(That title makes me laugh. None of those words go together.)
There are people who like to believe that some things never change. But I like to believe that anything can change. Case in point: my passionate feelings toward oatmeal.
Just one short year ago, I hated oatmeal. It literally made me nauseous to think of eating hot mush at breakfast or any other time of day. And then I went on a 3 month road trip around the country. And it was not fully funded by the Travel Channel. So there were times in which eating whatever was cheapest was the best option. Slowly, reluctantly, I choked down my first few bowls of Gas Station Oatmeal: a fine delicacy created by heating a 50 cent package of oatmeal with hot water from the gas station. Desperate times call for desperate oatmeal.
Somehow, I literally don’t know how, this odd beginning forged a deep and meaningful relationship between me and oatmeal. One year later, I eat it nearly every day. But I don’t drive to the local gas station for the 50 cent variety anymore. No siree. Nowadays, I am all about elaborate oatmeal creations. My most recent favorite is this fall breakfast in a jar.
Here’s what you’ll need:
For the oatmeal:
- ¼ cup Rolled Oats (I Love Scottish Oats!)
- ½ cup Water
- ¼ teaspoon Cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1 Tablespoon Milk
For the toppings:
- 1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Butter
- ½ Tablespoon Walnuts
- ½ whole Banana
- ⅛ cup Roasted Apples
To make the oatmeal, combine one quarter cup oats with one half cup water. You can cook it on a stove top over medium heat until thickened, but I am usually rushing to get out the door in the morning standing over a stove for 10 minutes is less preferable than throwing something in the microwave. So I microwave the oats for 4 minutes while I finish getting ready for the day. It’s a win/win.
Once cooked, add in spices and milk. (You can also add in protein powder, which I usually opt for if this jar is accompanying me to the gym in the morning.) Scoop the oatmeal into a medium sized mason jar.
Next, layer your toppings. For this jar: pumpkin butter, walnuts, banana, and roasted apples (don’t tell…but I just used a scoop of apples from recently made apple crisp). Top with a lid and run out the door!
Now, here’s the beauty of this particular recipe. It’s delicious hot, but it’s also delicious cold! Unconventional, but so true. When heated, it takes on the warm and comforting notes of banana bread. I usually stir everything together when I eat it hot. But when I eat it cold I like to keep the layers separate. The flavors are so distinct and refreshing!
I’ve made this for breakfast for three days straight – four, if you count tomorrow. Four hundred, if you count every day for the next year or so. I’ll probably still be eating this for breakfast by the time next Christmas comes around.
And, in a spontaneous burst of wisdom, I realized this morning that if I just make a huge batch of oatmeal on Monday morning and divide it into jars for the rest of the week, life would be so much easier. (Um, duh.) So I boiled a cup of oats with two cups of water. When it was just about done I mixed in 4 tablespoons protein powder, 4 tablespoons almond milk, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, and about 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Then I divided it into 4 portions (I figured it would probably behoove me to have one oatmeal-free day this week) and topped it with a bunch of random stuff which I am too lazy to list out right now but will probably regale you with at a later date.
Me and Oatmeal. BFF’s. Who knew?! Just goes to show there’s always room for change. (That right there is a superfluous life lesson tucked into a post about breakfast. Wow. Must be Halloween in the air.)