Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Oatmeal Add-Ins with Chef Maki

Personally, I like oatmeal, but it is fun to dress it up to make it tastier and offer more variety in the same dish. To prepare a more jazzed up version of basic oatmeal for your family, you can prepare the oats by boiling them in water first, or you can put the add-ins along with the oats as they are cooking.

1. Raisins and other dried fruit are great to put into the boiling water. This plumps them up and makes them full of juicy flavor.

2. Apples are delicious when chopped and either cooked or added directly to the serving bowl.

3. Chopped nuts provide protein to help ensure a filling meal. Try pecans, walnuts, almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, etc.

4. Coconut offers a surprising, yet yummy twist.

5. Trying out different sweeteners can make for a whole different flavor. Honey, brown sugar, stevia, molasses, maple syrup and jam are all fun ones to try.

6. Wheat germ or flax seed meal are wonderful ways to sneak in a few extra nutrients.

7. Topping the oatmeal with fresh fruit and berries not only adds nutrition, but wonderful eye appeal as well. Adding frozen blueberries or raspberries is my children's favorite way to cool their oatmeal down.

8. Try your oatmeal without milk, or with different kinds of milk. Rice milk, soy milk and almond milk are a few viable options that offer slightly different yet tasty and enjoyable flavors.

Get creative. See what else is hiding out in your pantry or fridge that you never thought to try before. You never know, you might hit upon something fantastic! Let me know what you do with your oatmeal!

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