By Brenna O’Dea
Warms my chilly hands
Fills my belly to the brim
A big bowl of oats
There it is. My first haiku poem since I learned about them back in elementary school. Not impressed? Eh, neither am I. But I am HUNGRY. And FREEZING. Winter is not coming…IT HAS ARRIVED. There is no snow on the ground quite yet, and the sun is still in the sky warming our cheeks, but the time has come where we all need a little extra warmth in our bellies on these chilly mornings. Oatmeal is the answer. A quick and easy crowd pleaser, mix in whatever toppings your taste buds call for. There will be something for EVERYONE in the family, no matter if you can case your own sausages or if you have yet to master to microwave meal. Oats are the perfect introduction to the kitchen for all foodies tall and small. Check out these colorful variations that will have you cravings oats morning, noon, and night.
Sweet and always satisfying, strawberries and oats were made for each other. But why stop there? Raspberries, cranberries, lingonberries and more, there are PLENTY of red berries just dying to take a dip in that big bowl of goodness. We know that fresh berries can be hard to come by this time of year, but frozen will do just fine. Dried or dehydrated is also a great way to go. Toss on some raisins, craisins, or goji berries for an extra bit of sweetness and antioxidant boost. On the juicier side of the spectrum, try fresh pomegranate seeds for a tart taste that will wake up your taste buds and get you moving on any morning.
Feeling blue? These awesome additions may turn your tongue a different hue, but they will lift your spirits and bring a smile to your face (just watch out for those blue teeth)! Blueberries and blackberries will mix perfectly into your porridge and they pair beautifully with some of our other favorite flavors. Combine these sweet berries with some sour citrus to take your oats to the next level of deliciousness. Orange and lemon zest freshen up ANY dish. Add a dollop of honey, sprinkle of cinnamon, even toss on some walnuts, sliced banana, or poppy seeds for a warm bowl that taste like a fresh baked muffin without all that added sugar.
You may have read about it before right here on our blog this summer…it’s called spirulina and it is one super duper superfood. All the protein without that yucky pasty texture from most protein powders. Sprinkle this right into your morning meal and watch it change colors before your eyes. For an even brighter green bowl, add a bit of matcha for some flavor MAGIC. There aren’t many foods out there with more antioxidants than this baby, and just a spoonful is all you need. For the fruity additions, green apples and pears add just a bit more sweetness to this unique dish.
Who says your oats have to be on the sweeter side? The turmeric trend is still on the rise, and we LOVE it. With powerful anti-inflammatory benefits and an earthy flavor unlike any other spice, turmeric can elevate any ol’ bowl o’ oats. Add some of your other favorite spices to pump up the flavor even more. Turmeric pairs perfectly with cinnamon, vanilla, even black pepper. A spoonful of honey and splash of the milk of your choice, and you will have yourself one beautiful breakfast chock FULL of health benefits. Grab a big spoon for yourself and a little one for your little one, and dive right in.
Start boiling the water and gathering your favorite ingredients, you are just minutes away from the perfect morning meal. Just make sure you serve up enough to feed the whole family, and remind them it’s hot! You won’t want to burn your tongue and miss out on the flavorful fun.
(Image by flickr member Brian Brown licensed under Creative Commons)