I know they say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, as some studies have shown, it only has a minimal impact on metabolism and weight loss. I like this article from HuffPost. Then there’s the case of Intermittent Fasting (IF) that’s all the craze with Crossfitters and a lot of people who follow the Paleo/Primal diet. I tried Primal for a while. Not for me. I love my bread, cakes and pastries too damn much!
I was always a big breakfast (not McDonald’s) eater, until I realised I wasn’t all that hungry. What I mistook for hunger was actually just thirst from all those hours I was fast asleep, dehydrated. However, as my weight has once again dropped to a little below my ideal, I decided that I would slowly increase my calorie intake – and that means eating a small breakfast.
In the past, my day usually started with a big bowl of oatmeal, a habit I started in junior college when I started becoming a little more conscious about my weight (there were many skinny girls around where I came from). Cooked stovetop – piping hot, topped with a generous dollop of peanut butter, a sliced banana/other fruits and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I went to bed looking forward to my oatmeal breakfast. I never understood how people could detest oatmeal. I guess they simply don’t know how to cook a mean porridge!
Here are some of my previous oatmeal breakfasts for inspiration.
You see. Oatmeal can look pretty darn good. It’s all about taking a little extra effort to jazz up the “baby food”.
I did this for years, until I discovered overnight oats. It was heaven, like having dessert for breakfast. Cold, creamy and sometimes very colourful – it was a joy to eat!
My favourite way of having overnight oats requires no recipe at all – simply fill a jar/container with rolled oats, pour in the milk of your choice until the oatmeal is just covered, then top with a tablespoon or two of yogurt to make it creamy. The next morning, slice some fruits, mix the oats well and enjoy! I love using red dragonfruit because of its colour (it’s always fun eating pink food), and it is also chock full of fibre which helps me cleanse my system. Warning – eat too much and expect your poop to turn red too.
While overnight oats is probably still my favourite way of eating oatmeal, I recently made my first baked oatmeal, and it comes darn pretty close. Plus, it’s as convenient as overnight oats. Simply bake it over the weekend, and you’ve got a whole weeks’ worth of breakfast (and snacks) settled!
I tried to make mine as healthy as possible, so I decided to eliminate any processed sugars; I used just a little bit of honey to sweeten. Plus, the overripe bananas add to the sweetness already!
Recipe: 3’B’ (Baked Blueberry-Banana) Oatmeal Cups
Makes about 16 cups
- 2 large ripe bananas, mashed
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp honey (or more if you prefer something sweeter)
- 2 cups milk
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 2 1/2 cups rolled oats or quick oats
- 1/4 cup walnut meal (or any other kind of nut meal) – optional
- 1/4 cup walnuts to top – optional
- 1 cup blueberries
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit/190 degrees Celsius. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
- Mash bananas in a large bowl.
- Add eggs, honey, vanilla extract, salt and baking powder into bowl with mashed banana and whisk to combine.
- Add the milk and mix well.
- Stir in oatmeal and walnut meal.
- Stir in blueberries, leaving some to top the cups.
- Fill each cup until almost full – slightly over 3/4 of the way.
- Top with extra blueberries and walnuts.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown (the tops should not be wet to the touch).
- Leave to cool on a wire rack before refrigerating, or have some right away!
That’s it! Easy peasy.
Notes: The oatmeal cups can be refrigerated – simply reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds to get them warm again.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!