Happy Saturday after Thanksgiving!! We were lucky enough to spend Thanksgiving with some favorite family members that we don’t see very often. It’s always so fun and always, always makes us scan the calendar for an opportunity to visit before a year or two or even three (in this case) passes. This is the year I’ll make that happen!! One of the people we spent time with was my sister-in-law, the very person who got me started with this blog. Once again, she has me focusing on posting. I love this blog and all the people who check in. Thank you all. I’ve let life get in my way. Research and papers for my class have thrown my perspective off and turned blog posts into projects so overwhelming that I’ve been unable to even begin a sentence. Well, no more! My sister-in-law was kind enough to suggest that even a simple post would be welcome. If nothing else, it’s a great way to get started again so here goes.
People always ask if I am Paleo. I have always said “not really” because my family and I included cheese and other dairy items and maybe even humus made with chickpeas (oh the horror) in our diet. Mostly we ate good quality meat and eggs, delicious healthy fats, organic veggies and fruit and tried to go easy on sugar and sweeteners. Since this blog was started we have always avoided grains or tried to. Things change. My husband has been kind of sick for almost two years. He’s been having a very weird inflammatory thing that is manifesting as respiratory issues. Scary stuff. He’s seen many, many Doctors including a Naturopath. Things are better than they were a year ago and hopefully will continue to trend in the right direction. The reason I mention this is because if you ask me if we are Paleo now I will say YES. Last spring I ran a food sensitivity test for my husband. When the lab results came back I was speechless. Based on the test, there wasn’t much he could eat. I have never seen so many foods list in the AVOID column. He was/is the poster boy for leaky gut (gut permeability). This isn’t surprising based on what he’s been dealing with for the last 2 years but it was way worse than I thought it would be. Basically, he can eat beef, chicken, pork, turkey, fish, veggies but not all, fruit but not all, grains are mostly out including rice (I say mostly because of oats). No avocados, no eggs, no diary, most nuts are out (this includes nut flours).
Eggs were the big bummer. Breakfast became a real challenge. I love left overs for breakfast but my husband kind of likes breakfast for breakfast. Grains are tricky. It was clear before the test that grains were a problem. If he ate anything with grains he would be feeling pretty sick within a 1/2 hour if not faster. This means stuff you wouldn’t even realize had grains (restaurant food). We became pretty good grain detectives. The test results were almost paralyzing. His food choices were so limited. We had to really dig in and figure out if he could eat the foods that trended only slightly in the “not safe moderate” range. This means just slightly over the “low safe” range line. There weren’t many of them so he was able to try them out and see how it went. Goat’s milk in moderation, plain goat’s milk yogurt seems to be o.k. Buckwheat and gluten free oats seem to be fine. Let me just say, it’s been crazy but also educational. A lot of people who are Paleo play around with rice as a “cheat” grain. Rice is no good for my husband and I’m pretty sure rice was what put him in the hospital at least once.
O.k., that was way more info. than you needed for my “Oatmeal For Breakfast” post but I did want you to understand why oats are an o.k. grain for at least part of my grain free family.
I make a huge batch of steel cut oats on Sunday or Monday morning. This is enough to get my husband through the week with a warm, yummy breakfast each morning. I have also found this to be an easy and delicious breakfast when we have company. I also have a bowl occasionally. It’s really more of a treat meal for me. It’s pretty carb heavy. The oatmeal is delicious but it leaves me hungry after about 2 hours. If I go crazy and add a little maple syrup I find that I’m hunting down sugary treats for the rest of the day. Not good. My husband doesn’t react to the oatmeal the way I do. It really fills him up and allows him to check off the “breakfast” box on his mental list for the day.
Here’s my simple Oatmeal for Breakfast recipe – big batch.
- 8 cups of water
- 2 cups of steel cut oats – I like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Steel Cut Oats. I’ve also used McCann’s Irish Oatmeal, Steel Cut.
- 3/4 tsp. Sea Salt
- 1 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
- 1 tsp. Vanilla
- 1 cup Organic Crazins
- 1/2 cup to 1 cup Pecan Pieces
- Fresh sliced Pears or Apples – 1 big pear/apple or 2 – 3 little pears
I mostly follow the directions on the package for cook time. The time varies slightly between Bob’s Red Mill and McCann’s. I believe Bob’s Red Mill also calls for a little less water but I just got with the 8 cups. I bring 8 cups of water to a boil. I then add the 2 cups of steel cut oats and stir with a wooden spoon for a couple of minutes. I then turn the heat down as low as possible and let it cook for 20 minutes uncovered. At the 20 minute mark I add all my extras, stirring them in until well combined and let it cook for an additional 10 minutes.
You can vary the cooking time depending on how you like your oats. If you want them chewier reduce the cook time. I also kind of fudge the extras. The above list is a good estimate of what I put in but I like to add enough extras so I feel like I’ll get a bit of everything in every bite.
If you let the oatmeal sit on the stove for a little while after it’s done cooking it will thicken up. Put the whole batch in a sealed container in the fridge and then just dish out what you want. We do heat it up in the microwave. I like to add a little water and/or coconut milk to mine before I put it in the microwave. I heat for 1 minute on high, stir then heat for an additional minute. If I feel like it needs sweetener I usually use organic liquid stevia, just a few drops. My husband likes to add a bit of maple syrup. As I mentioned, I LOVE the maple syrup but it just sets my sweet tooth buzzing for the rest of the day.
As you can see, if you avoid sugar or watch your carb intake this breakfast will definitely fall in the “treat” category. It really is delicious and works great for a crowd. It will surely make an appearance during holiday festivities with my family.
I’d love to know what you all put in your oatmeal concoctions. I’d also love some other breakfast ideas that don’t include eggs, dairy, nut flours, and gluten containing grains.
Eat Well, Feel Good, Have Fun!
Amy White MS HNC
I am a holistic nutrition counselor and believe real food is the true path to wellness. If you are interested in learning more about me and how I can help you, please see my story.
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