One of the things we do at our house to save money on groceries and ensure we are eating a nutritional breakfast is eat oatmeal. Compared to the cost of cereal, it is cheap; plus, the nutritional value of oatmeal wins hands down. You get less calories, more fiber, a little iron, and if you add in extras you’ll get the nutrition from those as well.
Let me warn you though: about a week into eating plain oatmeal you will be really tired of it. To spice it up, Mr. Money (remember, he is a chef) and I have oatmeal cookoffs where we both make “gourmet oatmeal” and try to out do each other. One morning he’ll make it, and then the next morning I’ll make it. It works out so well for us!
Here are some of the varieties we like:
Banana bread oatmeal: Prepare oatmeal as directions indicate. While your oatmeal is cooking on the stove, mash one ripe banana (you can even freeze overripe ones for this!) and add to your cooking oats. Chop up some nuts (provided you aren’t allergic to them) and add those in too, stirring the mixture. We like to add walnuts or almonds. Add in a pinch of cinnamon (good for regulating blood sugar levels) if you like. Top with a pat of real butter and a few sprinkles of brown sugar. Yum!
Peach cobbler oatmeal: Prepare oats as indicated. Take one ripe peach and puree in food processor. Chop up your nuts of choice and add in to oats with peach. Stir. Add in brown sugar, a little butter, and cinnamon, stirring to incorporate. Top with sprinkles of brown sugar.
Apple pie oatmeal: Prepare oats as indicated. Take one apple and dice into small pieces. Chop up your nuts of choice and add in to oats with apple. Stir. Add in brown sugar, a little butter, and cinnamon, stirring to incorporate. Top with sprinkles of brown sugar. The apple pieces may take a little longer to soften, and I like to make sure they are pretty soft before I eat them.
Basically you can make “gourmet oatmeal” with any fruit. Our next fruit to try is going to be blueberries. I really like making this because it takes such a simple breakfast to a whole new level. It’s still inexpensive and much more nutritious than sugary cereals.
Do you make breakfast in the morning?