Never Cook Oatmeal Again!

Oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfasts (I say “breakfast,” but typically don’t eat anything until about brunch/lunch time), but I often find that the moment I realize I want it, I don’t have any pre-prepared.  I then have to cook it right then and there and it is scalding hot afterward for what seems like an hour.  I don’t want to wait that long when I’m hungry.  🙂

I’ve recently gotten into the overnight oats trend.  There are a number of vegan bloggers that I’ve seen prepare oatmeal this way, which involves no cooking whatsoever.  The oats are soaked overnight and ready to eat the next morning!  In addition, if you’re trying to eat more raw plants—which are higher in nutrients and lower in calories—this take on classic comfort breakfasts is for you.

Now, if when you take your oats out of the fridge the next morning you don’t want to eat them cold, you’ll need to dish some up and leave them on the counter to get to room temp for a bit or pop them in the microwave.  Inevitably, they will cook a little if you opt for warmer oats, but you can control the heat level and cooking time of the microwave to minimize the loss of nutrients.  I have read in several places recently that microwaving food is the cooking method that removes the least amount of nutrients from food that enters in a raw state.  I’m still skeptical, but the research is certainly interesting…

Anywho, if you’ve played around with my traditional oatmeal formula, you’ll find that really the only difference is that you’re soaking the oats overnight rather than simmering them on the stovetop.  In addition, you can do this with steel cut oats, but you’d need a lot more liquid and probably time, too, so I stick with rolled.

This is a delicious, nutritious, and filling breakfast for you as well as a great ready-to-go breakfast for littles before school in the morning.  🙂  Enjoy!

FORMULA BASE:  OATMEAL

Serves 6-8

  • 4 cups uncooked rolled oats
  • ½ cup specialty ingredients + extra for garnishing (finely chopped raw fruit, dried fruit, raw nuts, raw seeds, etc.) –> I’m using ¼ cup each hemp and ground flax seeds.
  • 1/8-1/4 cup sweetener –>  I’m using just over 1/8 cup pure maple syrup.
  • ½-1 tsp extract (amount will depend on flavor intensity) –>  I’m using 1 tsp vanilla.
  • 1 tsp spices –>  I’m using 1 tsp ground cinnamon.
  • Liquid of choice for soaking (water or unsweetened plant milk) –>  I’m using unsweetened Ripple milk.*

*I’m typically a die hard almond milk fan, but I am trying to minimize nut exposure for my one-year-old for a little longer, so I’ve recently tried this brand.  Ripple milk is made from yellow peas and doesn’t taste much different than almond.  I found it at the Super Target by my house.

plant-milk

Place your oats in a large glass bowl with a lid.  Stir in all ingredients and fill the bowl with liquid enough to cover the mixture by about half an inch.

oatmeal-ingredientsovernight-oats

Cover and place the bowl in the fridge overnight.  In the morning, stir to combine any remaining liquid that may have settled on the top.  Store leftovers in the fridge for up to a week.

Quick and Easy Oatmeal

One of my family’s favorite breakfasts is oatmeal.  It’s filling, delicious, and has endless possibilities.  In addition, it is excellent baby and toddler food.  Today, I’m making it extra special for Nolan with mini-chocolate chips.  🙂

DSC_2440

I typically make oatmeal with rolled oats since I always have some on hand for muffins, power balls, and granola, but steel cut oats—which are richer in nutrients—would be a great choice, too.  I include no salt and keep the added sweetener low by flavoring the oats with fruit or other already sweet components.

Should you opt for rolled oats, you can have this oatmeal on the table in about five minutes (steel cut take a bit longer to cook).  It is the ultimate quick and easy breakfast that will keep you full and energized for hours.  Enjoy!

FORMULA BASE:  OATMEAL

Serves 6-8

  • 4 cups uncooked oats (rolled or steel cut)  –>  I’m using rolled.
  • ½ cup specialty ingredients + extra for garnishing (finely chopped raw fruit, dried fruit, raw nuts, raw seeds, etc.) –>  I’m using 1 tbsp each hulled hemp seeds and ground flaxseed, plus ¼ cup slivered almonds.  I’m topping my oatmeal with a sprinkle of mini-semisweet chocolate chips (vegan).
  • 1/8-1/4 cup sweetener  –>  I’m using 1/8 cup raw agave syrup.
  • ½-1 tsp extract (amount will depend on flavor intensity)  –>  I’m using 1 tsp vanilla.
  • 1 tsp spices  –>  I’m using ground cinnamon.
  • Liquid of choice for cooking (water or unsweetened plant milk)  –>  I’m using a combination of water and almond milk (there is no particular reason for this – I just didn’t have enough almond milk to sufficiently fill the pot!).

Place your oats in pot.  Fill the pot with liquid enough to cover the oats by about half an inch.  Place the pot on the stove and set to medium heat.  While your oats are softening, add all other ingredients and stir frequently until cooked, which may take as little as 4-5 minutes from the time that you turned on the burner.

DSC_2431

Upon completion, your oatmeal will be slightly soupy.  As it cools, the oats will continue to absorb more of the liquid.

DSC_2433

Garnish and serve.  Store leftovers in the fridge for up to a week.

DSC_2436