Thursday, May 13, 2010

Want to eat Breakfast?

One of the most difficult things for me when I first was adjusting to my gluten and dairy free diet, was making breakfast. I grew up in a cereal or bagel house. Every morning my brothers and I can choose from tons of cereal, or, it we had tons of time, we'd eat bagels with butter or cream cheese. Both of these options were immediately out for me.
Fortunately, at least at the beginning, it was summer and I had more time to figure some cooking out. I remember the first morning I ate fried eggs, not realizing that scrambled eggs didn't need to have milk in them. For the first couple of weeks I probably ate eggs every morning. This habit, however, could not persist. Apart from the high cholesterol associated with eggs, I simply wouldn't have the time to make them every morning.
After A LOT of studying, I decided that the questionable oats would be okay for me to eat. I still don't get instant rolled oats, I need to get the Irish oats, but they have become an absolute lifesaver.
My first time cooking them was a stressful experience, with several phone calls to my mom, but now that I've gotten the hang of it, I can't imagine my mornings without beloved oatmeal.
Typically on Saturday or Sunday I'll make a big batch of the Irish oats, and then keep it refrigerated so that in the morning I can just pop it in the microwave. The oats get a strange consistency in the fridge, so it's important to combine them with liquid and mix it up so that they're more like traditional oatmeal after reheated. I like to add some almond milk with mine, and stick it in the microwave for about 90 seconds.
Here are a couple of combinations I've put together with my oatmeal to make it extra tasty every morning!

1. Banana and Peanut Butter Oats
After I reheat my oats with the almond milk, I add in:
- 1 mashed banana (mashing it up makes it easier to mix in all the way with the oats and it releases a great sweet flavor that's my favorite!)
- 2 teaspoons of flaxseed meal (flax seed meal is an AMAZING source of fiber, which is very important with breakfast, also, the flaxseed adds a nutty taste that combines really well with the peanut butter)
- 1 teaspoon of peanut butter (I firmly believe that peanut butter makes EVERYTHING more delicious :) )
Mix all the ingredients together and it makes for an ABSOLUTELY delicious breakfast!

2. Applesauce Oats
This one is a little more involved if you want to make the applesauce from scratch. Normally what I've done is I make the applesauce when the oats are cooking.
To Make Applesauce:
- Cut up as many apples as you want (I normally do about 4) and put in a casserole dish
- Cover apples with almond, soy, or rice milk
- sprinkle cinnamon over the apples and milk
Then put the dish in the oven at 375 or 400 degrees, depending on your oven, for about 35 minutes, or until the apples are softened.
you can mix the applesauce with your oats and it is amazing! This was one of my favorites in the fall!

3. Honey & Raisin Oats
This one is my dad's favorite. It's really easy, and can even be cooked into the oats when you initially make them so that you can just reheat and eat thereafter.
What I usually do is reheat the oats with almond milk and add:
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- 2 tablespoons of raisins (or as many as you want)
Even though its easy, it's still really good!!

These are obviously just suggestions for what have worked for me, but it's so nice to have "cereal" back in my life! It may take about 90 seconds longer than just pouring a bowl with milk, but it definitely is still tasty and easy, which is important when you're on the go and don't want a huge clean up afterward!

I think I'm off for some banana and PB!

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