Friday, December 7, 2012

Oats, berries, breakfast............

Do you or don't you?  Eat breakfast that is.  

Recently I scared myself. I suddenly thought I was becoming one of those old people - you know the ones who meander through each day doing the exact same thing at the exact same time......they follow a regimen of reading the obituaries, attending doctor appointments, taking their pills, stopping at Aldi's to pick up a bunch of broccoli or a tin of soup.

All this is of course somewhat tongue in cheek.........and I'm definitely not putting down the older generation - hey I'm part of it! However, I seem to have started a breakfast regimen, and yes, always around 9 AM even though I'm up much earlier. I never used to eat much breakfast when I worked. I dashed into the city, sometimes with a banana or a granola bar in hand, or made a quick stop for a little Styrofoam takeout bowl of really good southern grits, otherwise I'd wait until lunch and, if time allowed, sit down to eat something healthy such as soup or salad, or if no time, a giant freshly baked oatmeal raisin cookie from the bakery - yes very naughty I know, but oatmeal was the main ingredient!

Ahhhhh, oatmeal, I do love it. It was porridge when I was growing up in England, and I loved it even then. It is healthy, isn't it? I now always eat breakfast because sadly I have to swallow pills. My daily wake up meal is always the same when I'm home.......a bowl of instant oatmeal to which I add fresh berries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. I microwave the oatmeal for 45 seconds then add my washed berries. Another 40-50 seconds and they are heated through and softened perfectly. (In these pics I threw on a few unzapped berries to look pretty!). I then top with a dash of cream or a tablespoon of yogurt - favorite is Trader Joe's Greek Honey or Greek Strawberry Vanilla, the real stuff not that watered down fat free kind - and some mornings a scattering of unsalted sunflower seeds for crunch. Other mornings Bob shares his banana with me and I toss that into the blend - his preference is a bowl of cold cereal which doesn't do it for me.

I did say that oatmeal is healthy, didn't I?  That is what the medical profession has always told us. It's a terrific source of heart-healthy whole grains, it lowers cholesterol, helps with blood sugar levels, warms you, fills you up and satiates you until lunch time rolls around. Although whole steel-cut oats cooked from scratch are probably the best, apparently instant oatmeal contains the exact same nutritional profile. The glycemic index is higher because the oatmeal has been processed to cook quickly, however with the addition of a little yogurt, milk or protein powder you can easily lower that index which will improve your cholesterol numbers even more. Always check the sugar and sodium numbers too - you don't want them too high.

Here's something new I tried this was a nice change, it was good.

Quick Breakfast Apple Crisp

1 apple, washed, peeled if you prefer, and chopped (I used Gala)
1 package instant oatmeal, brown sugar flavor, or whatever you have on hand
1 teaspoon of butter (or your choice of a substitute if really watching your cholesterol!)
1 tablespoon of water

Put apple pieces in a microwave-safe bowl
Sprinkle oatmeal over apples, dot with butter, add water

Micro on high for 1 minute - stir and cook another minute or so depending on how soft you like your apples

Add tablespoon of yogurt or heavy cream - enjoy!


So, do you eat breakfast?
Any good breakfast oatmeal recipes to share
would be much appreciated?


  1. My husband needs to be eating his oatmeal, with a heart attack in his history. We both are overweight, and it's supposed to be so good for you! HOWEVER...he wants a LOT of sugar on his! :-) It just negates the healthy effects. I started using Stevia and am very happy with it, though it's a bit pricey. But, I can put it on our oatmeal and feel like all is well. We also like blueberries on ours. Still, he clamors for eggs two or three times a week, and french toast with catsup on the other days (I can get him to accept the oatmeal about once a week)....he isn't very cooperative, is he? :-) But, he's a sweetheart!

  2. I do love oatmeal and your recipe. I have started eating McCann's Quick and Easy Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal. It cooks in 5 minutes and is full of whole grains. Sounds like you are doing well Mary. Wishing you a happy holiday. Are you spending it in England?

  3. I used to have bran flakes until we came up here to live, now it porridge every morning winter and summer alike. I take my lutin medication at the same time....... a slice of toast with pea nut butter keeps me going all morning.

  4. You will probably fall over, but I don't eat breakfast. Truly, I can't stomach food until I have been awake several hours and I just turn that into lunch. Then I can have exactly what I want whether it be a sandwich or eggs. My "real" Lunch is 4:00 and dinner 7-8. I do love oatmeal though, with cream and fruit (allergic to sunflower seeds).

    I had to laugh about the routines we have as we get older. I notice I am getting grouchier and grouchier if someone upsets my morning routine. Am I a creature of habit or just getting on in the years?!


  5. Yes, I do eat something in the morning, but not nearly as healthy as oatmeal. I eat a bit earlier a muffin or toast and maybe fresh fruit with a small pot of tea. Love the idea of the apple with the oatmeal, I will have to try that. If I eat cereal it is usually granola with yogurt, nice and crunchy.

  6. I love oatmeal in the mornings. In fact my sweet husband made oatmeal for me this morning before I left for school. I love how it sticks with you all morning. Thanks for your sweet comments. Have a wonderful weekend. Bonnie

  7. I do eat breakfast every morning, though like you, when I was out in the working world, my breakfast was just coffee. Now I alternate between several different breakfasts. Oatmeal with dried cranberries and toasted almond slices, yogurt, 1/2 of an English muffin with peanut butter, a one egg omelet with tomatoes and spinach....etc.

  8. I have oats every morning, winter and summer, as well. I usually top mine with sliced peaches, yum, but yesterday morning had some berries. Very delicious. Judy xx

  9. I do eat breakfast, but not until about an hour after I get up. I cannot stomach oatmeal porridge - had it as a child and didn't like it then, either. But I do like oats and so I make granola and put that with yogurt and frozen blueberries (thawed). But my favorite breakfast is bacon and omelet.

  10. I read all your last posts. We went to Dubrovnik too but that day it was very warm – in the 80s with a bright sun. You showed that it looks nice also under rainy weather. Actually during the 3 1/2 weeks we were away we only had a couple of hours of rain. Your granddaughter is so pretty – her eyes are beautiful. I have 3 grandsons but they are too young to know how they will look grown-up. Your pictures of Carolina Beach are terrific – I’d love to go there but when we go to the beach we go south, usually to Florida.
    We enjoyed Burano as well. Isn’t it great that they have a strong planning commission so they can keep the houses colorful like this? Just imagine what people would say around here if they had to ask the authorization to paint their homes? But that is why it is so much more picturesque in Europe – because they kept their laws.
    About breakfast my favorite is a French bol (bowl) of strong French roast coffee with some toasted French bread, topped with homemade jam and ½ a banana. But for variety we eat old fashion thick oatmeal with blueberries, or homemade French toast, or French croissant if I go to the French bakery – you see a bunch of different things but I still prefer to eat as I did growing up in France.

  11. I eat oatmeal but just boringly with milk and sugar.

  12. Your oatmeal with berries look delicious. Sunflower seeds are good crunch, and they also are a source of Vitamin E, good as an antioxidant.

  13. The regular full flake oatmeal can be cooked in the microwave just as quickly, and I love the texture. I put 1/2 cup oats, and 1/2 cup water in a bowl and then cook for about two minutes. I have that with milk and stevia or plain yoghurt topped with homemade granola.


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