Everyone has his or her own opinion as to what to do for breakfast. Maybe it’s hearty eggs and bacon, the “I feel good about myself because I’m drinking this” juice or smoothie, a quick piece of toast or cereal or perhaps nothing at all. Generally we’ve been told that having breakfast is a good idea and it makes sense: food is our fuel and why would you ever want to take off for a road trip with an empty tank of gas?
I won’t debate which form of breakfast is the best, but I would like to share what has become my signature start to the day: oatmeal with cooked fruit, greek yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup. It is always satisfying but especially so in the colder months. Perhaps most importantly it’s healthy, gets your system moving and sustains your belly until lunch (something I have found most cereals don’t do.)
From a health prospective I look at it this way:
1. Oats = fiber = wahoo!
2. Greek yogurt = calcium and protein
3. Cinnamon = a whole bunch of good things See here
4. Fruit(s) of choice = all fruits have some nutritional value- some clearly have more than others. I have been recently on a tart cherry fix which are wonderful- you’ve heard of all the magical antioxidant powers of blueberries, the beautiful potassium that bananas hold ecc
5. Maple syrup = Pure natural sugar baby!
As always when selecting my ingredients, I prefer to go small and local. My yogurt is Sohha, a FAR creamier and tastier Greek yogurt than Fage or Chobani AND it’s made right here in New York City. I go for the 2%: Check them out!
My maple syrup is either Catskill Provisions or Ledgenear Farms.
My oats vary depending on availability. There are a few guys locally you can find, but my default is the McCann’s Steel Cut or given my regular consumption, I am ashamed to say, Quaker…
Fruit is whatever I have around the house. Ripe fruit is always best, as it’s sugars will begin to caramelize and better flavor the oats. I always keep some dried fruit on hand too- the cherries are dried tart cherries. Raisins work well too if that’s your thing.
So to make your Power Breakfast:
1. Heat a small saucepan over a high flame and add fruit(s) of choice, about 1 small handful (if it’s fresh fruit, cut it up and let it brown a little just to caramelize)
2. Add water, about 3/4 cup (you may need to adjust this based on the type of oats you are using- this works best with your regular rolled quaker oats)
3. Bring water to a boil and turn down to a low heat
4. Add oats, about 1/2 cup and stir
5. Let oatmeal cook for about 30-45 seconds and then add a generous dash of cinnamon
6. Continue to cook until all the water is absorbed, stirring from time to time. (Note I prefer my oats on the not-so-mushy side. If you want your oats more cooked, simply add more water. I recommend you do it a little at a time to best reach your desired consistency.)
7. Place porridge in a bowl. Top with a big dollop of yogurt and finish with a drizzle of maple syrup.