by MELISSA GORDON
If you think oatmeal is boring, you might want to sit down while you read this. First of all, let me just say that many mornings I wake up happily to a bowl of hot oats with bananas, walnuts, and honey. Apples, pecans, cinnamon and maple syrup is another favorite combo. Midwestern grandmothers would approve of these breakfasts. But last year I read Liana Krissof’s “Whole Grains for a New Generation” and my whole oatmeal-view shifted. Krissof was talking about adding blue cheese and soy sauce or whiskey with a pat of butter to her oatmeal. She was cooking oats in chicken broth, snipping in dried chiles, crumbling in goat cheese. Sometimes she wasn’t even using oats! I was shocked, and a bit scandalized. Nevertheless, I slowly began experimenting with goat cheese and figs, vanilla beans and cardamom, and I worked my way up to a savory oatmeal. And let me tell you when your day begins with adventure, it only gets better from there. Pick and choose from the categories below and adventure on!
Oats, quinoa, amaranth, millet, farro, cracked wheat, wheat berries, spelt berries.
(if it’s dried, add it in a few minutes before cooking so it rehydrates)
Apple butter, apple sauce, bananas, chopped or mashed, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, orange slices, grapefruit slices, grapes, pineapple, pomegranate seeds, dried cranberries, dried cherries, dried apricots, dried mango, dried figs, dried dates, dried papaya, raisins.
Walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, cashews, toasted pine nuts, almond butter, peanut butter.
Chia, flax, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pepitas.
Cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, chai, curry, chutney, chili paste, red pepper flakes, crushed dried chilies (or snip in whole dried chilies while cooking), hot sauce.
Honey, brown sugar, apple cider, jam, agave maple syrup, turbinado sugar, chocolate chips.
Heavy whipping cream, cream cheese, brie, goat cheese, cheddar cheese, blue cheese, almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, coconut milk, butter.
Vanilla bean, sliced and added while cooking, vanilla extract, smoked fish, sliced garlic, coconut shavings, cacao nibs, gingersnap crumbs, canned pumpkin, diced tomatoes, avocado, sliced or mashed, mint or basil leaves.
Savory Breakfast Bowl
Adapted slightly from deliciousliving.com
• 1/2 cup cooked steel cut oats
• 1/2 cup roasted vegetables
(any combo will work)
• 1/2 cup sauteed torn Swiss chard
• 1 hard-boiled egg, peeled and halved
• 1/2 avocado, peeled and diced
• 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
• 3 tablespoons salsa verde
Place oats in a bowl. Mix in roasted vegetables and sauteed chard. Add egg halves and top with remaining ingredients.