I am a breakfast eater, it is a “must.” Now I do not like eating something only to have to be hungry again by 10:30. This can lead to poor snacking habits if you do not plan ahead and find yourself raiding the vending machine in the break room.
True story, Chaya and I met in a 7:30 class in college. I noticed that she was not a breakfast eater, so I would bring her breakfast every morning we had that class. Later she would convert over to embrace breakfast. Now that we are married and have kids discretionary time for elaborate breakfasts is a luxury. Here is a quick and easy favorite that the kids love. You will need your favorite oatmeal, peanut butter, (optional) raisins or dates a pot, a spoon and hot water.
A word on peanut butter, I use the “Natural” stuff. If you read the ingredient lablel it is two items long: Peanuts and Salt. The ingredient you want to watch out for in major brands of peanut butter is Hydrogenated Oil (click on the link to read more). These are especially bad and since they do not occur in nature, you body does not quite know what to do with these trans fats.
Bring water to a boil. I never bother to measure, but if you are a precision oatmeal connoisseur just follow the recipe on the container; as for me, I just eyeball it. I put one big spoonful of peanut butter for every person eating breakfast. Coax the peanut butter off of the spoon trying not to splash anything.
Energy saving tip: if you or someone in your household is a morning shower getter, draw the water out of the bathroom sink where the hot water is already in the pipe. It saves having to draw it all the way to the kitchen (depending on how your plumbing is laid out) and having hot water in the pot speeds up the boiling time.
I will be right by the pot stirring until the peanut butter is somewhat dissolved. It never totally dissolves, it looks more like brown gooey streaks going across the pot. Either way if you were walk away the mess potential from a boil over is significant—ask me how I know that.
Next add the amount of oatmeal that you will need for the number of people eating. This is not an exact measurement for me. Better to start off a more runny than thick as the oatmeal will absorb a lot of water.
At this point I will turn off the flame or the electric coil as there is plenty of energy there to finish cooking the oatmeal. If you are taking this with you note that oatmeal will hold its heat for quite awhile.
Now if you are adding the raisins then grab what looks good for you, if you are adding dates or whatever else then chop them as needed.
Now if you were over ambitious at the last banana sale and they are all going brown on you, try smashing them into the finished product. Hey, if peanut butter and bananas were good enough for the King to eat at Graceland, then they are good enough to start out my day.
And you are done, enjoy!
Check back with us as we do a take-along lunch recipe for Wednesday and a recipe on Friday that will impress your friends for a dinner party.
Pro Deo et Patria
All Photos by Pantry Paratus