Since we're not in the lunch, dinner or any-time-of-day snack mode, let's stick to oatmeal for now. (Possible idea happening here: Breakfast falafel? Falafel for breakfast? Can it be done?) I've always been a major fan of oatmeal. I feel for it. I feel like it gets a bad rap. People find it mushy, gray, flavorless. Or on the very opposite hand, it suddenly becomes wildly unhealthy once we heap it with brown sugar and coat it with butter.
Oatmeal, in my mind, is a winter superfood. Honestly, most days the only thing that gets me out of my roasty-toasty bed from November through February is the promise of a hotass cup of coffee and a massive bowl of oatmeal that I can clutch dramatically (you know, for the warmth) and think of Spring, melting snow, even Summer, if I'm feeling daring.
So how to mix it up, make it more interesting? The standards, banana, brown sugar, almonds, are all well and good, but every now and then it's good to shake up your routine. And of course, I am a major fan of finding ways to sneak vegetables into any and all foods, especially breakfast.
For this version of oatmeal (that is soon to be your favorite), you will need:
1/2 cup steel cut oats (quick-cook or regular is fine)
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup grated carrots (Yes! Carrots in the morning! In your cereal! So?)
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 tablespoon orange zest (you want to definitely use organic for zest-ing)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped raw walnuts and pecans, mixed
1-2 teaspoons brown sugar, to taste
Start by cooking your oats according to the instructions using the almond and coconut milks in place of water. Bob's Red Mill is a great go-to for organic steel cut oats, but if you're looking for a quick and easy version, Trader Joe's makes a great one that's ready in eight minutes (though usually even less). In the mean time, grate your carrots. Once your oatmeal has thickened, add your raw carrot shreds, raisins and spices. Allow to finish cooking to desired texture (steel cut oats should be slightly al dente).
Stir in your coconut, vanilla extract, brown sugar and orange zest. Top with chopped walnuts and dig in with a spoon; brace yourself for a breakfast that will be seriously hard to beat. It's basically deconstructed carrot cake in a bowl, that you don't have to feel bad about eating before work.