March break maybe a week gone, but I've still got the weekend. What do weekends mean for me? Lots of different things! A weekend could mean brunch or coffee with my best friend, catching up on my marking that I haven't done all week, cleaning the bathroom, seeing my sister and parents ... Weekends are walking around outside and enjoying the sun, nice long workouts at the gym with my Mom, lazy moments curled up on the couch, long streetcar rides to the middle of nowhere... I love weekends and I have a favourite weekend breakfast that I love to have. Nope, it's not scrambled eggs and bacon, waffles or pancakes or French toast. It's oatmeal, that's right, oatmeal.
I love cereal of all kinds, but I think oatmeal has become my favourite type of hot cereal. I'm no stranger to oatmeal on weekdays. In fact, I have oatmeal for lunch everyday. It's quick, it's easy, it's nutritious and it's easy to keep all the ingredients on hand at work so I don't have to worry about packing a lunch. Weekday oatmeal usually consists of 5-minute oats, wheatbran and a bit of brown sugar, boiling water from a kettle poured over top and a splash of soy milk at the end. Paired with an apple and some giggly students watching teeny bop music videos on YouTube in my classroom, and I have the perfect weekday lunch.
But on the weekend, my regular oats put on a jacket and tie for breakfast. I have the luxury of cooking the oats in milk instead of water, and I can add a million different toppings. Recently, I've been alternating between three different types of oatmeals. Here they are. (I know some of you are probably gagging at the thought of oatmeal as a treat on the weekends, but give it a try. I know you'll become a convert!)
Basic Weekend Oatmeal
1/4 cup of quick-cooking oats (the 3-5 minute kind)
1/2 cup of skim milk
1/2 cup of almond or soy milk
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
a splash of vanilla
1. Put the milks, sugar and vanilla in a pot and heat on medium until tiny bubbles form at the sides of the pot.
2. Add the oats, turn the heat to low and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring.
3. Turn off the heat and let it stand for a minute or so.
4. Top with anything you like! I topped mine with a big spoon of skim milk yogurt and this wonderful citrus fruit salad.
This version is what I have when I need an extra special treat. I replace the brown sugar with 1 heaping teaspoon of peanut butter and add half a chopped banana with the oats. It's served with skim milk yogurt and strawberry jam. An almost guilt free PBJ (cuz oats lower your cholesterol... right :)
This version is, I think, my cuddly partner's favourite. It's a spiced berry version. I replace the soy/almond milk with 1/2 cup of pomogranate juice blend, and add frozen mixed berries and a pinch of cardamom right before I add the oats. It's topped with the same yummy yogurt and jam, but it's also got some slivered almonds.
I found it so fun to play around with the combinations of liquids, toppings and fruits that go into the oatmeal. So go ahead -- make some oatmeal, curl up with your favourite book and enjoy your weekend morning.
Oh by the way! I drizzled my oats today with a sesame seed butter with flax added to it. Soooooo good!