Oh. My. Word.
Woke up this morning and decided to exercise some breakfast creativity. While I was sick, Fireman seemed to have gone on a cold cereal binge. There are boxes of flakes, oats, puffs…even granola.
I love cold cereal. But I firmly believe it does not belong on a breakfast menu. It’s generally full of sugar and weird unknown ingredients, possesses very little protein, and aside from the odd sweetened dried berry it has zero fruits or vegetables.
It’s delicious, but it’s dessert. Maybe an afternoon pick-me-up or a good little snack before bed.
Breakfast is the first meal of the day, and regardless of whether it’s the most important, it’s a meal. And cold cereal is not a meal!
At some point in the last hundred years, I think North Americans decided to let Santa’s Elves dictate what was appropriate breakfast fare. Flat little cakes with syrup? Or wait, let’s put big dents in them to hold more syrup, or top them with whipped cream! Bread dipped in egg, fried, and THEN doused in syrup? Doughnuts? Muffins? Scones? Pop tarts!? Cereal with little dried marshmallows?? Or how ’bout cereal BARS? Sugary cake stuffed with sugary jam! Or how ’bout chocolately protein shake mixes so we can drink milkshakes for breakfast!
It’s almost ingrained in us that breakfast should be sweet. Meanwhile, people in China are eating fried rice for breakfast. And people in India are eating curries.
Fried rice is one of my favourite breakfasts. Or any leftover dinner, really.
But I haven’t totally gotten my family on board with the dinner-for-breakfast idea. And sometimes oatmeal is a great way to start the day…even if it is topped with sugar. Or berries. Mmmm, or cinnamon. A little butter and salt add a great dimension to plain ol’ oatmeal.
OR…I could get back to the original point of this post, and tell you about the amazing oatmeal berry cake I made for breakfast! Low sugar, eggs for protein, and lots of berries and oats. It was a win-win-win-win. My family got cake for breakfast, and I got to serve them a fairly balanced meal.
Here’s the recipe:
I used unsweetened almond milk instead of regular milk. Actually, I made it ‘buttermilk-y’ by doing about 1.5 cups of almond milk and half a cup of plain yogurt. Mixed that together just to add some extra moisture and deliciousness. Not necessary, though. I just particularly love buttermilk in any sort of cake or muffin. I also used coconut oil instead of butter, and coconut sugar. I was extremely generous with my cinnamon and vanilla, because I don’t think you can ever add too much! I skipped the nuts because we didn’t have any. And I used three eggs, but next time I think I might even try 4. That’s my favourite part about this breakfast – good protein to start the day! Also, the first time I made it, I found her timing way too short. It took almost 45 minutes for the cake to be solid. Then I realized maybe it was a bit dry and it doesn’t need to be entirely solid. So the next time, I baked for maybe half an hour? My requirement was that the eggy moisture on top was gone. It doesn’t have to be solid in the middle, though. Make sure the edges have a decent solid-ness to them, though. OH, and grease the pan generously with butter. It makes the edges a little crispy and super yummy!
Then, the part that added a whole other delicious dimension of perfection? A garnish, of course! I love sauces and toppings. So I served the cake with plain yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup on top. It was amazing. I could eat this all day!
UPDATE: A friend of mine asked about soaking the oats. Of course! I’m a big fan of soaking/sprouting grains before consuming, and I highly recommend the book, Nourishing Traditions. So, I think what I’ll do next time, is add 1/2 cup of yogurt to the oats, more if necessary, and let it soak for a little while (or overnight). Then I’ll do 1.5 cups of almond milk. This recipe isn’t super fussy, so if you add a little more or less moisture, you’ll be okay. By the way, I used 4 eggs last time I made it, and it was good, but a tad eggy. Still really good, so I think I’ll stick with four, but if you’re making it for the first time, or for company, maybe just go with 3.