American College of Nutrition Certified Nutrition Specialist | Author | Professor of Nutrition


Breakfast for a Week in Just Five Minutes

bowl of oatmeal with berriesI love having oatmeal for breakfast, but I don’t love making oatmeal in the morning. Too much time on the stove, too much cleanup from the inevitable boil-over in the microwave. For the past several years I’ve been making oatmeal in the slow cooker overnight, but lately even that seemed like it took a lot of time.

Then I spotted this little tip in Bon Apetit magazine, outlining the steps for making oatmeal in advance. It works fabulously and now I’m good for a week’s worth of delicious steel-cut oats for just a few minutes spent on Sunday evening. Its a lot easier waking up knowing I’ve got a good breakfast waiting for me to enjoy.

Here’s how you do it:

This makes enough for two, cut it in half if you are making oatmeal for one.

Put two cups of steel cut oats, a couple pinches of salt and 8 cups of water into a large saucepan. Bring it to a full boil, stir a few times while boiling being careful so that it doesn’t boil over. Take the pot off the heat, cover it and let it sit there overnight.

Yes, I know, it seems strange. But it works. In the morning give it all a stir and see. Portion out a bowl’s worth to heat up and put the rest in the refrigerator.

When I add frozen fruit it takes two minutes in the microwave to heat up a bowl full, when I use fresh fruit it takes 90 seconds. Then I add my ground flax and nuts if I’m in the mood.  No boil-over because its already cooked. No messy microwave to clean. Just a hot bowl of tasty, hearty oatmeal to get me through the morning.

Why is oatmeal so good for breakfast? Its a whole grain full of healthy fiber and nutrients that I don’t get in any other food. It adds healthy variety and gives me energy to fuel my whole morning, while keeping my blood sugar pretty steady. Its also the best way to get some good-for-me ground flax.

Some good mix-in combos for oatmeal:

Banana and pecans

Blueberries and almonds

Savory with olive oil and nuts

Peaches with just about anything

Raisins and banana

If you need the oatmeal a little sweeter, add some stevia, brown sugar or honey. The amount you would add to your bowl is about half of what a flavored oatmeal would have, and it will taste so much better.

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