August 16, 2011 at 6:00 am
When I think of really filling breakfasts that help the kiddos and me make it through the morning until lunchtime, I think of oatmeal.
We tend to eat oatmeal starting in the fall all the way through springtime, and it is kind of becoming a tradition here to eat oatmeal for breakfast again when school starts.
To make it easier and faster, we make oatmeal two ways.
The first, I wrote about this time last year: it is do-it-yourself oatmeal packs. By combining quick-cooking oats and healthy ingredients, you can make lots of tasty flavor combinations that are ready in just a few minutes. My kids love this idea, because they can personalize their oatmeal. Note: Since I wrote about this last year, we have started making each “pack” in a glass container with a top. In the morning we can just add boiling water and stir.
Another technique we use it to start oatmeal the night before. Lots of “recipes” exist for this, but many require yogurt and kefir, which doesn’t work well for all members of our family.
Instead, we boil 1 1/2 cups of whole oats in 6 cups of water for 1 minute. We then turn off the heat and cover and let the mix sit overnight. In the morning, we warm it up (sometimes we need to add just a little extra water).
To each serving we add a sweetener like maple syrup, agave or honey, and extras like:
- cinnamon, nutmeg or other spices
- a pinch of vanilla sugar
- dried fruit like blueberries, cherries, apricots or pineapple
- sliced or chopped nuts or seeds
- fresh fruit like chopped apples or blueberries or a little mashed banana
- milk or milk substitutes like almond milk
Oatmeal is such a warm and healthy way to start the day. If you or your kids have access to hot water at work or school, you can take an oatmeal pack to go too in your reusable lunch bag.
Don’t forget to sign up for this week’s give-away for a free lunch bag here!