flavor... generally I find it kind of blech. But not this version...

I start with the basics in the saucepan over medium -- 1 part oatmeal to ~1.5-2 parts water. I generally use rolled oats, but you could definitely go steel cut if you like the chewier version. Let the oats soften for a minute or two, and then come the delicious, healthy add-ins:

Shredded or flaked coconut -- you can buy it unsweetened at Whole Foods and other natural foods stores, and maybe even the occasional megamart. Sweetened coconut, though delicious on a cake, isn't what you want at breakfast time. I toss in several generous pinches early in the cooking, so that it can soften along with the oats.

I like a splash of unsweetened coconut milk too, for creaminess. Trust me... the coconut flavor is still really mild.

A drizzle of walnut oil. Walnut oil is super heart-healthy, it has a light nutty flavor that I'm moderately obsessed with these days, and just that little added fat makes the oatmeal so much more filling... I might even be able to go a whole two hours without a snack after eating this!

Let it all cook together another minute or so, maybe add a dash of cinnamon (which has been shown to help regulate blood sugar -- great for me!), and you have yourself a wholesome, old-timey, but still totally healthy breakfast. Perfect for a chilly morning.

How do you like to start your day? Are you a big breakfast person? A light breakfast eater? A non-breakfast eater? Please share!

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  1. I love oatmeal! If you want to keep eating oatmeal into the warmer months, try overnight oats. Mix equal amts of oats, milk (any kind) and yogurt before bed. In the am add the coconut and other mix-ins, so good!

  2. i just can't get behind oatmeal. but i DO love breakfast. lately, i've been doing greek yogurt with strawberries and kashi go lean crunch, which holds me for a while. other times, i'll go savory and eat eggs and bacon. but my all-time favorite is french toast! yum.

    that coconut milk looks so delicious. i've been obsessed with all things coconut lately.

  3. I love oatmeal, too! And your version looks super yummy! I usually add the tiniest pinch of salt, which I think gives the oatmeal more flavor (just like if you're making homemade granola - you've got to add some salt).

    I stopped having soy milk and since no other milk alternative is available in India (no almond, coconut, nothing. not even goat), I've stopped having oatmeal or cereal for breakfast. :(

    Lately I've been having toast topped with a mixture of honey and tahini. The proportions are up to you, but 1:1 works. When you mix them together, it becomes super thick. Or if you are lazy, you don't even need to pre-mix; just spread the honey on your toast, then drizzle the tahini over top. Try it, it is soooooo yummy and healthy and filling.

    Or I top toast with a bit of nutella and sliced bananas, and then sprinkle LIBERALLY with cinnamon. You're so right about cinnamon - and also 1 tsp of cinnamon has as many antioxidants as 1/2 cup of blueberries (or thereabouts).

  4. We are BIG Oatmeal fans here. Love this idea. Coconut and Coconut milk....Brilliant! You know I never even knew about Walnut Oil. What else do you use that for? Oh I can't wait to try this!

  5. @Sally -- Lately I use walnut oil for almost everything! My favorite is in brownies, so it has a slightly nutty flavor but without the actual nuts... really just adds some richness. But I also saute veggies in it, and it brings a slightly toasty flavor. It's great in salad dressing, in quinoa (a staple for me), on pasta... I love it. It can handle a fair amount of heat, so it's really versatile, and very heart-healthy. A little tip... I've found it heavily marked down at TJ Maxx and Home Goods, which is good because it can otherwise be a little pricey. :-)


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