Mornings always have a very early start in our home. River is up with the sun, or before, every single day. On occasion something really magical happens and he sleeps until 7:00 am, but I am telling you, that is a very rare treat. Thankfully, I have always enjoyed being up early as well, so despite the occasional complaint, it works for me. If you have kids then you likely know that breakfast has to happen promptly upon rising. I find myself constantly in thought about what to serve for breakfast that I haven't already done a thousand times. And when you aren't eating eggs, dairy, or meat (we try not to eat soy either), the more traditional breakfast options really are narrowed down. You can only serve toast with peanut butter and fruit bowls so many times before you die of boredom. One of my favorite things to serve for breakfast is oatmeal, mostly because of its versatility in both nutrition and flavor. It is lovely served almost naked with a sprinkle of coconut sugar, or you can create incredible flavor combinations by adding fresh or dried fruits, nut butters or seeds, etc.
Oatmeal is high in protein, loaded with soluble fiber which is fantastic for heart health, lowering cholesterol, and stabilizing blood glucose levels. It also contains B vitamins and is high in folate (excellent for pregnant women), iron, manganese, magnesium and phosphorous. Oatmeal is an ideal food to eat if you are breastfeeding as it is high in calories, minerals and vitamins which also make it a perfect option for a good hearty meal to start a child's day off right.
Many find it surprising when they first hear that oats are gluten free. Most oats are safe for anyone with a gluten intolerance or celiac disease as long as they come from an uncontaminated source. Bob's Red Mill does a celiac friendly, guaranteed uncontaminated rolled oat. I really love that brand for their quality control and consistency in product, plus they are now available in practically every grocery store.
This is the first of many oatmeal recipes to come, but my personal favorite because of the high nutrient content that the other ingredients also contain.
Chia seeds are becoming very well known for their high omega-3 and iron content and are very easy to digest. Also, because they become gelatinous when wet they are a fantastic cleaning product for the body. Gelatinous foods like chia, aloe, cilantro and parsley are able to attach themselves to certain forms of pollution in the body and pass it through the digestive tract and out of the body. Talk about spring cleaning!
Hemp hearts also contain omegas 3 and 6, easily digestible protein, a fantastic amount of manganese, magnesium, folate, iron, thiamine, zinc and vitamin B6.
Add all of that to an already nutrient rich food like oats and you are laughing - an awesome and easy breakfast option with tons of room for creativity with flavors!
Blueberry Vanilla Oatmeal with Chia and Hemp Hearts
1 cup of uncontaminated rolled oats
2 cups of water
1/3 tsp of vanilla powder (Organic Traditions does a lovely vanilla powder)
3 tbsp of unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tbsp of chia seeds
3 tbsp of hemp hearts
1/4 cup of fresh blueberries
Most rolled oats will require the same cooking instructions, but just in case, check the cooking instructions on the pack you have at home. I almost always use Bob's Red Mill rolled oats, which require 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of oats. In a medium sized pot add the water and bring to a boil. Stir in the uncooked oats, reduce heat to medium and stir well. After a minute or two, add in the vanilla powder and combine well. You will notice the oats will begin absorbing the water. Add the shredded coconut, chia seeds and the blueberries stirring to incorporate. Once the blueberries begin to soften add the hemp hearts. The oatmeal cooks completely within 10-15 minutes.
This is a speedy and absolutely delicious breakfast, nutritious and fully loaded with flavor. A definite breakfast favorite in my home!
Yields 2-3 servings.