The alarm sounds, you wake up and check it to realize you hit snooze too many times, and only have 30 minutes to get ready for class. You tear the covers off and frantically scramble across your dorm to gather the things you need for the day.
This is a very familiar situation for most college students, and it usually results in having to make a quick breakfast in their dorm room. For most, it’d probably be the trusty granola bar, that on-the-go banana or many times: oatmeal.
While these never fail to give us some quick morning fuel, why not find some easy ways to spice up your morning routine and still keep it healthy and quick?
To continue our series of celebrating Build a Better Breakfast Month, here’s just a few ideas on how to take one regular old breakfast and turn it into three mouthwatering morning must-haves.
Not Your Ordinary Oatmeal
Oats are packed with fiber, iron, protein, and heart-healthy unsaturated fats, so it’s a great way to get your brain and body functioning at full speed in the morning. Here’s 3 simple ways to turn that bowl into something you and your roomate can’t resist.
Mouth-watering Oatmeal with Cheddar and Fried Egg
Yes, you read that correctly. Oatmeal can in fact be used—and tastes delicious—with cheddar cheese and a fried egg. It’s all about how you spice up those ingredients to make them work together to create that highly sought-after sweet and savory punch.
The classic flavor combination of this recipe isn’t even the best part—these ingredients are packed with nutrients that will give you the fuel you need in the mornings. This dish will give you that extra boost with 13g of protein, as well as 3g of that elusive fiber.
- ¼ cup dry quick-cooking steel cut oats
- ¾ cup water
- salt and pepper
- 2 TBS shredded white cheddar cheese (you can add more, if you’d like)
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- ¼ cup diced red peppers
- 2 TBS finely chopped onions
- 1 large egg
- chopped walnuts
- sliced green onions
- za’atar (or other spice blends)
- For the first step, you could use one of the two methods below:
- Stove Top Method: Bring water to boil. Add oatmeal, reduce heat a little and let it cook for 3 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Turn off heat and stir in cheese, as well as a small pinch of salt and pepper
- Microwave Method: Place oats and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Line microwave dish with paper towels to catch any spills. Microwave at a high setting (not the highest, but about 8/10 of the power setting) at one-minute intervals for a total of 3 minutes.
- Heat a nonstick pan with ½ teaspoon of coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add vegetables and cook for 2-3 minutes, until they soften. Spoon vegetables over cooked oats. Reduce to medium heat.
- Add remaining ½ teaspoon of oil and fry an egg. Cook until the whites of the egg are no longer translucent and serve over oatmeal.
- If a stove-top or pan isn’t availaible—don’t fret! Microwaves can also do the trick. Here are quick tips to cook eggs without a stove: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1qEMHzrIyw
- Top with chopped walnuts, green onions, and spice blend, if you’d like.
No-Bake Nutritiously Nutty Granola Bars
This recipe takes our newly multi-dimensional oats and pairs them with five other ingredients to create simple, delicious, and portable chewy granola bars.
In addition to being easy to eat on the go, these granola bars bring a whole lot of nutrients to the table. You won’t believe how much dietary fiber, minerals, potassium, vitamins, protein, Omega-3’s, and antioxidants are squeezed into these tiny bars!
Ingredients (Makes 10 granola bars):
- 1 cup packed medjool dates, pitted
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 ½ cups rolled oats
- ½ cup chopped almonds
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- ½ dried cranberries
- Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhand on the sides for easy removal. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor, process dates and honey until they form a paste.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and dried cranberries.
- Add date mixture to oat mixture and mix, using your hands or a spoon, until they are combined. Scoop mixture into the prepared 8x8 pan and firmly press into an even layer.
- Chill in freezer for about 20 minutes until the mixture is firm. Remove from freezer and lift granola mixture out of the pan. Cut into bars and serve.
Delectable Overnight Oats
You’re probably all too familiar with packaged oatmeal that’s usually chock-full of sugars and other unhealthy ingredients. Well, this delicious and refreshing recipe is taking oatmeal to a whole new level. Once you try this, you’ll be finding a new place for those worn-out Quaker Oats.
Unlike packaged oatmeal, this new take on a classic breakfast dish brings a ton of nutrients to the table. Get ready to fill up on 11g of fiber, 16g of protein, and tons of antioxidants to start your day with these delectable overnight oats!
Ingredients (enough for two servings):
- 1 medium rope banana, mashed
- 1 ¼ cup Almond Breeze Almondmilk Unsweetened Vanilla
- ½ cup nonfat vanilla greek yogurt
- 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 10 strawberries, diced
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- Add mashed banana, Almond Breeze Almond milk and vanilla greek yogurt to a medium bowl and stir until well combined and creamy. Stir in oats, chia seeds, and strawberries. Divide evenly into two mason jars or plastic containers, then cover and place in fridge overnight.
- Once they’re ready to serve, top each overnight oat serving with 1 tablespoon almond butter and a few extra banana slices, chia seeds and/or strawberries if desired.
One out of ten, or 31 million Americans skip breakfast in the morning. As a college student, there should be no exceptions, because skipping the most important meal can have negative effects on your attention span, short term memory, and mental health.
With these easy recipes, you can avoid skipping breakfast by taking a classic ingredient like oats, and extend it into other, more nutritious breakfast ideas.
If you’ve never heard about these recipes and are excited to try them, leave us a star rating. And if you’ve used oats or any other classic breakfast ingredient in numerous creative ways—we’d love for you to share it with us in the comments below!