The Hungry Swimmer: All About Oatmeal

by Zoe Gregorace 2

December 16th, 2019 News

As a self-proclaimed breakfast enthusiast, it is impossible for me to disguise my undying passion for oatmeal. Oats are a great source of complex carbohydrates and fiber and will keep you full for an extended amount of time. Now I know what you’re thinking; oatmeal is pretty much the blandest breakfast food out there next to cream of wheat. Well I’m here to prove you wrong! 

Not only is it the convenience of cooking or satiation that has me on ‘team oats,’ but it is the versatility of oats that truly inspired this love affair. You can have oats for breakfast, lunch or dinner, in a savory dish or as a means to satisfy a sweet tooth. The possibilities are truly endless! While there is an infinite amount of potential oatmeal flavor combinations, another awesome thing about oats is that they are inexpensive. Oats are a major staple in my diet and I always make sure to have them on hand in my cupboard. As a busy college student, I would advise stocking up on oats and meal prepping overnight oats for breakfast on the go. Not only is it a nutritious option, but you’ll be saving some coin by not grabbing that coffee shop pastry or expensive egg sandwich on the way to class! 

Now that I have made my case, I am thrilled to share with you some of my favorite oatmeal recipes. Now, these aren’t your grandmother’s oats!

Savory Sunrise Oatmeal Bowl

Ingredients

  •     ½ cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup liquid (you may use water or unsweetened original almond milk)
  • 1 tbsp flax meal
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 1egg
  • Sliced avocado
  • Hot sauce (optional)

Normally I prefer sweet oats however, this savory bowl will definitely satisfy that savory craving! When crafting this bowl, I drew inspiration from savory grits and your classic avocado toast with a glistening sunny-side up, runny egg. To prepare, you can either microwave your oats or cook them on the stovetop. Typically if I’m in a time crunch, I would just use the microwave however, I highly recommend taking the time to cook your oats on the stove. This way, they come out more fluffy and thick. The texture is incomparable! For this recipe, start by boiling 1 cup of liquid in a saucepan. Then, add in ½ cup of oats and turn down to medium heat. Continue to stir until they soak up some of the liquid and begin to fluff up. Next, add the flax meal, salt and pepper. Once most of the liquid is gone, they are done cooking. Pour finished oats into a bowl and while they are cooling, fry up an egg in a pan. Slice a ripe avocado, layer the egg on top of the oats and finish off with a light sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Fin!

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup rolled oats 
  • 1 cup liquid (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ chopped honey crisp apple
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar (You could also use brown sugar)

Eggs and oatmeal? Together? Sounds pretty strange but trust me, the impeccable taste makes up for it. Adding egg whites to oatmeal is a great way to sneak in more protein. It also enhances the fluffy texture, making your oats nice and thick. For this recipe, I recommend using the stove top cooking method in order to achieve the ultimate thickness level. Just as in the first recipe, bring liquid to a boil and add in the oats. Reduce to medium heat and when most of the liquid has evaporated, stir in two egg whites and chia seeds. This will sop up most of the liquid that’s left in the pan so it is important to add in a splash of liquid so the oats and eggs don’t completely stick to the bottom. Continuously stir and add in the cinnamon and vanilla. Chop up half of an apple into bite sized cubes and add into the pan. This will incorporate all the flavors together and warm up the apples. Once the oat mixture appears thick, the apples are soft and all the liquid is soaked up, pour into a bowl and top with a dusting of coconut sugar. Time to dig in!

Maca Cauliflower Oats

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup rolled oats 
  • 1 cup liquid (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk) 
  • ½ cup frozen cauliflower rice 
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • ½ sliced banana
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 2 tbsp creamy almond butter

Another funky, unconventional combination. Definitely sounds strange, but it’s a great way to sneak in some extra veggies during breakfast. No need to slurp down a grassy, green juice! While zucchini may also be added to oats, the shredded bits are stringy and can be easily detectable. Cauliflower rice, on the other hand, may be better incorporated into the rolled oat texture due to the consistent, rice shaped morsels. I typically use frozen cauliflower rice, because that’s what I usually have on hand but, room temperature cauliflower rice may be used just as efficiently. Again, we will be using the stove top cooking method for this recipe. Once the liquid boils, add in the oats, return to medium heat and stir until some of the liquid is sopped up. After a few minutes, add in the cauliflower rice as well as another splash of liquid. Stir in the chia seeds, cinnamon and maca powder. If you haven’t heard of maca powder, you should certainly get your hands on some. It has a nutty, butterscotch flavor as well as free-radical fighting properties. The powder has also been found to boost your energy and even improve your mood. While I enjoy adding it to oatmeal bowls, it can also be a great addition to smoothies. Continue to stir and begin to slice a banana for your topping. Once the liquid has been absorbed, pour your oats into a bowl, layer on the banana slices and plop you creamy almond butter on top. Enjoy!

Mixed Berry Protein (‘Proats’) Oats

Ingredients 

  • ½ cup rolled oats 
  • 1 cup liquid (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk) 
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 scoop chocolate vegan protein powder
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1 cup of frozen mixed berries
  • 2 tbsp creamy almond butter

Here is another protein-filled oatmeal recipe! Whether you just finished a workout and want to replenish your body with a balanced meal or you want a delicious and filling breakfast, you must check out this oatmeal bowl. Just a quick disclaimer, although protein powder is commonly associated with a post workout shake, you do not need to hit the gym in order to consume protein powder. 

As I’m pretty sure you guessed it, we’re going to be utilizing the stove top cooking method for this recipe. You know this drill. Add oats to boiling water or almond milk, reduce to medium heat and stir until the oats soak up some liquid. Add in the protein powder, followed by a splash of almond milk. Based on personal preference, I use a plant-based protein powder. I like pea protein or a plant-based protein blend. For this recipe, I used a raw cacao protein powder from the brand, LivWell. Continue to stir and add in the cinnamon and chia seeds. If too thick, add in additional liquid until you reach your desired consistency. Once done cooking, add into a bowl and top with frozen berries and a scoop of your favorite nut butter. I love creamy almond butter but you may also opt for a natural peanut butter or cashew butter. 

Check out my page for more oatmeal creations and be sure to share your oatmeal bowls with me @whatzoeeeats

 

About Zoe Gregorace

Zoe Gregorace is currently studying Nutrition Policy at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and recently graduated from Tufts University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and was a proud member of the Tufts Swimming and Diving team (Go Jumbos!). During her 16 year career as a competitive swimmer, she developed a passion for sports nutrition. She enjoys writing on the topic of nutrition, health and wellness and posts her meal creations on her Instagram page @whatzoeeeats. As a former college swimmer, she strives to share recipes and nutrition tips to promote balanced eating and optimize sports performance.

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mike_in_dallas

This past year, I discovered the value of oats as a great way to reduce bad cholesterol AND have a diet properly balanced with enough fiber for good health.
Great article!

MamaEx

Make sure to ALWAYS buy organic and glyphosate free oats.

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