Vitamin Mom Blog

Natural Nutrition for your family

Make-Ahead, No-Cook Oatmeal

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I love breakfast.  Breakfast gets me out of bed in the morning.  The alarm goes off, and I desperately want to stay curled in my warm, cozy comforter.  But as I am lying in bed, trying to rationalize a few more minutes of sleep, I remember that if I get up, I get to eat breakfast!

My eagerness to eat breakfast is partly because I usually workout at night, after my kids are in bed.  So by morning, my body is craving calories and nutrients.  But it’s mostly just because I love everything about breakfast.  If I get up before my kids, it’s probably my only quiet, peaceful meal of the day, and it’s like starting the day with a blank nutritional-slate!  Here are 3 good reasons to love breakfast:

  1. It’s my first meal today.  I haven’t had eaten any junk (yet) today to feel guilty about.
  2. I’ve got 16 hours of activity ahead of me today.  I’m quite certain whatever carbs/calories I consume right now will get burned off before I go to bed tonight.
  3. If I have a healthy breakfast, I get to tick-off some items from my nutritional “must-have” list for the day.  It takes some pressure off of me to get my healthy essentials in today.

One of my favorite breakfasts is this Make-Ahead, No-Cook Oatmeal.  I got the inspiration from a post I found for Refrigerator Oatmeal and I continue to modify it, depending on what is in season, on sale or looks good.  My version includes a handful of nature’s best ingredients, is vegan and free of gluten, dairy and soy.

  • Quick-Oats (see this pin for nutritional benefits of oats).  I use organic, gluten free quick-oats when I can find them, but have used conventional grocery-store brand quick-oats too.
  • Raw Fruit.  Sometimes I use fresh, sometimes I use frozen.  It depends on my inspiration, cravings and what looks good at the market that week.  In the photo above, I used fresh strawberries and blueberries because they are in season and on sale.  Below, I used blackberries and nectarines.  The sky is the limit on fruit combos!
  • Almonds.  Super food, super crunchy and super delicious!  Feel free to omit if you’re allergic or averse to nuts.
  • Chia seed.  Another Super Food.  I love chia and put it in as much as I can.  Chia deserves it’s own post someday soon.  There may eventually be an entire section of this blog devoted to chia.
  • Almond Milk.  Any liquid will do, really.  I just love the taste and texture of Almond Milk, and am trying to cut down on dairy.  Feel free to substitute skim, soy, coconut, or even water.
  • Cinnamon.  A warm and comforting spice, perfect for cool mornings.  Plus it has multiple health benefits, such as helping to control blood sugar.  As the child of 2 diabetic parents, I’m always conscious of blood sugar.
  • Optional:  Sweetener.  When I first started making this last year, I’d add a little somethin’-somethin’ to sweeten it up.  Usually a 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of xylitol (a great natural sugar substitute) and/or honey.  I’ve since cut out the sweetener, as my sweet tooth has calmed down and I am trying to use just ripe, sweet fruit instead.  Have fun experimenting with agave, honey or stevia.  My advice is to hold back on the sweetener when you’re putting it together.  When it’s time to eat, you can always add more to your taste.

That’s it!  Here’s how I made oatmeal this week:

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I measured 1/2 cup of quick oats into a container with a lid.  I often use a mason jar for this, like in the picture at the top of this post, but I didn’t have any clean ones on hand tonight.  Next I added about 1 heaping Tablespoon of sliced almonds, 1/2 Tablespoon of chia seed and two dashes of cinnamon.

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Next was fruit.  Today, I had some plump and ripe blackberries and an almost-overripe nectarine.  These blackberries were really fatties, so I only used three and gave them a rough chop.  If they were smaller, I would have used more and just thrown them in whole.  I also peeled one quarter of a big, fat, juicy nectarine and gave that a rough chop.

In the photo at the top of this post, I had used whole, fresh blueberries and chopped strawberries.

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This is what it looks like with the fruit thrown on top.  I love summer fruit!

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Next, I poured in about 1/2 cup of almond milk.  Don’t you just love the gorgeous color the milk turns from the blackberries?

Again, you can use any liquid here, just keep it tasty and healthy.  I actually measure in 1/2 cup and then add another splash.  I don’t know how to describe that in measurements, but I like my oatmeal a bit thinner.  If you like thicker oatmeal, then 1/2 cup of milk will probably do just fine.

Done! I just snapped on the cover and put it in the fridge.  While you sleep, the oats soften and the whole concoction  thickens as the milk gets soaked up by the oats and chia seed.

The next morning, I unsnap the lid, and pop it into the microwave for about 1.5 minutes to warm it up.  You could eat it cold if you want – it doesn’t need to be be cooked.  I personally love the feel and taste of warm oatmeal.  Give it a good stir and enjoy!  It’s warm, comforting, filling and to me, the perfect start to the day!

Do you start the day with hot cereal?  I’d love to hear your combinations for the perfect porridge.

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This entry was posted on August 13, 2013 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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