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Oats are back

October 15, 2008 - Kathie Evanoff
I didn’t realize how much I missed my oats until I started making them again on cold mornings.

By the time I wake up each day, it is still dark outside and the dogs are bouncing around at the door. They are anxious to take their morning rotation around the edge of the fence, making sure there are no boogymen, wild animals or other invasive creatures attempting to enter their territory.

In their quest, they have managed to scare a few ground moles and a nest of bluejays in the grape arbor. Squirrels run up into the trees when the dogs make their mad dash to the back of the yard. Even the fish in my husband’s garden pond must feel the vibrations of their clumbering feet because they quickly dive to the bottom to hide out until it looks a bit safer on the surface.

Over the summer, I resorted to cold cereal, toast with peanut butter (and sometimes bananas) and eggs for breakfast. A few days ago, my doctor said he would like me to have bloodwork for cholesterol before the end of the year. My doctor is a stickler for bloodwork. He is also a stickler for keeping watch on my cholesterol.

When I had the test in the spring, it came back in the normal range. This is quite a difference from several years ago when it rose well into the danger zone. It was then that I began to take a good, hard look at my eating habits. They weren’t good.

I was actually looking forward to the cooler weather. Of course just because it is summer doesn’t mean I can’t make oats, but it doesn’t seem as appealing on warm mornings.

But I have to admit that I cheated a bit. I made instant oats the last two mornings because I wasn’t paying attention to the time and had to get it done quickly. Yesterday I added a bit of mashed banana to the instant oats. Mashed banana is one of my favorite additions to old-fashioned rolled oats, but it doesn’t seem to have the same creamy, marshmallow-like effect in the instant variety. This morning it was blueberries. After buying lots of long-distance, not to mention expensive, blueberries from the grocery stores in the past, this year, I bought them in bulk from a local fruit farm and froze several quart bags. You can shake out the half-cup or however much you want from the bags while still frozen and let them thaw overnight. I also added a half-ounce of homemade trail mix that I chopped first to yesterday’s oats. I didn’t add them this morning; however. Over the summer, I mixed bags of raw almonds and cashews with dried cranberries and cherries, semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped pecans and sunflower seeds and put the mixture into bags. I made it myself because I couldn’t find a trail mix mixture that contained the things I like. Or I should say, that didn’t contain the one thing I don’t like, raisins. I’m nearly out of the mixture, but will likely be making another batch soon, so I’ll post a photo when that happens.


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Breakfast: 1 ounce grains; ½ cup fruit; 60 discretionary calories (extra sugar in instant oats and sugar in tea)