Loaded Oatmeal
2:54 PM

I've always eaten breakfast every day. I don't always have time to actually cook a full breakfast (I really like my sleep) but I always make sure I grab something. It's how I was raised and it definitely gets my day off to a good start – that is, as long as it's not filled with sugar. Did you know that cereal and packaged oatmeal can have upwards of 40 grams of sugar per serving? Not to mention the fact that they're so processed they have to ADD vitamins back in. And who wants that? Why not start your day off with something quick and easy – that's delicious and nutritious? That way you can enjoy those extra Z's and still get your day off to a good start.

I start my day with oatmeal at least three times a week. It's fast, healthy, and above all, delicious. There's nothing more comforting than that first bite of hot oatmeal on a cold morning (and in our apartment, every morning is cold). Granted I'm normally dashing out the door because I overslept (did I mention I like sleeping?), but luckily for me it's convenient enough to take along for the drive to work :)

This recipe is easily customized to suit what you have in your pantry. As a rule of thumb, I use one and a half parts liquid to one part oatmeal.

To prepare the oats as pictured, use:

• 1/2 cup dry oats (I use Trader Joe's Rolled Oats, they're gluten-, wheat-, and dairy-free whole grain oats that come in a big resealable 2 lb bag for about $3!)
• 3/4 cup liquid (I normally use water, but you can use any kind of milk – almond, soy, coconut, dairy)

Combine oats and liquid in a bowl and microwave for two minutes. Remove, stir, and place in the microwave again for another 30-60 seconds or until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed.

Then add your toppings:
• 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
• 1/4 cup pecans
• 1/8 cup Trader Joe's Strawberry Granola Cereal
• dash of cinnamon
• a splash of almond milk to finish it off

As I said before, this recipe is super delicious and easily customized. Some other tasty ideas are:

• Slivered almonds, sliced strawberries, and toasted coconut topped with coconut milk
• Golden raisins, walnuts (I'm allergic but it'd be delish here), and a sprinkle of brown sugar
• Sliced bananas, 1 tbsp peanut butter, a drizzle of honey, and extra milk (trust me on that one, nothing worse than driving to work with your tongue stuck to the roof of your mouth)
• Sliced apples, 1 tbsp non-fat greek yogurt, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp cinnamon
• Fresh raspberries, almonds, and a light sprinkling of chocolate chips (I don't normally promote chocolate for breakfast but these melt with the heat of the oats and become gooey chocolate covered raspberry goodness)

This is a go-to recipe for me and I hope it will be for you too. Do you love oatmeal too? What are your favorite toppings for your oatmeal? Please share in the comments below!


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