|Left: Old fashioned rolled oats Right: Steel cut oats|
|Top: cinnamon Left: wheat germ Right: ground flax|
Keeping a couple staple items on hand at all times will ensure convenience and simplicity every morning:
Oats – Plain Old Fashioned or Steel Cut oats
Milk – Cow’s, Soy, Almond, Coconut, whatever you like (Using milk instead of water creates additional flavor, more nutrients and a creamier texture)
Vanilla – either whole vanilla bean or vanilla extract to add a nice flavor. Avoid the extracts with added sugar.
Cinnamon – A must for oatmeal!
Ground flax seed – This is optional, of course, but flax adds a great source of heart healthy Omega-3 fats and fiber. But don’t forget to grind your flax! Our bodies cannot absorb nearly as many nutrients from the whole seed itself.
Wheat germ – (optional) a great source of folic acid, selenium and zinc.
Now for the fun part! Add whatever fruit, nuts and nut butters you love and/or have on hand. Here are a couple of my favorite combinations:The possibilities are endless! Keep a look out on the Oatmeal Bar for new and tasty oatmeal ideas. Here's a taste of one...
- blueberries, walnuts
- kiwi, peaches and almond butter
- strawberries, bananas, sunflower seeds
- mixed berries, almonds
- canned pumpkin, pecans and pumpkin seeds
Willy Wonka Oats
Serves 1 happy belly
1/4 cup steel cut oats
3/4 cup soy milk
hearty dash of cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp ground flax seed
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
2 Tbsp chopped, fresh, young coconut (or shredded)
generous sprinkle pumpkin seeds
1-2 Tbsp shaved dark chocolate (optional - but it does go well with the willy wonka theme)
Combine all of the "basic oats" ingredients in a pot over medium high heat. When slightly bubbly, turn heat to medium and allow liquid to be absorbed until oatmeal is creamy, about 7-12 minutes. Pour into a bowl and throw on toppings. Enjoy.
*Steel cut oats take a tiny bit longer to cook, but are more hearty in texture and nuttier in flavor compared to rolled oats. They also have slightly more protein, fiber and iron.