Oatmeal: A Healthy, Fast, And Frugal Breakfast
Few foods are as good for you as oatmeal. In addition to both
soluble and insoluble fiber, oatmeal is naturally low in fat, a great
non-animal (vegetarian) source of protein, and contains many vitamins like
vitamin E, zinc, selenium, and other minerals.And it's delicious!
Don’t be fooled by those packets of instant flavored oatmeal, though! They are packed full of sugar and artificial flavors, expensive, and are missing most of the fiber that makes oatmeal healthy.
McDonalds is touting an oatmeal cup, but honestly you can make one better, faster, and for a fraction of the cost! In fact, oatmeal is so cheap that whenever I price out the pre-packaged store brand containers versus the bulk cost, it’s inevitably almost the same price. And considering that I have had a lot of trouble with meal moths in bulk oatmeal, this is one of the few foods I recommend NOT purchasing from the bulk bins.
Depending on what you add to your oatmeal, you can have a healthy, filling, delicious breakfast in 2 minutes for about 20 cents!
- You will need to buy “quick oatmeal.” This lies in between “instant oatmeal” and “old-fashioned oatmeal” or steel-cut oats. Old-fashioned oatmeal and steel-cut oats take 20 minutes to cook on the stovetop. (Who has the time?) Instant oatmeal is ready, just add water. But the trade-off is the health benefits.
Quick oatmeal cooks in the microwave in 2 minutes. This is a great middle ground. It has most of the health benefits of old-fashioned oatmeal, and is ready in a reasonable time.
- Spices and sweeteners. I like to add cinnamon (good for your circulatory system) and brown sugar (gives a surprising amount of sweetness for relatively few calories). Other suggestions include Splenda or another sugar-free sweetener, maple syrup, honey, vanilla, cardamom. A spoonful of protein powder is also a great addition, whether unflavored or vanilla flavor. I also like to add a splash of non-fat milk to add flavor, make the texture more porridge-y, and help cool down the bowl.
- Toppings. I like to add a scoop of chopped walnuts (rich in omega 6 fatty acids) and a scoop of Craisins (a serving of fruit for the day, plus all the antioxidant benefits of cranberries). Other suggestions include minced apple, slivered almonds, raisins, frozen blueberries, minced dates, sliced bananas – whatever you can think of!
- Put ½ cup oats, 1 cup water, and a small pinch of salt in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Microwave for 2 minutes.
- Add in all your additional toppings and flavorings, stir and enjoy!
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