The Oatmeal Chronicles

Here at school I prepare breakfast for myself in my dorm room, and the dining hall covers lunch and dinner.  I have to admit this now: cooking in college is not that glamorous.  Let’s just leave it at this: as of right now I will not be the campus’ next Julia Child, by any stretch of the imagination!

There are a number of superfluous hoops that one must jump through in order to succeed at cooking in a dorm room.  The first and most obvious is the severe lack of appliances.  I am lucky enough to have what they call a MicroFridge, and this handy little appliance is a very little refrigerator, stacked on top of a very, very, little freezer, stacked on top of a very, very, very little microwave.  One can fit enough breakfast food for about a week at a time in the MicroFridge, which to say the least, makes it virtually impossible to buy in bulk.

Unlike my family’s kitchen, there is a severe lack of counter space in my dorm room.  My desk is the only piece of furniture that resembles something of a countertop.  But a physical space restriction is not an excuse to sacrifice on nutritional quality!!!  Here are three of my favorite budget-friendly and nutritionally dense morning meals:

Cinnamon Infused Steel-Cut Oats

Combine 1/2 cup of steel-cut oats with 1 cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl.  Microwave for approximately three and a half minutes, shut the microwave off, allow time for cooling, and then add 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon to the bowl.  Mix the oats and the cinnamon together, and wait for five minutes.  In terms of the amount of added sugars, the nutritional density in this meal is pretty sweet…in fact, because I do not add granulated sugar/honey/maple syrup/Agave nectar to the steel-cut oats, the sugar content in this breakfast totals approximately two grams.  The cinnamon not only has a wonderful aroma, but also serves as a sugar substitute!

Baked Eggs

Yes…I outsource for these.  I feel absolutely blessed to have a kitchen in the common area of my building!  Anyway, in case you missed it, here is the link to a previously published blog post from a couple of years back with the recipe for baked eggs:

https://letseatlunch.wordpress.com/2014/04/15/baked-eggs/

Baked eggs are perfect for crazy-busy mornings.  They’re perfectly portable, and, with Easter in the not so distant future, fabulously festive as well.  Always remember that eggs are a miracle food, and, one of the only food sources that provides us with much needed Vitamin D.

Greek Yogurt Paired With Mixed Berries

No more purchasing fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.  Not only do they spoil pretty instantaneously, they are expensive!  I suggest purchasing a bag of frozen mixed berries.  These frozen mixed berries require zero prep…they’re pre-washed, pre-sliced, and the stems are already off!  Simply pour 1 cup of frozen berries into a bowl, and refrigerate them overnight.  In the morning, spoon 3/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt into the bowl and combine with the thawed berries.  A word to the wise: this recipe is an awesome option for people who do not care for plain Greek yogurt.  The thawed mixed berries mask the taste of the slightly sour, mostly tangy, plain Greek yogurt.  And, once again, when I add these whole foods to the Greek yogurt (instead of chemical sweeteners, preservatives, and/or food additives,) I am minimizing my consumption of added sugars.  (Remember, the sugar from the mixed berries is naturally occurring.)

So there you have it.  My three favorite morning meals.  I promise you…each of these recipes is a breakfast of champions!

What are your favorite budget-friendly and nutritionally dense morning meals?  Are you planning on trying any of the above recipes?  Please let me know!

Until Next Week…Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,

Katie

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10 thoughts on “The Oatmeal Chronicles

  1. Sheila Parisien

    Steel cut oatmeal is my go to breakfast. I prepare a pot on Sunday, line a muffin tin with seran wrap in each cup. I add walnuts, cinnaomon and on occasion some dried fruit. With an ice cream scoop, I fill each cup and add a hearty amount of frozen berries on top. I then twist the seran wrap tightly and flip the oatmeal plug over so the wrapped end is on the bottom to keep out air. Throw the tin in the freezer until the plugs are frozen and then put them in a zip lock bag and back in the freezer. Take one out in the morning, take it out of the wrap( you may have to let it set out a couple of minutes)and microwave for one minute. No sugar necessary! Great for busy mornings…. and college students that had a late night studying! Can even be made at home and put in a little cooler to travel back to school and into the little freezer.

  2. Hi Katie!
    One of my quick go to breakfast is a blender free smoothie
    I take a mixer cup, add almond milk and some protein powder. I grab a banana and am able to drink/eat my breakfast in the car for my 45 minute commute to work! Of course… Don’t forget the coffee!

  3. Taryn

    This is a great post, Katie! I love your recommendations for life with a MicroFridge :). I have never baked eggs in this way, and am looking forward to trying it. Thanks!

  4. johnarathuzik@gmail.com

    Hi Katie! Oatmeal breakfast is close to my heart (in more ways than one!). My favorite breakfast is hot oatmeal with fruit. I too found it somewhat differcult to maintain fresh fruit, so along the line I switched to frozen. I enjoy blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. I also use fresh banana. Generally I only use two fruits per serving. I like to switch around each day for variety. I cook the oatmeal with skim milk instead of water for a smoother consistency and taste. I let the fruit provide the sweetness I need therefore no sugar, honey or maple syrup. I also sometimes enjoy whole wheat toast with it! I was pleased what you said about the frozen fruit and letting the natural sugars do the job! However , I like cinnamon and intend to try your “2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon too! (Cinnamon is good for Diabetes also!) Well enough for now (getting hungry). Love and best wishes! Your friend, John 😇

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  5. Pingback: In the Name of Health…17 Food Intentions to Set in the New Year – Katie Chiffer: Nutrition Advocate, Food Blogger, & Health Enthusiast

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