With colder weather taking hold I find, as you might too, that I’m craving warmer meals. With the change to a colder season the body goes into — in my totally UN-scientific opinion — human-hibernation-mode(!) where it needs to conserve energy to keep itself warm and moving. In my mind, this also explains why we tend to hold a little more weight in the winter months (fat/adipose tissue = insulation). Cold foods take more energy for the body to digest, thus leaving less energy for keeping us warm.
This oatmeal recipe is my staple for cold-weather breakfasts and it’s hearty enough to keep the body going until lunch time. You may be thinking, how am I supposed to find time to COOK before work/school/insert-activity-here, but believe me, oatmeal is super quick to prep AND pretty fool-proof (besides forgetting about it while getting ready in the morning and coming back to a burning pan. Believe me. I know :S)
I like to make two to four servings at a time, portion it out, then reheat it on the stove for the next few mornings with a little almond milk. Add the seeds, nuts and other toppings after it’s heated; they’ll stay nice and crunchy and anything containing omega fats will be less likely to go off.
Hearty Homemade Oatmeal
1 cup oats (I’ve been mixing oats & rye flakes. You can use any type of flaked cereal you like)
2 cups water/almond milk combo (I’ve been using more liquid than usual to make a soupier oatmeal)
1 whole cardamom pod, crushed
1 cinnamon stick
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
8 strands saffron
Any combo of toppings:
Pepitas (aka Pumpkin seeds)
Almond/Cashews or any nut of choice
Chia seeds (I put ~1 Tbsp in at the end of cooking — they soak up A LOT of liquid and expand, so use less than you think!)
Maple syrup (I’ll neither confirm nor deny how much syrup I use…)
Combine oats, liquid, cardamom pod, cinnamon stick, salt, vanilla and saffron in a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Let simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking (and burning — see above!) for 12-15 minutes or until cereal flakes are soft. Serve with any combination of toppings that you like.
Makes about 4 servings.