When you think of oatmeal, what are the first thoughts that pop into your mind? Boring? Bland? Overflowing pot of water/milk? Burnt tongue? Those are definitely thoughts that come to my mind. However, other thoughts come to mind as well such as high in fiber, potential for greatness, filling breakfast, and heart healthy. As part of my deliberate effort to plan my meals in advance for the work week, I had to figure out what to do for breakfast- the frequently skipped meal. Ideally, I would make a delicious mango, banana, green smoothie but there is rarely time for that. It is possible to make smoothies the night before but they don’t taste as good the next day. Back to oatmeal. So, oatmeal naturally comes to mind as it can be an easy and quick breakfast that you can load up with a bunch of fixin’s. My experience preparing oatmeal in the morning borderlines serious fire hazard as I try to boil almond milk, add oats, and monitor while trying to get ready. It never ends well. By the time it is finally done (and half of it has overflowed), it is too hot to store in a container to bring on the go. As I was preparing to make a big batch of oatmeal Sunday night to divvy up for the week, I thought, is it beneficial to soak oats? We all hear about soaking other grains and beans, which helps break them down and makes it easier for our bodies to digest and assimilate the nutrients. I found out soaking applies to oats too! Not only does soaking your oats break them down, creating a creamy delicious texture, it can be done overnight while you sleep soundly. When you wake up in the morning, simply scoop your jazzed up oatmeal into containers to take to go. Cold oatmeal, how does that sound? Trust me, it is fantastic! Easy, creamy, fire hazard free, and quick. The best thing about plain oats is that you can dress up your oatmeal any way you wish and experiment often to find out what you like best. Below is the recipe I currently use along with recommended nutrition guidelines based on 1200 and 1600 calorie diets (note- the nutrition label is based on a 2000 calorie diet). Oatmeal for the win!
Cold Is the New Cooked: Oatmeal Revived
Serving Size: 5
2 1/2 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
4 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
4 tbsp. ground flaxseed
3 tbsp. chia seeds
2 tbsp. mini chocolate chips
2 scoops protein powder
Dash of cinnamon
Combine all ingredients into a large bowl. Stir well. Cover and refrigerate for 7 or more hours. Scoop and serve! Add bananas, apples, walnuts, etc.