For years, I purchased the convenience packs of instant oatmeal for my kids to eat for breakfast. Not only was it expensive (my boys had a four packet/bowl habit), but the ingredient list¬†was filled with artificial flavors, preservatives and chemicals that I couldn’t pronounce.

With only a small amount of effort and time, I was able to exponentially increase the health benefits of this go-to staple for comfort food. Marketing messages easily convince us we don’t have the time or skill to cook, thus creating a billion dollar market for junk food that is making us sick. But commercial messages are not designed to help you…they are designed to generate profit. Trust that you’ve got what it takes to sustain yourself without brand name “support” and you can eat your way to health.

I found the Great American Spice Company on-line, which is a Fort Wayne based company that offers cool and hard-to-find ingredients. I’ve been looking for a non-dairy protein powder for my teenage boys, and when I found Bob’s Red Mill Hemp Protein Powder, decided to give it a try. I mixed it in with steel cut oats, included flax seed, almond butter, organic dark cocoa cane sugar and ground vanilla beans. They loved it and so did I.

I use my rice cooker to prepare the steel cut oats. Using a pan on the stove top means staying put to monitor the flame and stir frequently. I love to slow down and cook from scratch, but not in the mornings before school. I’ve got hair to braid, shoes to find and arguments over shower-time to referee. Throw the oats into the rice cooker, add double the water, and walk away! It will be ready before you are.

In a serving bowl, mix:

2 cups of cooked steel cut oats
2 tbsp hemp powder
1 tbsp flaxseed meal
2 tbsp organic cocoa sugar
1 large spoonful of almond or peanut butter
2 tbsp coconut
1 tsp ground vanilla bean

Another positive with the steel cut oats is that they store well and rehydrate easier than rolled oats. We actually prefer the meatier texture over the mushy variety.

This is a delicious hot meal that started the day off right, and sent us into the world feeling full, satisfied and healthy.