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February 2000 Issue
Oatmeal Mornings
by Ronda L. Halpin
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Brrr! It's cold outside and you need to make sure you've got a breakfast that's going to keep you going all morning long. Enter good old oatmeal. Oatmeal? That's right, oatmeal is a great way to start your day. This month, I'm offering a few ideas about how to spruce up the tried and true oatmeal so that it doesn't become mundane. Think oatmeal has to be boring if it's going to be good for you? Think again!

Oatmeal Pick-Me-Ups
  • Try transforming your oatmeal into a berry sensation. Add 1/2 cup of frozen berries (try blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries) to 1/2 c. quick cooking oatmeal. Add 1 c. boiling water and mix until oatmeal thickens and berries thaw. Try adding some of your favorite berry yogurt to boost the flavor and calcium content!

  • If you just crave a java-inspired oatmeal morning, add 2 teaspoons of instant coffee to the water you make your oatmeal with. For more fun, add 1 tablespoon of slivered almonds and a little coffee creamer!

  • Apples and maple syrup make a perfect pair. Add 1/2 cup of chopped apple and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup to your next bowl of oatmeal for a special treat. If you really want to spoil yourself, sprinkle some chopped walnuts over the top.

  • For a unique oatmeal breakfast, add 1/2 cup drained mandarin orange slices, vanilla yogurt and 1 tablespoon of miniature chocolate chip to prepared oatmeal. If you really want a strong orange flavor, make the oatmeal with the liquid from the mandarin oranges or add 1 tsp. grated orange peel to the mix.

  • If you need a little sweetness in your morning, try slicing half of a banana and adding it along with 1 teaspoon of honey to your oatmeal. Top it off with chopped pecans and enjoy!

  • Enjoy a little crunch in your oatmeal by adding 2 tablespoons of crunchy granola or a breakfast cereal like Grape Nuts. To satisfy your sweet tooth, add 1 teaspoon of honey or maple syrup.

  • Peaches and cream can make a big splash in your oatmeal if you add 1/2 cup chopped peaches and 1-2 tablespoons of light cream to your bowl. If you need a little crunch, sprinkle some chopped nuts or granola over the top of the bowl.

  • For a savory twist to your oatmeal, try adding a little shredded cheese, 1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers and 2 tablespoons of your favorite salsa. It's practically south of the border!

  • If these ideas aren't enough for you, try opening your cupboards and refrigerator for some more inspiration. Your next exciting oatmeal idea might be waiting for you there!

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