On yesterday’s National Chocolate Day, I celebrated by filling each portion of my day with chocolate treats. National Oatmeal Day, however, would not receive this same festivity. It’s not that I don’t like oatmeal, I do. It’s breakfast at least once a week. Oatmeal cookies are also good. They’re not great, but they’re good… but there we have it, the reason there will not be an all day oatmeal extravaganza, because I just listed the only two things that you can do with oatmeal. Breakfast and cookies.
Sure oatmeal can be put in other stuff, but then it basically just becomes a sort of spice or texturing, like pepper or tofu. So, with the options of breakfast and cookies, breakfast was how it would be going down. After all that chocolate on National Chocolate Day, my stomach really didn’t want any cookies anyway. A good healthy of oatmeal was rather appealing, though.
Now, let’s be clear on something, oatmeal for breakfast can really suck. Like Cheerio’s or Rice Crispies, if you don’t sweeten it properly, it’s not going to go down well. But also like Rice Crispies, it’s really easy to just turn that healthy breakfast into a dessert. Too much brown sugar can fast transform a bowl of heart healthy oatmeal into nothing more than a big mushy oatmeal cookie, and it’s something that is really easy to do. Figuring out the balance between the health and the pleasure of oatmeal is not the easiest formula to conceive. That’s why most people give up on the science before they reach success.
It was a couple of months ago, when I went on the P90x diet, that I figured out my concoction. Oatmeal was on the plan a couple of times each week, so I had to do something to figure out how I was going to eat it on a regular basis. I experimented with honey and molasses, but that just didn’t make the cut, not for twice a week. For a while I was dumping in some of the P90x vanilla flavored protein powder in, but this was adding much more than protein to my breakfast. It was adding like 145 extra calories. This step is what gave me my solution, though. What finally worked, was boiling the oats in a 1/2 cup of vanilla almond milk and 1/2 cup water. While this does give the oatmeal an additional 35-40 calories, it also infuses a great sweet flavor directly into the oats themselves. Then, a handful of Craisin brand dried cranberries and blueberries mixed in just brings it. These guys add zest, additional sweetness and of course antioxidants. It’s funny, eight years ago I’d never heard of an antioxidant, now it’s a health benefit that’s as heavily featured as “fat-free.” But the important part is that they’re yummy in my oatmeal.
If you’ve given up on oatmeal, or are a 2-tbsp of brown sugar dumper, I invite you to try my brew. It’s a decent breakfast, and a really good way to kick off a National Oatmeal Day.
See you Wednesday for National Candy Corn Day!