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Okay, today's post is totally unrelated to Dancing with the Stars (Death Pool to be posted in a different posting), rapier, costuming or any random family antics. Instead, we will talk about ... oatmeal!

Yes! Like the fitness nut I am, I have been meaning to post this for a while just because I can. So oatmeal it is.

For most of my life I have hated oatmeal with all my heart. My mother tried to make me eat it when I was a kid, and I loathed the blasted thing. She cooked it in different ways, but I always thought that it was a funny tasting, totally bland, uninteresting brand of gruel.

Years later, various friends, colleagues, boyfriends and [ex]husbands, did their best to demonstrate that oatmeal was good and not disgusting. Fat chance. I still avoided the darned thing like the plague. To memory, the only time I actually ate something resembling oatmeal, which I found comforting and even tasty was after I had given birth to my Dark Child. I was so exhausted and hungry after the whole ordeal that, when the nurses brought me a bowl of cream of wheat, I thought it was the best thing I had ever eaten.

So okay, it wasn't oatmeal. It was it's cousin cream of wheat, but you get the drift.

At rate, once the novelty wore off, I never ate it again.

Fast forward.

It's 2008 and I have learned that oatmeal is not disgusting if you use it as a base for protein pancakes. In fact, it is quite delicious -- probably because in pancakes you cannot taste it. But I started consuming high quantities of it.

Still, not capable of eating a bowl of honest-to-goodness cooked oatmeal.

Fast forward again.

It is 2009, and my trainer mentions that she eats it cooked and mixed with protein powder. She is eating it with gusto and, quite frankly, it looks pretty darned good. I decide to give it a try at home, and after some experimenting I come up with a good recipe that I can not only tolerate, but that I have found to be addictive and ridiculously healthy.

RECIPE FOR A KICKASS BOWL OF HOT OATMEAL FOR BREAKFAST:

1 cup of water (boiling)
1/2 cup of old fashioned dry oatmeal (I love rolled oats)
1/4 cup of fat free milk (optional)
1 scoop of protein powder (I like Gold Standard's French Vanilla)
1 tbsp chopped walnuts
1 tbsp raisins (about 15)
Cinnamon -- a dash

Cook the dry oatmeal on the boiling water. Spoon it in bowl. Add milk if desired (I like my oatmeal kind of runny). Mix the scoop of protein powder. Once it's integrated, add the walnuts, raisins and cinnamon and enjoy. It's a great breakfast, and it gives you tons of energy through the morning.

Last but not least, here is some info on the different types of oatmeals and their energy/nutritional properties. (I am using a three point system for rating.)

Steel Cut Oatmeal= Also called Irish oatmeal. It is simply oatmeal that has been cracked and cut, and has the most nutritional value. It takes about 20 minutes to cook, and it gives you the most energy and flavor. I usually eat this on weekends, when time is not a factor. ENERGY: 3, FLAVOR: 3, CONVENIENCE: 1

Rolled Oats= Also known as old fashioned oats. This oats have been rolled and steamed. They need to be cooked, but they cook in about 10 minutes -- much faster than the steel cut ones. This is what I usually have for breakfast. ENERGY: 2, FLAVOR: 2, CONVENIENCE: 2

Instant Oats= These have been pre-cooked, and all you will need is hot water. They don't taste half as good as the other varieties, and the consistency is more gummy. It's still a decent option in a pinch, and it's terrific for traveling. All you need is to carry an envelope of instant Quaker Oats plain oatmeal, a baggie with protein powder, nuts and raisins, and all you will need is hot water. Voilá, you have an instant meal, which is way better than any airport of plane food. Travel with a small covered container like Tupperware if desired, in case there isn't a bowl available. ENERGY: 1, FLAVOR: 1, CONVENIENCE: 3

Note: If you can, avoid the envelopes of instant oatmeal that come already flavored. It's better than Froot Loops, admittedly, but it comes with a bunch of artificial flavorings that you don't need. Just sayin'.

And that's it for today.

This has been a public service by your Friendly Neighborhood Fitness Maniac

See you next time!

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
ladyhelwynn
Sep. 29th, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
I love mixing in different dried fruits in my oatmeal. I love dried cherries. Cinnamon is a must.

