Monday, November 1, 2010

Breakfast on the go

In an effort to reduce our carbon footprint, my husband and I have opted to scale back and have only one car.  We're conveniently located on a bus route and not all that far from the Metro.  It isn't a perfect system but  nobody said saving the Earth is easy.  Incidentally, my bus drops me off right in front of Starbucks and try as I might, I can not seem to resist popping in for a coffee or some of their self-proclaimed "perfect oatmeal."  Sure I love sipping my Thanksgiving Blend on my short walk to school, but I've noticed my wallet is getting thinner and thinner as a result.  

The other down side to catching the bus is the the obscenely early schedule I have to keep.  It's still dark, my husband and dog are both snoozing away the morning hours, and despite my best efforts I haven't been able to muster the energy to get up earlier and make myself breakfast.  Frankly, I'm doing well if I can match my clothing at that hour and have been known to walk to my bus stop with different colored socks, a green hat, pink plaid scarf and a bright red sweater   Clearly it's no wonder that making breakfast in the morning isn't such a realistic goal.  As a result, I've relied on Starbucks oatmeal as my morning meal crutch.  But like a gazelle living in a leopard's cage, this relationship simply can't go on.  I needed to come up with something that I can easily make ahead of time at home and quickly grab and go.

As a sidenote, I've recently stopped eating gluten which disqualifies most of your typical grab and go breakfast items.  Without gluten, the "no-can-do" list includes granola bars, muffins, toast, and most cereals. What about eggs, you ask?  Let me tell you, one can only eat hard boiled eggs so many days in a row before getting to the point where if you see another one you're going to chuck it at the back of someone's head.  We don't want that to happen.  As I browsed the market the other day I was quite happy when I found a gluten free hot cereal.  Woot woot!  It reminds me of a combination of grits and malt-o-meal.  I remember eating malt-o-meal a lot as a kid; my granny would always add lots of butter, milk and brown sugar.  Of course, if I ate that every day, my wallet might thicken a bit, but so certainly would my backside!  
My answer to this is a grown-up version of the original, but healthier and equally satisfying.  With a combination of spiced apples and a drizzle of honey, there's no need to load it up with brown sugar or butter.  I made a huge pot and divvied it up among some tupperware to easily grab on my way out the door.   So in all my frenzied and mis-matched glory, I can now just wave to the Starbucks as I walk on by.

Spiced apple hot cereal
  • Make gluten free hot cereal according to package directions.  I use Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal   
  • In a small pan, add one apple diced with a tablespoon of butter and cook until the apple begins to soften, about 8-10 minutes
  • Just before pulling the apple off the stove, add: a teaspoon of cinnamon, half teaspoon cardamom, dash of nutmeg and dash of clove
  • When the cereal has finished cooking, add the apples and stir to incorporate.
  • To serve, add a splash of milk and drizzle honey over the top


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