Mar 28, 2016

Breakfast oatmeal shortcuts!

I've been eating oatmeal almost everyday for the last 5 years.  I've tried every method of preparing them - instant, rolled, steel cut, multigrain, baked, overnight, slow cooker. Oats are nutritious and filling and make a great first food for the day. Today, I wanted to share three of the easiest ways to enjoy oatmeal!

The first method that I still enjoy from time to time is instant oats! These are just really thinly sliced rolled oats. I love that they are so easy to make. I wake up hungry, so it's the simplest thing to just  microwave a packet of instant oats and gobble it up. While Quaker has a ton of different flavors and options, they all have plenty of added sugar and salt. That's when I found the McCann's quick cooking Irish oatmeal. These are plain, so you can add toppings to your preference. I add milk to the oats instead of water and microwave it for three minutes. Add in fruits and nuts/seeds that you like and your breakfast is ready! I always add sliced almonds or walnuts, chia seeds and hemp seeds. I vary the fruit by season - apple and cinnamon, banana and peanut butter, peaches, berries, mangoes! The options are endless!

These days though, my go to recipe is inspired by this new discovery! Quaker quick cook steel cut oats. While I like rolled oats, I feel like they are mushy and tend to get a bit gummy. Steel cut oats have this beautiful texture that makes it creamy and very porridge-y! I know the pack says 3 minutes but I cook for 7-8 minutes for a good texture that's also suitable for a baby. I throw in 1/3 cups oats and one cup water in a saucepan, set the timer. I dice an apple and add it in so it can cook. I stir once in a while to prevent the oats from sticking to the bottom. At the end of 8 minutes, porridge is ready! Spoon into bowls, add yogurt to baby's bowl, milk, nuts, chia and hemp with a dash of maple syrup to my bowl and breakfast's ready! Again, you can add any fruit you like in here. Just prepare with water if you're making this for a baby!

My last method is the most useful if you're making this for multiple people - in a slow cooker! Though my slow cooker is only 3.5q, it still makes too much for just me. I tried to freeze leftovers but that resulted in a weird texture. Now that my in laws are here, I make a cup and a half of steel cut regular oatmeal with 5 cups of water in a slow cooker. I cook it on low for about 7 hours. I add in only fruit because I also want to give this to the baby. But once I've removed her portion, I can add in milk, nuts and seeds and syrup and make it suitable for the adults.

I have the 3.5 quart Cuisinart.

I prefer steel cut oatmeal, so I'm not going to try overnight and baked oatmeal anymore. But if you're a fan of rolled oats, those are methods that you can try! I hope you found this post useful and it can make your mornings a little more fun. Now that I have these methods down to a routine, of course, my baby decided that she hates oatmeal, haha. So I'm going to hunt for something else that she likes and I'll share it when I find it. If you have any tips for baby breakfast recipes, please share in the comments. 

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