Bye-Bye Boring Oatmeal! Tips To Make This Childhood Nightmare Your New Breakfast Favorite

3 Dec

ImageThe mention of oatmeal doesn’t exactly conjure up the most pleasant of childhood memories for most people. I had a mother whose idea of cooking consisted of opening a package, then burning or boiling the contents beyond recognition. So when it came to oatmeal, it was those packets that you add hot water to; which was better than when we ran out and she made rolled oats, which was scorched wallpaper paste without the sugar and salt to make it easier to choke down.

The first time I ate real oatmeal was shortly after high school, when I strapped on a backpack and headed overseas for the first time. The family in rural Ireland that took me in the night before, asked me in the morning if I wanted “porridge”. I had no idea what that was, but I always graciously accepted what anyone offered so as not to be rude. It was delicious! Turns out porridge is steel cut oatmeal. Believe me folks, there is world of difference; steel cut oats are chewy, nutty, very tasty, and firm instead of pasty and bland like rolled oats.

I know not everyone is in the same place when it comes to dietary needs and goals. People who are given viable options can always work toward healthier choices without being overwhelmed and quitting. The benefit to flavoring oatmeal yourself is that you control the amount of fat, sugar and salt.

Since most people don’t have time to cook in the morning, I suggest you cook a batch, portion it out, freeze and take out what you need the night before to defrost. You can even cook a batch overnight in your crockpot. Another way to save time is to have your combinations portioned and package ahead of time so you can just add them to your oatmeal in the morning.

To keep from getting bored, we need variety, but it’s not always easy to think up tasty combinations. An easy way is to think of combination in the follow terms:

  • Can you spread it on toast?
  • Can you stir it into or sprinkle it over yogurt?
  • Can you stir it into coffee?
  • Can you use it to top pancakes or ice cream?

Here’s variation of a theme to give you some great ideas:

  • 1 T apple butter + milk
  • Chopped apple + chopped walnuts + vanilla rice milk + drizzle of caramel ice cream topping
  • pat of butter + 2 T apple sauce + drizzle of sugar free butter pecan pancake syrup
  • Dried apples + raisins + fat free non-dairy hazelnut coffee creamer + Cinnamon + brown sugar
  • Cinnamon apples or apple pie filling + soy milk + 1 T almond butter

Now let’s talk about the health benefits. First of all, the less the oat is processed, the more nutritional value it will have. This is especially true when it comes to glycemic index; the more it is processed, the quicker it enters your blood stream, spikes your blood sugar then drops. Think of a whole oat as “time-released energy” that is absorbed slowly over a period of time, giving you sustained energy without being hyper then sleepy.

High In Soluble Fiber. Soluble fiber inhibits the body’s absorption of the bad cholesterol LDL. The fiber also attack carcinogens as well as lower levels of estrogen in the body and this can protect the body from the development of cancer. The fiber helps you lose weight by feeling fuller longer and controlling blood sugar so you eat less, and also cleans out all the poop stuck to your intestinal walls. Oatmeal contains a certain type of fiber called beta-gluten fiber, which helps immune cells fight bacterial infection.

Full of Antioxidants. Contains avenanthramide which fights off free radicals that attack good cholesterol  HDL and keeps LDL cholesterol from oxidizing copper, which reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. These antioxidants suppress the production of molecules that allow monocytes to adhere to the walls of the arteries causing hardening of the arteries and high blood pressure.

There is no limit to the creative combinations you can concoct. These combinations work great for brown rice too; I like mine with almond milk, nutmeg and cardamom. So as the temperature drops, treat yourself to something warm, filling, tasty and never ever boring!

Good news readers, you can now follow me on Facebook! Simply visit Real Penny Wise and click LIKE. Be sure to SHARE with your friends too.

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2 Responses to “Bye-Bye Boring Oatmeal! Tips To Make This Childhood Nightmare Your New Breakfast Favorite”

  1. mommasavesalot December 3, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    Do you have a good method you use for the crockpot that doesn’t leave it gross… I’ve been trying to find one! Love anything frugal! Great post!

    • realpennywise December 4, 2012 at 8:38 pm #

      I have not had a problem with that. Make sure you use plenty of water, a low setting, and a lid. Hope that helps and thanks for your comment!

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