Here's the breakdown:
|This is an oat groat, the grain's original state, before being processed into breakfast. Only the outer hull is removed.|
|These are instant oats, AKA the worst. They're precooked, mushy, nutritionally depleted, and will not be considered food from this point forward.|
If you cook oats in milk (in my case, almond milk... you could also use dairy milk or try another nut milk) they absorb the flavor and adopt a rich, creamy texture that would typically be attained with the addition of something blasphemous, like heavy cream. While using milk is obviously a better idea than using cream, taking it one step further with non-dairy milk slashes calories from sugar (91 cal/cup skim milk, or 40 cal/cup almond milk) and adds vitamins and minerals, without compromising calcium.
|Spiced Apple Pie Oats!|
|Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Oats!|
Now what? Start with:
- 1/4 C steel cut oats
- 3/4 C almond milk
Add almond milk and oats to a small pot and leave in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, cook oats on the stove over low for about 10 minutes. You can also cook them the morning of by boiling the almond milk and adding the oats, then simmering for about 30 minutes. Don't have time? Make a larger batch over the weekend and it'll keep in the fridge for the week, or use McCann's quick cooking steel cut oats.
Then choose your path of inspiration:
1. The Elvis
During the last 5 minutes of simmering your oatmeal, melt in one mashed banana and one tbsp nut butter, then sprinkle crushed nuts on top.
2. The Oatmeal Raisin Cookie
Add 2 tbsp raisins, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp vanilla and crushed pecans or walnuts
3. Trail Mix
Add a small handful of dried fruits and nuts of your choosing (and no one will judge you if there are chocolate chips involved).
4. Maple Walnut Crunch
Add 1 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tbsp walnuts, and a sprinkle of granola on top.
5. Spiced Apple Pie
Add 1 diced, peeled green apple, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp allspice, 1/4 tsp ginger and a dash of nutmeg, then simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Hot Cocoa
Add 1 tsp cocoa, an extra splash of sweetened milk + vegan mini marshmallows at the end of the simmer phase.
7. If you like Piña Coladas...
Add toasted coconut + diced pineapples. The rum is your call (don't do it)... and feel free to sub coconut milk beverage for almond milk!
8. Banana Cream Pie (favorite)
Stir in one mashed banana, chopped walnuts, and 1/2 tsp vanilla during the last five minutes of the simmer phase, then sprinkle cinnamon on top.
Add salt to taste. It may sound weird, but it's not. It's awesome.
10. Berry Scone
Stir in dried cherries, fresh strawberries, blueberries + 1/2 tsp vanilla.