I don’t usually order oatmeal when I go out to eat because it’s just too boring compared with how I make it at home. I add so many exciting things to it, all of which come from the Sunday morning farmers market. How can I settle for plain boring oatmeal, when I’m used to chewy goji berries, crunch from pumpkin seeds and the sweet chewiness of fresh dates? No thank you.
The great thing about this oatmeal is that you can use whatever kind of oatmeal you have in your pantry. You don’t need anything fancy. In the photo I used Trader Joe’s Pecan Pumpkin Oatmeal, which is a little more sugary than my usual, but I’m a sucker for anything with pumpkin. This very morning I used Engine 2 Ready-2-Go Grains Morning Blend, which you can find in the freezer section at Whole Foods.
It’s what I like to call the “toppings” that make the oatmeal so special. I put in a generous handful of goji berries (probably about 15-20 goji berries), about a tablespoon of cacao nibs, pumpkin seeds, 2 or 3 dates (sliced) and occasionally other fresh fruit in season, such as a half a sliced banana, or some berries. The last topping is Engine 2 Unsweetened Almond Milk.
My go-to source for goji berries and cacao nibs is Tone Nutrition. They set up at the Heirloom Farmers Market on Sunday morning at the Rillito. I also buy their Camu Camu powder and Maca powder. Tone Nutrition’s prices are quite competitive as compared to buying these products at retailers or online, and the quality and freshness is incomparable. The dates come from a Desert Treasures Orange Groves at the farmers market and the pumpkin seeds are also a market vendor, called Incredible Snacks.
My go-to oatmeals that are usually in my pantry are: Quaker Old Fashioned Oats (or the store brand of the equivalent), which I have on-hand for baking and Trader Joe’s Organic Multi-Grain Hot Cereal. I try to stay away from instant varieties, as they have a lot of sugar and aren’t always whole grain, but the exception is the Trader Joe’s Pecan Pumpkin. Whenever I have this power-packed oatmeal, my stomach isn’t growling well before lunch time.