Gone are the hot, sticky days of summer, blown away by a crispy fall breeze, foliage change and the occasional snowstorm. It’s a time of everything cozy and of course, the beginning of oatmeal season. To me, oatmeal is the ultimate comfort breakfast, filled with high quantities of fiber and a rich, heavy texture. However, because winter in Jackson seems to last forever, a daily bowl of oatmeal can take on a monotonous tone. Here are a few ways to shake up the beloved morning breakfast.
Embrace the season
Make a pumpkin pie oatmeal that screams “fall!” Add ½ cup of canned pumpkin purée to each serving’s worth of oats and use a creamy milk (like coconut or oat) when cooking. To finish, add one teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and a generous dash of vanilla extract while cooking, then top with a drizzle of maple syrup and some crunchy pecans. Apple pie oatmeal is just as simple. Chop up a small apple and add into the initial oatmeal mixture before cooking. Toss in a pinch of cinnamon and a touch of vanilla and you are basically eating dessert for breakfast. For an extra touch, add a spoonful of ghee on top before serving.
Add an egg
This may be a bit out there, but I got this recommendation from a friend in New York City. She swears by adding an egg to her oatmeal, resulting in a thicker, creamier and more protein-packed bowl. After cooking the oats, add an egg and stir in vigorously until mixture begins to look fluffy (1-2 minutes). Cover pot and let sit five minutes before serving. Don’t hate it before you try it!
Protein provides the building blocks to repair and build muscle, skin, tissue and bones. It’s also extremely satiating, which is why it’s great to start your day with a protein-packed breakfast. Try adding in a tablespoon of nut butter, or a scoop of clean protein powder or collagen peptides. Notice how you feel a few hours after the meal, your energy should be up!
The crunch factor
Topping your oatmeal with seeds like chia, flax and hemp adds plenty of health benefits, but it also offers a bit of much-needed crunch. This idea of varying textures can take a bowl of mushy porridge into a tasty and satisfying dish. Some of my go-tos include a handful of nuts, diced apple, seed filled berries or some homemade granola. My favorite granola is the recipe from Healthy Being Juicery. It is packed with healthy ingredients such as pumpkin seeds and coconut oil. Check out the recipe below and try this awesome recipe on your next bowl of oats!