One of my favorite healthy breakfast staples is steel cut oatmeal. It started when we saw the “Oat Cuisine” episode on The Food Network’s Good Eats with Alton Brown.  I have been making a variation of his recipe on a weekly basis ever since.  (I do not use butter, I substitute canola oil instead. I also use skim milk in place of the whole, and when I don’t have buttermilk on hand, I use a cup of skim and just add a splash of vinegar to substitute for the buttermilk).

It’s been quite some time since the episode first aired in November of 2001. I can’t believe I have not grown tired of these very satisfying and filling little oats. I like to make a batch ahead of time and have it for the week.  It does take a little longer than rolled oats (I simmer for 40 minutes), but to me it’s so much healthier than the rolled or instant oats.

I love eating mine with frozen wild blueberries, a few walnuts and a teaspoon of cinnamon. I feel so good combining all four of these ingredients together. I am getting the antioxidants from the blueberries, the omega-3 fatty acid from the walnuts, cinnamon which helps regulate your blood sugar, and the soluble fiber from the oats. If you eat a food really high in soluble fiber, your stomach is going to stay fuller longer so you’re going to eat less. Soluble fiber also slows the absorption of glucose into the body which means you’re going to avoid those nasty sugar highs and lows.

For a while there, I was having a hard time finding steel cut oats. The only brand that was available was John McCann’s from Ireland. They’re great, but a little pricey. Then we found Bob’s Red Mill online and saw that you could order oats in 25 pound bags. We would order two bags at a time, and that would last us about 9 months or so.  We did that for a while, but now steel cuts have become more popular, and some of our local grocery stores — like certain Pick ‘n’ Save stores — have been offering them in bulk. Whenever I come across them, I am able to pick up a pound or two at a pretty reasonable price.

A quicker breakfast that has really helped me stay on track is a yogurt parfait. Lately I have been strictly using Yoplait Light creamy vanilla. I buy a 2 pound tub and usually spoon out 6 to 8 ounces, then add my frozen berries. I like the triple blend: blueberries, raspberries, &  blackberries.

After the berries I add a teaspoon of cinnamon and half a cup of Fiber One cereal, and just mix it all up.  This is such a great breakfast, it is more like a dessert that keeps you satisfied for hours.

One more quick and easy breakfast that I eat on occasion is an egg sandwich. I apply spray oil to a microwave safe ramekin, and whisk an egg or a couple of egg whites in it. Then I mix in a handful of torn spinach or finely chopped broccoli, maybe some chopped green onion, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, and a little salt and pepper. There are so many different ingredients that you could try for variety.

I microwave the egg mixture on half power for maybe 3 minutes or so (you have to keep your eye on it so it doesn’t overflow), then I put it on a toasted light English muffin. The best that I have found are the Food Club brand sold at Piggly Wiggly. They taste really great for being light. Some others I have found taste like cardboard. The Food Club ones have 90 calories, .5 grams of fat, and 3 grams of fiber. Sometimes I will top the egg with a slice of cheese, but I usually like to avoid fat, so I will finish it off with a spicy salsa.

I do believe that eating breakfast every day is very important for a healthy lifestyle. I know how different my day goes when I skip breakfast, I usually find myself not making the best food choices throughout the rest of my day.