My Everyday Oatmeal
Do you have a "safety blanket" food? Most people do, it's a food that no matter how they're feeling they know they can eat it and they'll feel okay. This everyday oatmeal happens to be mine. I came up with this recipe over a decade ago while I was in high school and struggling with GI problems. This basic but customizable recipe became a fail-safe that I could count on each morning without worrying about it upsetting my stomach or causing cramps. The best part is, it's loaded with nutrients and is totally customizable to the season or what you crave that day.
The oatmeal portion of the recipe itself I'll admit is very simple and somewhat bland, as it's only sweetened as necessary to keep it allergen and irritable stomach-friendly. The toppings you add to your bowl, however, are the star of the show and what makes it unique every time.
My favourite oats to use for this recipe are Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Quick Cooking Oats, as they're the perfect texture and they cook fairly quick as the name implies! Oats are a great source of fibre and antioxidants, and can also help improve blood sugar control which makes it a great breakfast option for starting off your day.
Personally, I also like to add collagen powder to my oatmeal base, as it supports digestive health and maintains a healthy gut lining (but you can totally skip this step). This was extremely beneficial for me when my IBS and food intolerances were just being diagnosed, and my digestive tract was in the process of healing.
I like to sub refined sugar with coconut sugar in this recipe because it has a slightly lower glycemic index, and I just like the taste. You could also sweeten this recipe with honey or maple syrup if you prefer. Lastly, I add a pinch of Ceylon cinnamon for flavour and for its added benefit to help stabilize insulin first thing in the morning.
Now to the good part, as I said the toppings truly are the star of the show here. Here are the general steps I take to make the perfect bowl every time:
1. Start with fruit (fresh in season or frozen): as they provide fibre, antioxidants (berries), and phytonutrients.
2. Spread some love with nut/seed butter (look for a butter that is simply roasted with no added sugars): nuts and seeds contain healthy fats, essential minerals, and vitamins.
3. Add some protein and healthy fats: having protein with every meal will help you feel full, and essential fatty acids help you increase the absorption of other vitamins and minerals.
- Chia seeds: are high in Omega 6, an essential fatty acid that is extremely beneficial for brain health
- Hemp hearts: are a good source of polyunsaturated and essential fatty acid, and are a complete plant-based protein source
- Nuts: are full of vitamins and minerals
- Pure maple syrup or local honey is a great alternative
- Desiccated coconut: adds some crunch
- Dairy-free chocolate chips or cacao nibs make your bowl even more decedent
Feel free to mix and match any of the toppings to make the perfect bowl of oatmeal to curb your cravings! One of my all-time favourite toppings combinations is the chocolate peanut butter banana, as pictured here. Let me know what your favourite oatmeal toppings are below in the comment section, and if you try the recipe, enjoy!
My Everyday Oatmeal
1/3 cup gluten free quick cooking oats
1 cup filtered water
1 heaping tsp coconut sugar
A sprinkle of cylon cinnamon
1 ripe banana or a fruit of your choosing
2 tbsp nut butter or seed butter
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp hemp hearts
1 tbsp dairy free chocolate chips
Toppings (all are optional and can be mixed & matched)
Add oats, water, coconut sugar and cinnamon to a small sauce pan.
Slowly cook oats over medium-low heat until they begin to thicken up and combine. You can cook to your desired consistency, I like my oats slightly runny.
Transfer to a bowl and decorate with whatever toppings you are feeling that day! Serve hot and enjoy!