As a show of solidarity, my family has started eating healthy to support my Dad as he changes his diet to improve his cholesterol levels. He loves good food, and as I see it, good food is not always healthy food. White rice, noodles, pork, beef, and milk toast are always on rotation at home.
I wrote a list of healthy foods to substitute the usual suspects: popsicles for ice cream, almond milk for cow's milk, whole wheat bread for white break, and oatmeal for porridge.
So let's talk about oatmeal and ways to fancy it up.
- Use steel-cut oats as opposed to rolled oats. Steel-cut oats are less processed, so your body needs to do more work to digest them. This keeps you fuller, longer.
- Rinse the oats in a sieve prior to cooking them. Rinsing will result in more photogenic oatmeal. (Obviously, I skipped this step for the above bowl.)
- Add more water than the instructions suggest. I usually do about 50% more. The feeling of gagging on thick, dry oatmeal is like shoving a handful of saltine crackers in your mouth - you pretty much won't want to take a next bite.
- Add dried fruit during the cooking process, not after. The dried fruit will soak up moisture and become reconstituted, juicy, plump bursts of happy in your mouth.
- Add chia seeds for extra fiber, and to break up the monotony of single-colored oatmeal.
- Stir in a spoonful of crunchy peanut butter toward the end of cooking. Most people love crunchy surprises in their food.
- Arrange banana slices in a concentric circle.
These are just my tips for a diverse & healthy bowl of oatmeal! Experiment with different spices, sweeteners, fruit, and nuts.