Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but really, what college student has the time to make a warm, nutritious breakfast every morning? The same routine of granola bars and a piece of fruit can only continue for so long. I have a delicious solution to this problem with three variations of my warm oats recipe.
1/3 cup of “One Degree Organic Foods” sprouted rolled oats
3/4 cup of water
A pinch of salt
2 tablespoons of chia seeds
One spoonful of brown sugar
A few drops of vanilla extract
I start making my oats base by boiling 3/4 cup of water with a pinch of salt. Once the water is at a rolling boil, you can gently stir in your oats and reduce the heat to low. Cover the oats and let the mixture simmer, stirring occasionally.
I let my oats simmer for about eight minutes — just enough time to tidy up the rest of the kitchen and start preparing the toppings! After eight minutes, check to make sure the oat mixture isn’t too runny. If it is, allow a few more minutes for it to simmer with the lid on.
Once the oat base has no water left in your pot, stir in your chia seeds. Chia seeds add a little extra protein and give a great texture to the oats. After the chia is all mixed in, add a spoonful of sugar and a few drops of vanilla extract, and you’re ready for garnishes. The brown sugar and vanilla aren’t necessary for delicious oats, but they add a nice depth of flavor to the plain and simple oats.
My first variation is a fresh and fruity oatmeal — it's a great transitional recipe you can enjoy while berries are still in season. I take my oats mix and put it in a bowl or to-go mug and stir in some unsweetened shredded coconut. Then I top the oats with about four finely chopped strawberries and a small handful of blueberries.
I love eating these fruity oats hot or cold. The strawberries and blueberries keep this oatmeal bursting with flavor and texture.
For a cozier fall morning, I swap out the coconut and berries for some cinnamon and chopped apples. The best apples to use are freshly-picked, but any apples will work. I take about half of an apple, wash it and chop it finely. I like adding my apples to the oats base after about five minutes of cooking my oats so they can soften and heat up with the oats.
Once the oats base is ready, add some cinnamon and mix. This is best eaten warm right after it comes off the stove, just like a hot apple pie. The apples still have a little bit of bite and freshness even after they are heated, and the cinnamon adds just the right amount of warmth.
For those with a sweet tooth, I love adding chai tea powder to my oats. My favorite powdered chai tea, Chamba Chai, comes from Costco. Once my oats are all finished cooking and are mixed with the chia seeds, I add one scoop of my Chamba Chai mix with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon and a little more brown sugar for decoration.
The chai oats are a great way to spice up a dreary, rainy morning. I love putting these oats in a coffee mug and taking them to class with me if I need a mood boost. The sweet chai mix gives you just the right amount of sugar to start your day with a smile.
Oats are easy to take on-the-go, and they stay delicious and warm in any insulated mug.
All of these recipes take around 10 minutes to make and there isn’t much clean-up involved, which makes for an easy and versatile breakfast.