Ally's Sweet and Savory Eats: Frugal and Filling: Oatmeal

Monday, October 25, 2010

Frugal and Filling: Oatmeal

*Today I am featuring a guest post from Maria Rainier, a freelance writer and blog junkie. She currently is a resident blogger at First in Education, researching areas of online colleges and blogging about student life. In her spare time she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming and avoiding her laptop*

**On a side note, the appetite is back, flu is gone, and 16 week baby doc appointment went well today!**

Now, eat your oatmeal!
---------------------------


For those of us trying to squeeze by the recession, oatmeal - a veritable visual sludge - can be our knights in shining armor. Like many foods bland in and of themselves (like pasta and rice), oatmeal is versatile. I could go on and on about oatmeal cookies, muffins and pancakes, but this post will be about oatmeal and toppings you can find around the house that can be varied enough to make you feel like you've broken your fast in a different kitchen every morning.

Here are some basic tips:
  • Add fresh or frozen fruit. Bananas are great fresh (and with a little peanut butter) and frozen blueberries will add a wonderful temperature and texture contrast.

  • Add dried fruit like cranberries, dates, cherries, raisins and even shredded coconut for a trail mix taste. Add chocolate chips and granola bits if you want to take the theme all the way. Plus, the texture difference between the oatmeal and granola will keeps things interesting.

  • Chopped nuts (almonds are a great choice) will add not only texture but protein to your meal.

  • Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar and drizzle maple syrup for a fall-inspired breakfast. Add chopped apples - either fresh or cooked in a skillet with butter and a dash of cinnamon - for more variety.

  • You'll be surprised what a spoonful of yogurt does both for taste and texture in your oatmeal. The same can be said for jam or fruit preserves. If you have more than one type of jam in your house, you can add variety during your week.

If you are looking for easy, specific combinations, try these:

  • Banana Cream (thinly sliced bananas, cinnamon, and some non-fat sweetened condensed milk

  • Blueberry Almond (frozen blueberries, almonds, milk and flaxseed)

  • Coconut Banana (shredded coconut, light coconut milk, bananas and almonds)

  • Peaches and Cream (canned diced peaches, half and half and brown sugar)

  • Pumpkin Pie (canned pumpkin, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and sliced almonds)

Try stopping by your local farmer's markets (if still in season) and see what fruits you can get your hands on. Many vendors also sell their own homemade fruit and jam preserves that don't have the unhealthy chemicals and fake-tasting high fructose corn syrup.

So, if you are ever at a loss of what to make for breakfast (quickly and cheaply, lest the kids wake up to a distinct lack of yummy smells from the kitchen), break out the oatmeal and your arsenal of toppings and mixtures for a healthy, filling and delicious meal.

6 comments:

  1. I wish I liked oatmeal!!! It looks so easy and filling!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oatmeal is so fun to play around with ... I used to hate it until I discovered toppings and different liquids (other than water) to make it with.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love oatmeal! I used to eat the instant packets and didn't really like it, but when I learned how easy it is to make the "real thing" and how much better it is, I was hooked!

    I go with brown sugar, a little bit of butter and then some kind of fruit - usually raisins or dried cranberries, but fresh raspberries are also delicious. And I just recently had a bowl of it at a hotel with chopped pecans added. It added a great element of crunch along with flavor!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I eat oatmeal every day. It is the best source of carbohydrates and fiber. It is really like a blank canvas, yoyu can add just about anything to eat.

    Chef Juan
    http://TheHungryCuban.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love oatmeal! I used to eat the instant packets and didn't really like it, but when I learned how easy it is to make the "real thing" and how much better it is, I was hooked!

    I go with brown sugar, a little bit of butter and then some kind of fruit - usually raisins or dried cranberries, but fresh raspberries are also delicious. And I just recently had a bowl of it at a hotel with chopped pecans added. It added a great element of crunch along with flavor!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oatmeal is so fun to play around with ... I used to hate it until I discovered toppings and different liquids (other than water) to make it with.

    ReplyDelete