Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I've Been Missing Out!

I've seen them, you've seen them.  You've had to be living under a rock not to.  All those cutesy pins, posts, blogs, and pictures of refrigerator oatmeal.

Yes, they all looked so quaint, and yes, all the different combos have tempted my taste buds.  But... I could never get past that fact that at the end of the day it's just freaking oatmeal!  And I'm an oatmeal lover (eat it a couple times a week at least).  Something I've always appreciated about oatmeal was that it's so simple - scoop the amount you want into a bowl - for me that's between 1/3-1/2 cup - add twice that amount in water and nuke it.  My super microwave can cook perfect old fashioned generic oats in 1:30.  After that, I can put whatever I want in it.  My 2 favorite combinations are: PB2, banana, and chia seeds with almond milk OR 1 little single serve container of unsweetened applesauce and a heap of cinnamon. Sometimes I'll add some Truvia or honey.  Sometimes not.

Simple.  Filling.  Yummy.  I just couldn't see making my oatmeal that far ahead of time and *gasp* eating it cold.  Isn't that right reserved for No Bake Cookies?  Ok, so maybe it's been a twinge of laziness thrown in there too.

But oh, these constant nudges and temptations of the refrigerator oats!  Well, I've been looking for some new breakfasts to try so I dug through my seemingly endless amount of saved recipes until I came across this post from The Yummy Life.  Now, my kids have been fanatics over mandarin oranges since they were all just able to start chewing solid food.  We're rarely without them in the house because they're still a hit.  So, the first recipe for Mandarin Orange Refrigerator Oatmeal immediately intrigued me.  I had practically all the ingredients on hand.  And let's be honest - I was looking for a good reason to just have to buy orange marmalade.

Since I finally had a jar of marmalade in my grasp last night I got to work on these mystical oats.  I made some for myself and for my husband.  I even whipped out the "proper" Mason jar container (albeit a smidge too big).  lol

They were quick and easy to mix up and I got them into the fridge.  They looked weird to me, but I'd been assured that everything would come together overnight.  I did give the spoon a lick after I was done stirring the oranges in and the flavor was very good.  I knew my husband was skeptical too, but he said that he would happily try his in the morning.

When I returned from my morning run, my husband greeted me with "breakfast was awesome!" and I noticed his empty container in the sink.  I was excited to try mine (I only eat half a banana before a run), but I wanted to wait until I was done with the second part of my workout.

Like I said, they looked kinda weird (even that edited top pic doesn't help), but I was in for a treat!

Well... I have to admit that I've waited way too long to try these.  Oh my word I have been missing out.  One of the things I'd been afraid of about this genre of oats is them being all mush and pasty and goo by the time you got around to eating them.  Nope!  My oatmeal still had a great texture and the chia seeds were perfectly chewy too.  The flavor of this particular recipe worked so well, too.  I'd never put oranges in my oatmeal before and it seemed like the whole jar was just infused with bright orange flavor.  It was really refreshing.  And you know what?  It was great cold!  I loved how I just needed to grab it out of the fridge, take off the lid and grab a spoon.  That's fast eats right there!  Overall, it was filling and delicious and fresh.  I'm already eyeballing the next recipe down that list.  Chocolate and cherries?  Yes, please.

The only thing I could really see as a downside is if I wasn't in the mood for a cold breakfast.  Some days I love that hot warm belly feeling I get from a bowl full of steaming hot oats.  This just wouldn't work for that craving, but there are definitely a lot of times in the summer where I want oats, but I'm not in the mood for hot food, so something like this would fit the bill.

Here's the link to the recipe for the flavor I tried: Mandarin Orange Refrigerator Oats

The way I made them was withOUT the honey and using a packet of Truvia instead.  Honestly, it probably didn't even need that.  The marmalade was plenty sweet enough.

In other eating news - here's what I ate while waiting for the kids at swimming tryouts last night:

Roasted chicken breast with butternut squash dusted with a bit of cinnamon.  I threw it into a plastic container on the way out the door because I knew I was going to be starving while waiting.  Hey, you do what you gotta do to avoid a vending machine or convenience store if and when you can!

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