Thursday, January 08, 2009

Steeling your resolve for Morning Oatmeal

Since it's starting to get colder, I'm more apt to eat oatmeal in the mornings now. Sometimes I'll fix a bowl of Quick Cooking, but this morning I made Steel-cut oatmeal. I used the recipe out of The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, but it's pretty much like Alton Brown's Good Eats one (you can find it on the Food Network site I'm sure - since I have dial-up I have trouble loading their site). You toast the oats in a Tbsp of butter then add to simmering water/milk and cook for about 30 minutes. I used skim milk and added a Tbsp of chopped mixed dried berries to mine when I ate it. I found 1/2 cup did me fine this morning but I'm not always hungry first thing in the morning either, it just depends sometimes on when I remember to take my meds (both the Concerta and the Byetta are appetite suppressants and along with the fact that I've never been a big morning eater or a morning foods lover).

Anyway, I've had this list I've cut out from the newspaper and it's got some good ideas for oatmeal toppings that I use occasionally:

Tops in Taste

When oatmeal is the morning's hot cereal of choice, turn it into a month of flavors by adding different toppings - many of them already pantry or fridge staples.

Here are 31 ideas from home economists at The Quaker Oats Co. [I've added some extras too]

* Raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg
* Honey and honey crunch-flavored wheat germ
* Applesauce and cinnamon
* Low-fat granola and skim milk
* Raspberry nonfat yogurt and cranberries
* Apricot fruit spread and sliced almonds
* Sliced strawberries and plain nonfat yogurt and brown sugar
* Maple flavored pancake syrup and chopped toasted pecans
* Canned crushed pineapple, sliced bananas, and chopped macadamia nuts
* Strawberry nonfat yogurt and sliced kiwi
* Sliced bananas with vanilla nonfat yogurt sprinkled lightly with cinnamon
* Reduced fat peanut butter and strawberry fruit spread
* Chopped dates, walnuts and cinnamon
* Canned pear slices, maple syrup and cinnamon
* Coarsely chopped canned peaches and ground ginger
* Diced dried apricots or diced dried mixed fruit and honey
* Pumpkin or apple butter and raisins
* Blueberry fruit spread, vanilla or plain nonfat yogurt and nutmeg
* Orange marmalade and dried cranberries
* Coarsely chopped apple, brown sugar, cinnamon and dates
* Orange or tangerine low-fat yogurt and canned mandarin orange segments
* Mixed dried fruit
* Cherry preserves and wheat germ
* Reduced fat caramel topping and chopped pecans
* Whole-berry cranberry sauce
* Applesauce and maple flavor pancake syrup
* Blueberries and sliced strawberries sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar
* Sliced bananas and mini-semisweet chocolate morsels
* Warm apple pie filling and skim milk
* Brown sugar and apple pie spice
* Chopped dried figs and mashed ripe banana

And some other ideas from the Quaker Oats website:
* Skim milk and sliced peaches
* Diced cranberries and maple flavored pancake syrup
* Canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spic
* Frozen raspberries and blueberries are my favorite!
* Maple flavored pancake syrup and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds
* Blueberries, strawberries, chopped walnuts and chopped pecans by Celeste B., MO
* Chopped apples, sliced banana and dried cranberries by Rosalva D., IL
* I cook my oats with dried cranberries and dried cherries and top it off with butter and brown sugar. No milk for me! by Thelma B., MI
* Dried cranberries, pecans or walnuts and a splash of sugar free French Vanilla creamer on Lower Sugar Maple & Brown Sugar by Katrina W., OK
* I love using maple syrup and graham cracker crumbs with a little bit of strawberries. by Stefanie S., NV
* 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 apple cut into slices, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon by Andrew K., MN
* Raw walnuts, cinnamon, cocoa powder and strawberries by Tania N., CA
* Blueberry pie filling and cinnamon-sugar by Anna J., GA
* Chopped kiwi fruit and a dollop of cold tofu by A loyal customer
* A nice pat of butter and grated Italian cheese! by Jeannie V., NY
* Pumpkin or apple butter and toasted walnuts by A loyal customer
* Chopped dried figs and mashed ripe banana by Amanda D., TN
* Currants and golden raisins by A loyal customer
* Cooked sweet potato, pumpkin pie spice and pecans by Jill M., OH
* Crushed gingersnap cookies and fresh berries by A loyal customer

My favorites?
* A few chocolate chips and a Tbsp of almond butter
* Dried chopped apricots, toasted coconut, raspberry jam
* A few chocolate chips, chopped dried cherries, toasted coconut

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