Breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day. I am a big fan of steel cut oats, richer, thicker oatmeal with a slightly nutty flavor and chewy texture. A good breakfast is all about comfort and staying power. Even on a hot Florida morning I still enjoy my hearty bowl of warm steel cut oats. I will let you in on how wonderful this breakfast is by sharing all the different ways you can satisfy your taste buds. And I also explain how easy steel cut oats are to prepare.
This breakfast is so nutrient rich and it is totally plant based. The nuts, seeds and whole grain oats provide the bulk of protein and fat, which fills me up. The fruit adds that juicy sweet flavor. I think of oatmeal as a substrate for healthy, beneficial and delicious toppings. Oatmeal is a good source of fiber, nutritious, and it fills me up. To think I hated oatmeal as a kid, which was like wallpaper paste, kind of runny, very little flavor and even spooning lots of sugar on it didn’t get me hooked. Sorry Mom, I wish you would have known about all the goodies to add to entice me to eat oatmeal.
Since this is a substantial breakfast I start with a big enough bowl to hold everything; the equivalent of a soup bowl. Start by filling the bowl with 1 cup of cooked oats, then add 1 ounce of hemp seed and ½ ounce of ground flaxseed. I have several delicious variations that I enjoy:
- Diced cooked apple, 1 oz. walnut, ½ Tbsp. maple syrup, a sprinkle of ground cinnamon
- ½ to 1 cup fresh blueberries, 1 oz. pecans, ½ Tbsp. agave
- Sliced banana, 1 oz. slivered almonds, sprinkle of cinnamon, no sweetener because the bananas sweeten it
- Sliced fresh strawberries, 1 oz. pecans, ½ Tbsp. honey
- Sliced fresh peach, 1 oz. slivered almonds, ½ Tbsp. honey
Marty is always looking for ways to add in more protein so he might add chia seeds, a scoop of whey protein powder, 2 tablespoons of almond butter or a mash up hard-boiled egg. He also tends to like mashed bananas plus one other fruit, usually berries.
So the essential are fresh fruit, nuts, seeds and sweetener if needed. Sometimes the fruit is so sweet there no need to add any extra sugar. Depending on what fruit is in season will determine what I mix in. I live right near Plant City, Florida, which is the winter strawberry capitol of the world. We get the best local strawberries from January through March. I use frozen wild blueberries when fresh is out of season they are just as nutritious as the fresh ones and as tasty although I do miss the slight crunch of fresh berries. Sadly berries are in the dirty dozen so when possible use organic.
Steel cut oats is a staple item in our pantry. We keep a large airtight container of dry coarsely cut organic steel cut oats, also known as oat groats, purchased from the bulk bins at the natural food store. Now for those days that I didn’t plan ahead and I am out of ready-made steel cut oats I can easily substitute. My local grocer sells their own store brand 100% organic old-fashioned oats that can be cooked in the microwave in 5 minutes. I keep a package on hand. The texture is different, not as dense and chewy. But it works in a pinch.
We stopped using instant oats years ago because there were just too much added sugars and salts. Who needs the artificial flavors? Plus the added “caramel color” is a potential carcinogen and has nothing to do with caramel. And the dried fruit like bits they added were just not appealing. Compare the labels and you will see that there is no sodium in steel cut and old-fashioned oats unlike the instant oats. The little extra time spent on prepping is worth it to our health, and ultimately means less time in the doctor’s office further down the road. Pay it now or pay it later, it’s your choice. Here’s to a hearty healthy breakfast!
- Start each day with a nutrient rich and fiber filled breakfast by including whole grains, nuts, seeds and fruit.
- Avoid artificial flavors, caramel color, added sugar and salt which is prevalent in instant oatmeals.
- Prepare a big pot the night before so you can easily reheat then pack up the leftovers in single serving containers.
Have you tried steel cut oats? What's your favorite ingredients to add?