Tag Archives: oatmeal

Get Crazy Here

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This, my friends, is a working girl’s breakfast. A breakfast of champions of the work place, lovingly prepared with my own two hands while speeding out the door in the morning.

If I’m smart and together, I’ll prepare it the night before and put it next to my purse so I don’t forget it. If I’m REALLY together I’ll make a few for the week and keep them in my desk. But the nice thing is that it can be thrown together so fast in the morning that if I forget the night before it only takes a second.

This is a humble instant oatmeal packet, in a homemade dress (or zip-top bag, if you so choose, but mine sounds more romantic). It means that I have a healthy, warm breakfast for a chilly fall morning without succumbing to the siren song of the vending machine or running out for an expensive snack or a cheap donut.

The idea here is a simple one: taking the instant oats packet and removing the extra crud that doesn’t need to be in it (I don’t care if my sugar clumps, I’d rather not eat the anti-clumping agent, thankyouverymuch). I eat a lot of overnight oats in the summer, but in the fall and winter I want something warm with my coffee. And you can’t beat the price: my little packs cost less than $0.20 each, and I reuse my ziptop baggies (recycling!).

The basics are this:

1/3 c. instant oats

A pinch of salt

1/2 to 1 T. brown sugar (or your choice of sweetener)

¼ t. cinnamon OR pumpkin pie spice OR apple pie spice

2 T. chopped dried apples, OR chopped dried apricots, OR raisins (optional)

You can swap out regular sugar or coconut sugar or turbinado sugar or whatever for the brown sugar. You can also leave it out and keep a small bottle of maple syrup or agave syrup in your drawer. I like the controlled aspect of the measured sugar here – if I drizzle syrup on top of my oatmeal the likelihood I’ll add more than I should is really high, and defeats the purpose of a healthy, whole grain breakfast. This is your choice, of course. If your willpower and drizzling skills are more honed than mine then this might be a good option.

The spices, too, are up to you. Clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, get crazy. You could do some chopped up dried apple with rosemary if you’d like, or dried apricots with some sage, whatever sounds tasty in your head. Raisins and clove? Orange zest and lavender? Get some, get crazy here. It’ll make your coworkers jealous, I tell you. The yummy smells wafting from your cube will drive them nuts.

Breakfast is Served

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Good Morning, and Happy Friday to you all! Are you ready for the weekend? Do you have any big plans? I think we’re just going to lay low and relax again ~ most everyone we  know is busy, so we are going to enjoy the fact that we aren’t!

And what better way to fuel a weekend than to start with breakfast. We aren’t big Every Day Breakfast people around our house; in fact the only one of us that eats his breakfast almost every day is the cat, and lately even he has been off of the idea. Nick and I are coffee with coffee people in the morning, rarely taking in more than that. One of us might muster the gumption to fry an egg every now and again, but only on the weekends. It’s such a bad habit to not eat breakfast, but neither of us wakes up hungry. He goes to work, I go about my day, and the next thing we know, lunch is upon us and our tummies are rumbling.

I’m trying to get myself to eat breakfast, as I have found that I’m less hungry later in the day when I do, thus preventing me from mowing an extra helping of dinner down. I could just eat yogurt and berries and granola, or even just yogurt and berries, but I get tired of it. Even with the endless combination of fruits and nuts and whathaveyou that you can stir in to yogurt, it just gets old. I do eat toast every now and again, but meh. We don’t have a real toaster and sometimes I don’t want to turn on the oven just to toast a slice of bread (note to self: buy toaster). And I do love oatmeal, but with the weather as hot as it has been, the last thing I want to start my day with is something hot.

Lately, I’ve taken the Swiss approach and made my oatmeal the night before (the Swiss call this Museli). There’s no cooking, and the ingredients you can add are endless. Thinking beyond the canister I searched around the internet and found this blog, which is written by the cutest little gal and is chock full of yummy vegetarian things. I’m nto a vegetarian, but for breakfast, it’s something I can get behind.

One of her overnight oats recipes floored me. Chocolate. Oatmeal. No way. For breakfast? What could me more indulgent for breakfast than ChOcOlAtE?! I was hooked. I was also down a couple of ingredients for her version, and wanted a couple bites more than what hers prepared (as I am a bigger girl, I wanted a bigger brekkie. Can you blame me?) And so, Raspberry Chocolate Smash was born.

You can make a couple of these at a time, so you have breakfast for a few days made in one short assembly line. I love my vintage Pyrex fridge dishes for this application, but  if I didn’t have them this would SO be one of those Food In Jars projects. And who doesn’t love eating things out of mason jars these days? It’s almost as fun as food on a stick.

Raspberry Chocolate Smash
Makes 1, multiply by the number of jars you’re assembling

1/3 c. old fashioned oats (you can use Instant, too, I haven’t found a huge difference in texture, but the old fashioned are more hearty. Don’t use steel cut!)
1/3 c. milk (what ever fat level you’re comfortable with, or almond, soy, coconut, etc.)
1 1/2 t. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t. chia seeds (optional, I had some laying around so I tossed them in. They add great mouth feel.)
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. maple syrup or honey
1/4 t. cinnamon
6-8 raspberries

Combine oats through cinnamon, stirring until well mixed. Gently stir in raspberries. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Stir just before eating.