There is something remarkably comforting about a hot breakfast.
I need coffee just to get myself started in the morning. On a cold morning like this one, a hot breakfast helps me ease into the day.
Oatmeal does the job: it’s easy to make, takes very little time and warms the belly. It’s also a breakfast you can feel good about, packed with nutrients, health benefits, and the filling-power needed to keep a grazer like me satisfied till lunch. By itself, oatmeal can be more than a little boring—bland and a bit soupy.
With the help of a few friends—fruit, nuts, brown sugar and cinnamon—oatmeal gets a boost in flavor and texture. Plus it makes you feel like you’re eating a real breakfast, instead of a bowl of blah. And no one wants to start the day feeling blah.
My method: Cook the oatmeal as directed on the package. Turn off the heat, and add the flavor: cinnamon (a sprinkle), brown sugar (about a teaspoon), and the fruit (I like a lot, so I add about a cup). Cover and let rest for about 2 minutes, then serves with a sprinkle of chopped or sliced nuts (this morning, it was almonds for me). Eat happily. You’re ready to conquer the day.
Other terrific add-ins for morning oatmeal:
Mashed banana, made even better with chopped walnuts
Sliced banana, cooked with a touch of butter and brown sugar
Chopped apple, raw or roasted with cinnamon (my preference)
Pears, same preparation
Any combination of fresh berries
Nutmeg (a really light touch – nutmeg is powerful stuff)
Honey & a couple drops of vanilla extract
Chopped dried fruit—apricot and cherries make a great combination–plus brown sugar
Toasted wheat germ
A spoonful of your favorite jam