One of my favorite winter breakfasts is oatmeal - Creamy, sweet and warming oatmeal! I remember on cold, snowy mornings my mom would have a pot of oatmeal cooking and we'd fill our tummies before heading to school. We used to eat it with brown sugar, raisins and milk - What a way to ruin such a great, naturally healthy food. When I make oatmeal now, I still like it sweet, but I try to keep the sugar content low. I'm not a fan of the packages of instant oatmeal since they're loaded with artificial ingredients. At work I keep a bag of quick cook oats mixed with dried blueberries in my desk so I can have oatmeal whenever I crave it. I sprinkle a bit of brown sugar on top because I still enjoy a bit of sweetness.
I found the idea for oatmeal brulee on one of my favorite blogs, Annie's Eats. I stumbled upon it a few months ago and decided this morning would be perfect to try it. We just survived Nor'Easter #1,528 of the season, so I thought oatmeal would be a great breakfast. Annie's recipe calls for strawberries and bananas, neither of which I had on hand so I looked in my refrigerator and found blueberries and raspberries - I figured they would be a great combination. The brulee comes together in about 10 minutes which makes this great for the week as well as the weekend. You broil the oatmeal and fruit quickly so the oats remain creamy while a sweet crunch forms from the brown sugar. Below is how I made the brulee this morning and I have also added variations.
Oh, did I mention the entire bowl is under 250 calories?!
Ingredients (makes 1 serving):
Oats (I used Country Choice Organic Multi-Grain Hot Cereal, but any oats will do)
Dash of salt (optional)
Dash of vanilla extract (optional)
Pinch of cinnamon (optional)
1/4 c blueberries
1/4 c raspberries
1 T packed brown sugar
Cook the oats according the the package details. I used one cup of water, a pinch of salt and 1/2 a cup of oats which made just over a 1/2 cup of oatmeal. While the oats are cooking, preheat your broiler. Place an oven rack as close to the broiler as possible. Once the oatmeal is done, remove from heat and add in cinnamon and vanilla, if using. Place oatmeal in an ovenproof bowl and top with fruit. Sprinkle brown sugar over the fruit and oatmeal and place under the broiler. You can also use a kitchen torch to have better control over the browning. I don't have a torch, but it is on my list of kitchen wants. :) Remove the bowl from the oven when sugar is browned and crisp, about 2 -3 minutes. A great side to the oatmeal would be some yogurt to up the protein factor or even some scrambled egg whites which could be done while the oatmeal is cooking.
1/2 c oatmeal: 130 calories, 1g fat, 5g fiber, 5g protein
1/4 c blueberries, 1/4 c raspberries, 1 T brown sugar add about 85 calories
Cranberry-Almond: 1 T slivered almonds and 1/4 c dried cranberries. Substitue almond extract for vanilla.
Coconut-Macadamia: 1 T chopped macadamia nuts and 1 T flaked coconut
Blueberry-Almond: 1T slivered almonds and 1/4 c blueberries.
Chocolate-Walnut: 1T chopped walnuts and 1T chocolate chips
I didn't do the math on the variations but adding nuts (not to mention chocolate chips) will obviously increase the fat and calorie content. While many nuts contain good fat and help to keep you fuller longer, it is still fat, so use in moderation.