Oats are a noble pantry staple. I always try to ensure I have an energetically-charged breakfast with one portion of protein and a dollop of extra-virgin coconut oil for sustained energy during the day (for it’s ability to combat hunger). The portion of protein consists of either seeds or nuts, milk or yoghurt, all of which accompany oatmeal and fruit well. The variations here are my favourites, but I usually use whatever I have in my kitchen at the time.

Though not everyone can enjoy oats, because they’re not gluten-free, they are an excellent source of the youth-giving replenishing mineral silicon. Steal-cut oats are best, but you can also enjoy oat grain groats as a rice substitute for evening meals. Silicon only appears in large quantities in few foods, oats being one of them, alongside hemp leaves, burdock root, alfalfa, nettles, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumber and radishes. Silicon A diet containing regular amounts of silicon-rich foods has extremely positive effects on the body, especially in children, leading to healthy teeth and gums, hair, nails and bones.

Try adding some ground cinnamon to your water or milk before heating, and then add a pinch on top when the oatmeal is ready to serve. It’s the perfect breakfast for cold autumn-winter mornings and keeps you feeling full and satiated for hours because oats are a slow-releasing energy source. You could also sprinkle with bee pollen (one of the best protein sources around).

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Variation 1: Hot Oatmeal with Yoghurt & Fruit

I use water with oatmeal if I enjoy it with yoghurt since mixing proteins (even of the same family) can be a heavy load on the digestive system. I’ve already detailed the health benefits of yogurt over milk in Fruit & Yoghurt. In the above picture you can see my Christmasy variation, with sliced kumquats (the peel is a little bitter but I like it), natural yoghurt, ground cinnamon, ground cardamom and ground anise.

Variation 2: Hot Oatmeal with Plant-based Milks & Fruit

This is simple, cooking the oatmeal in one of my Plant-based Milks. Add a dollop of coconut oil with the plant-based milks, it makes them smoother and creamier. Add any fruit you have knocking around in the kitchen.

Variation 3: Hot Oatmeal with Coconut Milk, Shelled Hemp Seed & Fruit 

As a clean rich protein source, you can use shelled hempseed instead of milk or yoghurt, a wonderful ingredient that you can sprinkle on just about anything. They are high protein (containing the globular complete protein Edestin), but ensure they are raw by adding them to the oatmeal just before serving. Hemp seeds, if shelled for better absorption, are one of the most assimilable sources of proteins that we can eat. To clarify, the least assimilable proteins that exist are coagulated proteins (from animal meat), since they are less easily digestible, more coarse and thus more inflammatory. Hemp seed is one of the best polyunsaturated fats (the double bond plant based ‘healthy’ fat) around. so hemp seed is both a great source of assimilable protein as well as a great source of dietary fat.I think shelled hemp seeds goes well with creamy soft coconut milk in porridge and a soft fruit like mango or apricots.

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Variation 4: Hot Oatmeal & Black Rice with Chia Seeds & Fruit 

Black rice, like all black or purple foods, contain powerful anti-oxindants and a high amount of minerals. Black rice is a great based for porridge, but cook it in advance and add it at the same time as oats, as it takes much longer to cook than white or brown rice. In my free ebook Nourishing Liquids, you’ll find an effective recipe for settling the stomach with a black rice, turmeric, honey and ginger hot tea. Believe me, it really works. I like to mix 2 tbsp of cooked black rice, 2 tbsp oats and 1 tbsp chia seeds to hot water for an oatmeal variation. I also add the spices I fancy and fruit I fancy. Sometimes I also add yoghurt, though this is not necessary since mixing protein sources is best avoided and the chia seeds are a source of protein. Add 2 tbsp of chia seeds instead of 1 for a larger protein portion for greater satiation. I’ve already mentioned the health benefits of Chia seeds in Hot Chia Seed & Walnut Rice Milk, also take a look at the Sweet Treats section for more recipes with Chia seeds.

Variation 5: Raw Oatmeal & Almond Meal with Apple Juice and Berries

Almond meal, almond flour or ground almond is an excellent supplementary protein ingredient (if raw). The oil in almonds is not heat stable, so cooking almonds or almond meal is not advisable, if you want to benefit from the nutrients that almond meal provides you with. I like to prepare a variation of Bircher muesli with almond meal and oats. Overnight, you need to soak the 3 tbsp of almond meal with 2 tbsp of oatmeal, in about 200ml of pure apple juice. in the morning the texture is lovely and smooth, and the apple juice gives it favour. This is a good variation for a cooling summer oatmeal breakfast. Add summer fruits or berries on top, and a few almonds if you wish.

Add a pinch of ground cinnamon, nutmeg or anise for added flavour, or add shelled hemps seeds, ground flaxseed or chia seeds to the mix for added nutritional value and protein. Also try my Millet & Flaxseed Porridge as yellow or black millet cook slightly differently than fine oats (at least for 5 minutes if not longer). Add a dollop of extra-virgin coconut oil for sustained energy throughout the day on days when you need your breakfast to count.

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