I'm going to get right down to it: I'm obsessed with breakfast. Nothing beats the combination of textures, flavors and temperatures of the morning meal: crunchy-but-fluffy waffles; unctuous egg yolks; creamy, cold yogurt and icy, sweet fruit; warm toast with salty butter; snappy, juicy sausage; the flavors of maple and vanilla, cinnamon and butter, marmalade and espresso. I'm addicted to the senses-awakening buzz that a satisfying breakfast and a strong cup of coffee bring.
On an average day, oatmeal is my breakfast of choice, but please save your cringing and remarks about wall paper paste; the way I make oatmeal is a far cry from anyone's lamented childhood table nemesis. Bulk bin oats are not only inexpensive, they're a creamy, nutty, toothsome blank canvas for rich nut butter, creamy yogurt, the season's best fruit and vivid spices, too. My cravings change perennially: oatmeal with pears or apples, cinnamon, greek yogurt and almond butter in the fall; I add pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, fresh ginger and pecan butter during the winter; overnight oats (i'll get to this in a minute) with blackberries, lemon zest, vanilla Greek yogurt and peanut butter during the spring; and my favorite, overnight oats with peaches, Greek yogurt, cinnamon, maple syrup and crunchy Barney Butter in the summer. My oatmeal is often so decadent, so soul-satisfyingly good, that it's not even fair to call it breakfast, let alone a healthy one (but it IS!).
It's also no secret that I enjoy reading "healthy" food blogs as much as I like reading sites about sugary baked treats. Not only do they inspire me, but they also remind me that I'm not alone as an oatmeal artist, if you will. The Overnight Method is a way of preparing oats in warm weather that has a cult following in the health food blogosphere, so on today's Best Of The Blogs, I'm going to highlight a few different bloggers and their renditions of the method, which happens to be my favorite way to enjoy oats. Overnight oats are simply bulk bin, old-fashioned rolled oats that are soaked in milk, yogurt and anything else you'd like to add in the refrigerator overnight. They absorb the liquid they're soaked in and become chewy, creamy, sweet and thick in the morning, when you add your mix-ins (fruit, nut butter, trail mix, you name it). It's a refreshing but filling summer treat when anything hot feels heavy. Here are a few bloggers who are in on the delicious secret.
-Jenna, of Eat, Live, Run, prefers hers with bananas and Siggi's.
-Brandi, of BranAppetit, likes them with pecans and fresh berries.
-Tina, of Carrots N' Cake, makes them in a nearly empty jar of her favorite nut butter.
-The author of Healthy Exposures creates the most gorgeous bowls I've ever seen; this one features cashews, ginger preserves and plums.
-Kath, of Kath Eats Real Food (I already featured her here) prefers hers with blueberries, Greek yogurt and Trader Joe's crunchy peanut butter.
The best thing about this method? It's meant for breakfasts on-the-go, when you barely have time to pour a bowl of cereal but need something more substantial and interesting. Check out these blogs and get inspired, and you can thank me later.