The other day I was having a conversation with a group of ladies about breakfast foods and one of them started grumbling about how much oatmeal is bland and boring. My first thought was, yaaa if you make it like the package says, it does suck. And even though I’m a big oatty fan, I can’t eat plain oatmeal. Since oats have always been a go to healthier breakfast option, I always wanted to jump on that bandwago. But when I was a kid I would only eat oatmeal if it came doused in brown sugar. Seriously, doused. 1/4 doused. And as I got older I realized that was a brilliant way to destroy any healthiness it had.
So since a bucket of brown sugar was no longer an option, I kind of gave up on oatmeal.
The thing is I never liked eggs, or breakfast food in general. And while I live off of smoothies and toast for breakfast, I’m always looking for more options. Okay, so re-enter oatmeal.
Taking this challenge very seriously, as I do with all things food related. What can I say? I’m serious about food. When’s my next meal? What is it? Then when and what’s after that? The oatmeal challenge began, and began with me brainstorming what liquids can I use other than milks and water. Then, what else can I use to add more flavor. And then more flavor. Pretty much how much flavor can we add without being ridiculous.
Now this isn’t the first bowl of oatmeal that came out of my oatmeal challenge, but so far with this new outlook they are all coming out anything but bland.
So what did I learn… that I was playing the oatmeal game all wrong. And that there are a few tricks to this game.
Quick Tips on How to Make Oatmeal Not Suck:
The easiest way to add flavor is to cook or stir in flavor elements. Such as…
- Flavored liquids (i.e. tea or apple cider).
- Pureed fruits, such as pulsed strawberries or even canned pumpkin.
- Protein powder (chocolate…yum!)
- Nut butters (almond, peanut, chocolate hazelnut)
Once you’ve got a solid base of flavor going on, you can load up on toppings… equaling MORE FLAVOR. You can go wild with fruit, nuts, seeds, chocolate or cacao nibs, coconut, cereals (for crunch), and drizzles of nut butters.
I’m telling you flavor is no longer going to be a problem. See ya later boring and bland oatmeal, you are outta here! And now to get you started (with these tricks and tips in mind), I took a few of my favorite things and fancied-up a bowl of oatmeal for you to try. Ya, oatmeal can be fancy… well fancier. Okay, at least it’s not bland and boring. Let’s just agree on that one.
Let’s have a little chat about chai’s. Chai’s (tea or latte) are one of my absolute favorite drinks EVVAAR. Okay, other than water. Quality water. Because yes all water is different, and some bottles just aren’t very good. And while I don’t support water bottles (I use jugs, and recycle them thank you very much) some of us can’t get away with filtering the water they get from the tap. Some of us have water that tastes like dirt. Legitimate dirt. So unfortunately we have to buy water, because I don’t drink dirt. Right, anyway. Chai’s have been one of my favorite since I was a kid. My dad would buy the concentrate and while he was away at work, I would chug as many chai’s as I could. Which led me to my chai obsession. And it doesn’t just exist of the drink but chai flavored anything. Ice cream, cookies and now oatmeal… yes sir’eeeee. Give it to me!
If I had to pick a favorite (truly) seasonal fruit, it would be peaches. I loooove me some peaches. Even those little peach gummies, which I am totally craving now by the way. Nice job Meg. But as soon as I see peaches in store I get like a little kid on the inside and start stuffing them into a produce bag. Which is usually followed by Logan asking if I am really going to eat that many. Which is then followed by a hiss out of me, and protective mother growl. My peaches!
As a true peach lover, I have to ask… do you know the trick to peeling peaches? Not with a peeler, that’s for sure.
How to Peel Peaches with Ease:
Boil water in a medium/large stockpot (depending on how many peaches you need to peel).
Lightly place peach or peaches into water. Let float in water for 30 seconds – 1 minute.
Remove peaches and set into a bowl of ice water to cool. If you don’t have ice you can run the tap on a low stream to help keep the water cool.
Then, remove one peach at a time and simply pull/pinch the skin off. It literally falls right off! Repeat until all your peaches are nudey.
This is the perfect method for one peach or a whole bushel! Plus you skip the whole sticky hands bit.
Quick note on coconut… it’s delicious – don’t skip it! If you have time on your hands, toast that bisnasss! And make extra, just so you can eat it whenever you please. Mmk.
How do you prefer your oatmeal? I prefer my oatmeal to be rather thick, Logan likes his more liquidy and some prefer it soupy. You’ll see in the notes I added a little notation about adding more coconut milk or tea if you like yours thinner. It’s always easier to add then take away as I always say, so feel free to make it as is and then just stir in more of either liquid to reach your desired consistency.
Now, if you are crunched for time in the morning but these oats are singing your name, it’s cool I’ve got some options for you.
For the peaches: You can make the peaches ahead of time, whether a single serving or multiple peaches in order to make more than one oat bowl. Simply toss the peaches in a little lemon juice before cooking ( just to be on the safe side). Lemon is an ideal preserver for fruit!
For the tea: You can make a large batch of tea and store it in the fridge until ready to use. It doesn’t matter if the tea is hot or cold when you mix it with the oats as it’s going to be heated in the microwave anyway.
So hopefully those corner cutters will save you some time if need be and let you too enjoy this fancier bowl of oatmeal in the morning.
It is sort of fancier, right?
**Oh! If you make any of Noming’s recipes, be sure to snap a photo and share them on twitter or instagram with #nomingthrulife so we can see them too. I mean you would only make my day and all if you did!**
- 1/2 cup quick cooking oats (gluten free, if needed)
- 2/3 cup strong brewed chai tea
- 1/3 cup coconut milk (I used So Delicious, Original)
- 1 yellow fleshed peach, peeled, pitted and sliced
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- Toppings: coconut flakes or shredded coconut, additional maple syrup
- In a microwave safe bowl, add oats, tea and coconut milk, stirring to combine. In a microwave. heat oat mixture for 2 minutes. If necessary, continue cook until desired thickness has been reached. Just keep in mind that the oatmeal will thicken as it cools. Set aside.
- While oats cool slightly, in a small nonstick pan melt coconut oil over medium heat. Add peach slices and cook until they soften and darken slightly in color, approximately 2-3 minutes. Remove peaches from heat and toss in maple syrup. Layer peaches on top of oatmeal, sprinkle with coconut flakes and add a drizzle maple syrup.
- Enjoy immediately.