An Ode to Oats

And just like that, the first week of classes is finished!!  The first few days are always challenging since you’re adapting to this new schedule and trying to figure out what routine works best, so it’s such a big relief to have gotten past that stage.  It also helps to be an upperclassman because you already know so many people on campus.  I’ve encountered this in most of my classes where even if I don’t know someone personally, I recognize him/her from previous classes or just from seeing him/her around campus.  That’s probably my favorite part of being an upperclassman- knowing, or at least recognizing, so many people.  As for the upper-level classes, they’re pretty on par with what I was expecting (content and difficulty wise).     

 

To celebrate, I made a big bowl o’ oats for breakfast this morning.  Since I don’t have class until 10:10 Friday mornings, I decided to take the time to dress up my oatmeal and make it look all fancy 😀  Food always seems to taste better when it looks better, wouldn’t you agree?  

 

Unfortunately, dining halls aren’t equipped with the most foodie-friendly offerings (oh chia, flax, hemp, coconut flakes how I miss you so!), so I did my best with the slim pickings.  I definitely miss the luxury of living at home and having a stocked pantry to work with, but this morning’s creation turned out quite photogenic considering what I had to work with!      

 

Fresh fruit is a must when it comes to oat toppings, so the strawberries were a no-brainer.  I threw in a few pineapple chunks for a tropical vibe and they added an unexpected sweet twist to the bowl.  Of course, we can’t forget about the granola, so in that went as well.  And to top it all off…a big blob of homemade roasted peanut butter!!  The fact that it’s homemade makes all the difference.  I’m a nut butter addict, so much like my hummus obsession, you can be sure that it WILL make an appearance on my plate one way or another if it’s present.  Also, I don’t discriminate against any of them- almond, peanut, sunflower, cashew…I love ’em all!

 

Most people get intimidated by oatmeal because they think it’s either bland and boring or it’s too time consuming to make in the morning, but that’s not the case.  In fact, the reason that I love oats so much is that they are an extremely versatile blank canvas for an array of healthy and delicious creations.  With a simple base of water/your choice of liquid and oats, the possibilities are endless.  The toppings are where it’s at, and I love going crazy with them.  My go-to combo that never fails me usually follows something like this: sweet (whatever fruit is currently in season) + creamy (nut butter) + crunchy (granola) + fun (coconut flakes, hemp seeds, chia, etc…).  

 

While we’re on the topic of oats, it would be unheard of if I didn’t take the time to praise the almighty Overnight Oats!  *cue angelic harp music*  OO’s (foodie slang) rule the world of healthy foodies (in addition to acài bowls, avo toast, and green smoothie bowls) and if you’ve ever had it, you very well know that it is very deserving of this title.  It’s literally one of the easiest and most convenient (add wholesome, hearty, and delicious to that list) breakfasts of all time, and you don’t even have to do any work in the morning.  

 

 

Once you prep everything at night, just let it sit in the fridge and you’ll wake up to a pleasant surprise in the morning.  All of the magic happens overnight as the oats soften and chia seeds soak up the liquid to produce a delightfully creamy concoction that awaits the addition of whatever toppings your heart desires in the morning.  

 

In the picture above, I added matcha green tea powder to my oat mixture the night before, which gives it that vibrant green color.  What I said before aptly applies to OO’s – easily adaptable to your preferences.  Chocolate with PB and bananas are a classic combo, or if you’re feeling adventurous, I bet cinnamon, dried figs and almond buttah would taste out of this world.  

 

I could go on and on about breakfast because honestly, it’s the most awesome meal of the day, but I think that’s enough oat talk for now.  I didn’t actually intend for this post to turn into an oat-rant, but ya just gotta go with the flow sometimes, and oats were on my mind so this is what become of those thoughts!