Basics: Oatmeal

I'm back with the third part of my Basics: Breakfast

Oatmeal is a definite staple in my pantry. It is cheap, easy to make, healthy, and provides the perfect blank canvas to add your favorite toppings. I buy it in bulk at Costco and, once open, store it in the freezer for prolonged freshness. 

I used to think oatmeal was boring but once I realized how versatile it is, it has become my go-to breakfast. 

Let's talk nutrition for a second. 

A 1/2 cup of uncooked oatmeal provides you with 5 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. Since it's a whole grain (i.e. not stripped of all the nutrient-dense layers), it also provides you with B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and selenium. Oats give you an extra benefit with an anti-inflammatory compound called avenanthramides. 

As I mentioned in my Basics: Breakfast post, I prepare multiple servings of oatmeal on the weekend, package them in individual containers, and have an on-the-go breakfast ready to grab in the morning. I top them with any combination of nuts, flaxseed, hemp seeds, dried fruit, pepitas, raw sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and berries. Please try to resist the urge to load the oatmeal with brown sugar...your taste buds will adapt, I promise! 

I don't do anything fancy when I cook my oatmeal...just oats and water. I use 1 cup water for every 1/2 cup of oats. If you like your oatmeal thicker, use this less water. If you like your oatmeal thinner, use more water. 

Basic Oatmeal

Makes 6 servings

3 cups oats

6 cups water

Optional toppings: nuts, flaxseed, hemp seeds, unsweetened dried fruit, pepitas, raw sunflower seeds, cinnamon, berries

1. In a medium saucepan, combine oats and water. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally until mixture thickens and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. 

2. Portion oatmeal out into individual containers, top with desired toppings, and store in the refrigerator.