Dining Hall Eats: Oatmeal Introduction
This morning’s breakfast consisted of a hearty bowl of oatmeal from the dining hall. Although oatmeal can be quite delicious on it’s own, eating it plain can get boring after a while. Here, I will show you how I took this plain bowl of oatmeal from the dining hall…
…and turned it into a fun, tasty breakfast with full staying power.
First, I want to mention that I’m not currently at my own college (BU). I’m visiting my friend, Katie, at her college, so these photos are from my breakfast at Katie’s. (BU has very similar options.) This bowl of oatmeal was super hearty, grainy and full of flavor. Way better then BU’s oatmeal actually! Plus, I love this bowl. But, I digress…
The toppings I’m about to talk about are offered at most dining halls. They are not anything fancy, but when you put them all together or in combinations, the yumminess may surprise you.
Peanut Butter and Cottage Cheese:
PB is so amazing in oatmeal. It’s healthy and has amazing staying power. Seriously, it’s amazing how much longer I stay full when I add a tablespoon of peanut butter.
Also shown in the above photo is an awkward view of cottage cheese. Both cottage cheese and yogurt make fun mix-ins in oatmeal. For one, they are a great way to add protein, calcium and other health benefits to your oatmeal. I like how they make a bowl of oatmeal creamy and fluffy. I prefer the low-fat or non-fat varieties, which are luckily offered at BU. Even adding just a splash of milk can help give oatmeal a creamy taste.
I was inspired to add muffin crumbles to my oatmeal from reading Kath’s blog, Kath Eats Real Food. Usually, I just take the muffin top and crumble that on top of oatmeal. However, at Katie’s, they have mini muffins. Just look how cute this vegan carrot muffin looks in my hand…
I ended up crumbling the entire mini-muffin and putting it on my oatmeal.
When I make oatmeal at home or in my dorm, I usually mix banana slices into the oatmeal before cooking. (I’ll do a post on this soon!) When eating pre-made oatmeal in a dining hall or at a restaurant, I will often add banana slices or some other fruit on top. I love the combination of the banana and peanut butter in oatmeal. Delish! Apple slices, blueberries, strawberries and many other fruits also make great add-ins.
Although I didn’t add any this morning, a sprinkle of cereal is also tasty in oatmeal. It gives a normally creamy, soft bowl of oatmeal some crunch. I prefer granola or some other whole grain cereal.
I was so, so excited about my food that I forgot to take a photo of the end product. Fail… Just to give you an idea of what it looked like, I ended with this combo:
~ 3/4 cup pre-made oatmeal + 1/4 banana in slices + 1 mini vegan carrot muffin in crumbles+ 2 tsp PB
Delicious! Just looking at all the photos of the ingredients makes me drool. The muffin was definitely the star of this breakfast due to it’s addition of flavor and texture.
In the future, I will post more photos of my dining hall oatmeal creations as well as my in-dorm ones. Also, these tips are also useful for eating a a restaurants as you can often ask your waiter for many of these options on the side. You really can’t go wrong when it comes to oatmeal toppings. I hope I’ve inspired you to get creative with your oatmeal and maybe even start eating it in your dining hall (or at a restaurant for breakfast). For more inspiration, check out Kath’s Tribute to Oatmeal, which is loaded with drool-on-your-keyboard-worthy photos.
Question: What’s your favorite oatmeal add-in or combinations of add-ins?