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January 13, 2017

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fueled friday: perfect oatmeal

Thank you to our friend, mother and Santa Barbara Mountain Racing Team Member, Charity Dubberly for her oatmeal recipe. We have to agree, this is the perfect oatmeal. Give Charity a follow at Garden Eats here.

Oatmeal sure does sound like the most boring breakfast in the world. But it has been the go-to for my family since my son arrived 3 years ago, and even more so now that we have a 2-month old baby girl too. So I can say with confidence that we've found several ways to make it - dare I say- appealing and crave-worthy.
Oats are a pretty dreamy whole grain for everyone, but especially for us running mamas who are trying to balance taking in enough (but not too many) calories to have enough energy to run, feed ourselves and a nursing baby. High in fiber and iron, and a good source of soluble fiber (linked to heart health), they are very easy to make at home or on the road. Oats are also said to be beneficial for breast milk supply (but don't worry, it won't induce milk production for the rest of you!), which is important to help replenish when you're burning extra calories running. 
 
Scenario: you've managed to wake up before your toddler and get that pre-dawn run in. You return with stomach growling to a hungry family, not to mention you've still got to pack lunches and take a shower before work. What do you do?
Thankfully you took 5 minutes before you left for your run to start breakfast, and now that pot of oatmeal just requires a bit of embellishment to be ready for those banging spoons on the table. (Or maybe you're lucky and someone else in your family already finished this step for you. And your family is already fed and dressed. One can dream, right?)
In my experience, rolled oats alone don't sustain me for very long. Solution - bulk them up with something that does, and make it tasty with fruit. Or, make a base pot of oatmeal and let your family customize their own bowls with whatever toppings they want.
Oatmeal is a classic pre-race or pre-long run breakfast (try eating it at least 60-90 minutes before), and has fueled many of our mountain adventures through the years as well. So let's get to it!
Perfect Oatmeal
This recipe makes 2 servings. Scale accordingly!
Ingredients:
1.75 water
1 cup regular old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1. Boil water in a saucepan.
2. Add oats, cover and turn the heat off as soon as it returns to boiling, then let it sit for at least 10 minutes.
3. Add the cinnamon (and banana if using), stir, then your extras of choice (I recommend at least 1 bulk item + fruit + sweetener), stir and serve.
Bulk Items (per serving)
1 Tbsp Chia seeds
1/2-1 Teaspoon ground flax seeds
1 Tbsp nut butter or small handful of nuts
1 Tbsp Hemp seeds
Fruit Extras (per serving)
~1/2 a chopped apple or pear (add with oats)
~Frozen berries (we have a complicated system of putting frozen berries in a bowl on top of the pot while the water is heating, then stirring the berries in once the oats have absorbed all the water. The hot oats finish the defrosting process.)
~1/4 cup dried fruit
~1/4 cup of pumpkin puree
~1/2 orange or 1 mandarin, segmented
Sweetening agents (per serving)
1/2 mashed banana
2 chopped dates
1 Tbsp raisins
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Here are my top combinations:
Frozen berries + banana + walnuts
Banana + peanut butter
Pear + dates + vanilla extract + almond butter
Pumpkin puree + banana + pecans

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