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A Tribute to Oatmeal
This past Monday marked National Oatmeal day, and what’s a better way to celebrate than a warm bowl of oats in the morning? Growing up I’d have instant oatmeal in the car ride to school. My mom wasn’t a huge fan of oatmeal, or so she thought, and the microwave type is quick and easy for kiddos who know how to use a microwave to prepare. I’m not knocking the instant oats, but until I tried the real thing, I didn’t know what I was missing -- and neither did my mom.
After making a homemade oats recipe for her, she turned into an oatmeal eater, and now requests it when she comes over to my house. It’s not like it takes a while to make homemade oatmeal; from start to finish it's less than 10 minutes (unless you are using steel cut oats), but that extra few minutes of love makes a big flavor difference.
I like having oatmeal on a chilly fall day, especially with seasonal flavors of pumpkin spice or caramel apple. Talk about comfort food! But oatmeal is more than satisfying; it’s also good for your heart too. The soluble fiber in the oatmeal not only keeps you fuller for longer, but it helps to lower cholesterol, so it’s a win-win.
My bowl of oats depends on my mood. It can be made sweet or savory, hot or cold, crunchy or creamy. I love its personality. My boys would rather stick to the traditional variety with a sprinkle of brown sugar, whereas I enjoy a little spice. Here are my favorite toppings and mix-ins that keeps me coming back to a bowl of oats each morning.
Favorite Toppings and Mix-ins
- Dried apples and raisins
- Nuts- walnuts, pecans, pistachios, and sliced almonds
- Pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and flax seed
- Unsweetened flaked coconut
- A spoonful of peanut butter
- Fresh fruit- blueberries, strawberries, mango, pomegranate seeds
- Dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs
- Spices- cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract
- Milk- vanilla almond milk, soy milk, or skim milk
- Fruit/veggie purees- bananas, sweet potato, applesauce, pumpkin, butternut squash
How do you like your oats?