Not too long ago, oatmeal was my go-to post-run breakfast. Frequency and formula were both rather rigid: every single morning, my bowl contained of cracked oats, a microwaved half-banana, toasted nuts (usually almond or pecans), a chopped date or two, dash of cinnamon, and splash of nondairy milk (usually unsweetened almond). One might expect burnout to set in quickly. Amazingly, many months of this routine passed before I began to vary the day's first meal. Needless to say, oatmeal has figured minimally in my morning routine for the last three or so months.
That has been the case until the last few days, during which that ever-reliable breakfast has reemerged. The current gloom and doom of rainy weather--a refreshing contrast to the unexpected heatwave that preceded it--has been behind a recent rash of baking and indulging in warming, comforting foods. I relish the energizing feeling from stepping out into chilly morning mist and returning to a big, warm bowl of comfort.
I recently tried my first bowl of oats-in-a-jar, the popular way of enjoying oatmeal while scooping up the last bits of nut or seed butter clinging to the container. Having emptied the jar of tahini for Chocolate Tahini Quick Bread, I decided to finally give oats-in-a-jar a try. I hadn't thought to incorporate the sesame flavor into oatmeal, but if it works with chocolate, I didn't see why it wouldn't work with dates and banana. And in fact, it worked rather well; I omitted the usual sprinkle of pecans to make room for the sesame to shine, but still stuck with the date, cinnamon, banana, and almond milk combination, and all of the flavors combined harmoniously. It was an interesting and tasty twist on my usual bowl of oats.
I also tried my first bowl of pumpkin oatmeal, something that seems to pop up all over the blogosphere once autumn arrives, along with all of the other pumpkin-infused delights of the season. This time, I used that base formula outlined above, with the addition of a large dollop of fresh pumpkin puree. The puree had been made from a small sugar pumpkin I cut, seeded, and roasted a few days prior. I enjoyed the pumpkin addition, which lent a subtle autumnal essence that enhanced the already comforting quality of toasty pecans and warm cinnamon. Delicious!
Speaking of delicious, get ready for Vegan MoFo IV, which spans the entire month of November. I participated in last year's Vegan MoFo (held in October rather than November) and found it to be an exciting and enjoyable experience, especially as a newbie to the blog realm. It encouraged me to cook and write daily while introducing me to many fabulous vegan blogs. I'm already set to participate this year, hopefully with an actual theme to challenge myself further. To learn more about this annual blogging extravaganza, check out MoFo headquarters, and sign up to participate here.