Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal

With four kids and three dogs, before I even open my eyes in the morning, I am aware that there is a hungry mob waiting for me, and I’ve got “short-order cook” stamped on my forehead. Before my first sip of coffee, I’ve been asked, begged and barked at….”What’s for breakfast?”

Although we are vegan, if I can get eggs from happy chickens, I will serve them, and this is our favorite meal. Scrambled for the kids, fried for my husband, Earth Balance ‘buttered’ toast for everyone, and me and the dogs are on clean up so not one bite of egg is wasted. These are special!

But other mornings, it’s business as usual, and my main objective is to get something warm that provides protein and bulk so there are no ugly casualties at school before lunch.

Sometimes it’s peanut butter toast. If I’m really on the ball, it’s fresh-from-the-oven Pipe Cleaner Muffins (see blog with that title), and if I’m lazy and late, it’s a bowl of shredded Wheat or Cheerios with vanilla flavored rice milk.

Today, chocolate peanut butter oatmeal was requested. Mmmmmm. I don’t care who you are, it’s good! I use my rice cooker, as it doesn’t need to be babysat or stirred. I just throw the ingredients in and go about the morning marathon.

I use steel cut oats mixed with old fashioned oats (about one cup of each). Steel cut oats have a nuttier flavor, 7 grams of protein and 5 g of fiber per serving. They are more expensive and a bit chewier, so I mix them with the regular. And according to Dr. Oz on Oprah, there is nothing better than steel cut oats for the colon. (Evidently, they produce an award-winning ‘colon cleanse’). On top of the oats, I pour about 1/2 cup of flax seed (ground is best for maximum absorption), which provides high doses of Omega-3, lignans (natural antioxidants) and more fiber. 

I cover all of this with water (rice cookers call for a 2:1 ratio of grain to water) and push cook. A note on rice cookers…I have a small one for which I paid $17…it can hold more grain than I could ever need even when party cooking. Because of it’s size, it’s cooks very fast AND doesn’t take up a lot of room on the counter. My parents have a really expensive one that is difficult to store and time consuming to use. So top-of-the-line doesn’t always win for practicality.

After the oats are done, I mix in about 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, 2-4 tablespoons of organic sugar (or agave syrup or whatever your preference) and stir together with coconut milk until I achieve the appropriate consistency. I top with slivered almonds or other ground or chopped nut. 

Breakfast doesn’t get heartier or healthier than this.