Alton Brown has a good Steel Cut Oatmeal recipe and he uses a bit of buttermilk which gives it an interesting flavor. He also has a recipe for an overnight oatmeal he does in the crockpot with fruit - I've been meaning to try that one.

Gotta love that soluble fiber!
belfebe
Sep. 29th, 2009 09:49 pm (UTC)
The crockpot with fruit sounds intriguing. A good way to save time and still get your steel cut oatmeal in the morning. Yum.

The buttermilk sounds good, but I would leave it for my "free" day. :-)
chargirlgenius
Sep. 29th, 2009 08:22 pm (UTC)
I always just threw rolled oats into the microwave. As far as I'm concerned, they're exactly as easy as instant oats, because I'd be microwaving the water anyway. The most inconvenient part about oatmeal is washing the dish afterward. :-)

When I cook rolled oats in the microwave, I usually put them in for at least 3-5 minutes. But if I have too small of a container I'll cook them less. I don't like mine real wet, so it might not work as well for you that way.

I like to cook my oatmeal in a mixture of water and ff soy milk. Once cooked, I add sliced almonds (or other nuts), dried cherries (or other fruit), and just a small squeeze of honey. Yeah, I'm fat, but it's sure not because of the honey I put on my oatmeal. ;-)

Oh, nom. I think I'll have to restock my desk with oatmeal. Thanks!
belfebe
Sep. 29th, 2009 09:51 pm (UTC)
Oh, nom. I think I'll have to restock my desk with oatmeal. Thanks!

My job here is done. Bwahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
thanate
Sep. 29th, 2009 09:20 pm (UTC)
My father also grew up being fed oatmeal for breakfast every morning. Years later, he learned that his parents made a pact when they got marred that they would never make each other eat oatmeal for breakfast again, and he was horribly offended that they'd still foisted it off on their children.
belfebe
Sep. 29th, 2009 09:52 pm (UTC)
That is just too funny.
stanci
Sep. 29th, 2009 10:31 pm (UTC)
My grandma makes cold oatmeal that is fabulous - put enough rolled oats in a bowl, put enough milk in, throw some yogurt on top, let sit for half an hour or so until it's slightly mushy ("al dente for oats" as my sister said), and then throw in some dried fruits. Yum! The half an hour or so is about my drive time to work :)
belfebe
Sep. 30th, 2009 01:54 pm (UTC)
Ohhh, that sounds really good! Gotta try it.
cariola
Sep. 30th, 2009 01:59 pm (UTC)
I've been making my own "instant" oatmeal packets using 1/2 c. rolled oats, 2 T brown sugar (yes, I have a sweet tooth but I'm starting to scale this back), 1 T powdered milk and 1 T flaxseed meal. I add a 10 count of hot water from the dispenser at work then let it sit on my desk until it stops looking watery. This gives me 6 g of dietary fiber and it's a lot more filling than those single serve packets that Quaker sells. The protein power is a good idea, I'll pick some up this week, but I'm not a big fan of fruits or nuts in my oatmeal.
belfebe
Sep. 30th, 2009 02:01 pm (UTC)
The protein powder not only helps make your oatmeal a complete meal, but also adds enough sweetness that you won't need to add the sugar. ;-)
alina_s
Sep. 30th, 2009 05:04 pm (UTC)
Where do you find protein powder in a grocery store?
belfebe
Sep. 30th, 2009 05:15 pm (UTC)
Usually in the health section, where all the health bars are. The most decent is Designer Whey. However, I purchase all of my protein powder online via bodybuilding.com. They have the best prices, most variety, and you have your stuff within 24-48 hours. They FedEx it, but you don't need to sign for it.

My fave is Gold Standard Whey by Optimum Nutrition. It's the one that gives you more bang for your buck, and it tastes pretty good too. They currently have the 1 lb bags, in case you don't want to start with a monster sized container and just try it. I usually go for the 2 lbs, since I consume it like crazy, and the container is not to huge that I can't store it.

Now, for flavor, I believe that the tastiest is Whey Gourmet. It's really good, although it has only 21grs of protein as opposed to 24 from Gold Standard, and it's also pricier.

Both brands also have variety packs in case you want to taste different flavors, but the ones I usually keep in hand are vanilla, chocolate and in the case of Gold Standard, Coffee. Yum.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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