Thursday, December 01, 2016

Make Ahead Quick Oatmeal

I'm trying to move my family to healthier eating slowly. Something I hadn't tackled yet, was cereal. You know. That staple of Saturday mornings and cartoons. Frosted, marshmallows, fruity, chocolatey, etc. There's a lot of bad junk kids don't need in them. From dyes, to heavy metals to outright poisons. We wonder why kids struggle with ADD, hyperactivity, learning disorders and such. A lot of it is diet related. Of course, the FDA is fine with all this because they're in cahoots with Big Pharma that makes the drugs to help "manage" any adverse affects caused by ingesting this garbage. Nice little partnership they have huh? Ask yourself why these various companies need lobbyists in Washington and start researching. You'll be appalled. I'll include links to valuable info at the end of this post.

So! With that little rant aside, lets dive into this great alternative that my kids just gobble right up. There are many variations so it's easy to make any flavor your kids desire. I like having a bunch made up with instructions on a larger bag that I put individual serving bags into so all they have to do is add water and maybe some additional toppings once cooked. This is great for when I have to be gone for a medical trip and can't be home, so mornings are easier on dad. The older two are also getting more self sufficient and this is an easy breakfast for them to make for themselves and even the younger two if need be. Without further ado, lets dive into the recipe!

Make Ahead Quick Oatmeal
Ingredients: (makes 3-4 servings)
  • 1 cup rolled oats (not quick!)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (Himalayan is my choice!)
Optional additions
  • 1-2 Tbsps cocoa powder
  • chopped almonds (maybe honey roasted?)
  • dried cranberries, raisins, cherries
  • freeze dried or dehydrated strawberries or bananas?
  • peanut butter (or any other nut butter): creamy, chunky, powder
In a food processor or blender, add oatmeal, cinnamon and salt. Blend until desired consistency. I like a little bite to mine, so I don't blend it down to powder. For little ones just starting on solids, fully blending to flour is probably recommended. Blending partially helps it cook quicker and gives a nice mouth feel.

If making right away, you can then add this and the water to a pot and boil for about 8-10min until desired consistency. Then spoon into bowls and add desired toppings. My kids like it pretty basic. So a little pat of butter, spoonful of brown sugar and sometimes a splash of milk.

To make ahead, you can add the blended ingredients to a ziplock snack sized bag and label "cinnamon". OR you can add more ingredients to make it even more adventurous. Here are some of my mini recipes. Following the above directions (minus cooking) you can make up baggies of these and all you have to do then is add 2 C. water and cook!

Chocolate Oatmeal
to the basic oatmeal recipe above, add:
  • 1-2 Tbsps cocoa powder (adjust to how chocolately you want it)
I add to the blender to make sure it is well distributed, or you can just toss it on top in the bag.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal
to the basic oatmeal recipe above, add:
  • 1-2 Tbsps cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter powder (or add instructions to add nut butter after cooking)
Almond Cranberry Oatmeal
to the basic oatmeal recipe above, add:
  • 1-2 Tbsps chopped or slivered almonds (I use honey roasted!)
  • 2 Tbsps dried cranberries
Add these ingredients to the bag with blended oatmeal. After cooking, you can add a Tbsp or two of white chocolate chips for a fun festive breakfast (Christmas?).

Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal
  • 2 Tbsps freeze dried or oven dried strawberries (diced up is best)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • cream (alternative creams like coconut are also great!)
Add the strawberries to the bag with the blended oatmeal. After cooking, add to your desired flavor level of cream. YUM!

The sky is the limit on all the flavor combos you can create really. What do you think would be a great addition to the recipe? What would you add to the dry mix and what would you add as a topping after cooking? Let me know!

Here are the links to why today's store bought cereals should be banned from our pantries and breakfast tables:
10 Toxic Kid Cereals To Avoid 

Enriched Cereals Full of Metal Filings 
What Is Trisodium Phosphate? Why Is It In Cereal?! 

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