Oatmeal isn’t terrible… finding truth in a tale of lies

My husband and I are the typical busy Americans. We are a bit overweight, eat lots of processed foods, go out to eat way more than we should, and keep telling ourselves we are going to get back on track and start eating better and exercising occasionally. It could happen.

One of the big pushes I have been making is trying to get our family to eat ‘Real Food’ over processed food. I’m a big fan of the blog 100 Days of Real Food and have found a lot of good information there. We aren’t anywhere close to following the guidelines, but we are making baby steps in the right direction. We are going to the farmer’s market, picking up more fresh and frozen vegetables, making more food from scratch, and replacing highly processed staples with less processed versions.

One switch that has been going reasonably well is more ‘real food’ breakfast.

Funny story time – A while back I decided we needed to change from Quaker Instant Oatmeal to Rolled Oats or Steel Cut Oats or whatever. I went to Amazon (because I love Amazon and am too lazy to go to the store) found some oatmeal that sounded good and ordered it on Subscribe & Save. I had a reading comprehension fail, because the 32oz of oatmeal I thought I was buying was actually a 4 pack of 32oz packages of oatmeal. Do you know how much oatmeal that is?!?!? Well… it is a lot. This single box of oatmeal contained more oats than my entire family had eaten collectively in our entire lives. Including cookie form (because that counts).

Even better is that I forgot to take it off of Subscribe & Save so when we were half way through our first package of oatmeal (months later) we got a whole new box of oatmeal to enjoy.

I grew up in the land of grits (grits + butter + salt + cheese = delicious). So oatmeal was somewhat foreign to me to start with. I mean the Quaker stuff with a shit-ton of sugar and other flavors was decent, but the plain stuff… pretty terrible. Now that I have 256 ounces of pure rolled oats I have no idea what to do with it’s time for me to come up with some ideas.

What I figured out is that if you want to make plain oatmeal palatable for us normal food consuming folks (ie all the people who survive on processed food), you have to add what I like to call fixin’s.  Sometimes fixin’s include brown sugar and cinnamon, other times we have fruit and cream, we even do maple syrup and nuts.  Find a combination that works for you, try to use ‘real food’ when you can.  This morning’s overnight oats (an awesome way to cook oatmeal without having to cook) contained a half cup of frozen mixed berries, 2 teaspoons of raw honey, a dash of cinnamon, and a teeny bit of almond extract. I was going for pie. I didn’t hit that, but I did achieve a yummy real food breakfast.

Then I had empanadas at work….

 

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