Most of what I learned as a kid was from Sesame Street. I learned that “C” is for cookie and that living in a trash can makes you grouchy. I also learned that oatmeal was boring and that your hyperactive housemate would pick on you incessantly if you ate it.
Despite what Bert says, oatmeal doesn’t have to be boring. But in my quest to help young athletes put on muscle and look a little less like Christian Bale in The Machinist, I frequently field complaints that oatmeal is, in fact, really boring.
That’s unfortunate, because oatmeal is one of my favorite foods for gaining weight. After multiple instances of falling for low-carb propaganda, I smartened up and started crushing oatmeal every morning. Muscle gain quickly ensued. I’ve seen it transform countless skinny high schoolers too, pending I can get them to eat it.
Following the popularity of my previous blog, How to Cook Chicken that Doesn’t Suck, I’ll teach you how to make oatmeal that will help you pack on the pounds without putting you to sleep.
3 KEY FACTORS TO KICKASS OATMEAL
The difference between awful and awesome when it comes to oatmeal lies in three key factors:
- The crunch
- The sweetener
- The thickener
These three things give oatmeal much-needed flavor and texture to combat the natural bland and mushy character of Bert’s favorite hot cereal.
Crunch can come from nuts or raw fruit to cut through the slop. Sweetness from honey or maple syrup brightens the entire bowl. And nut butters, milk, yogurt and/or protein powder ties it all together.
Here’s how I like to make it:
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1/2 to 1 cup oatmeal (quick cook oats work best, but old fashioned oats work too, just cook ’em longer – DON’T use instant oatmeal!)
- Almond milk
- 1 small handful raw almonds
- 1 small apple, chopped
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I typically don’t like vanilla protein but I think it tastes better than chocolate when mixed in oatmeal)
- Cutting board
- Sharp kitchen knife
Hands-on prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 2-3 minutes
STEP 1: COOK THE OATMEAL
Pour the oatmeal into a bowl and cover with water. Use just enough to cover the oats, or use slightly less if you don’t like mushy oatmeal. Pop the bowl into the microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes.
While the oats are cooking, get your dry ingredients ready. Chop the apple into small chunks and portion out the almonds.
STEP 3: COMBINE WET INGREDIENTS
Once the oatmeal is done cooking, take it out of the microwave and throw in your wet ingredients. Add a splash of almond milk, a tablespoon of peanut butter, a teaspoon of honey and a scoop of vanilla protein powder. Mix together thoroughly.
STEP 4: ADD THE DRY INGREDIENTS
Finally, toss in the apple chunks and almonds. Mix again. Stuff your face and grow huge.
That’s it! Adding some texture and simple flavors can rescue oatmeal from boring obscurity. Plus, it’s ready in literally less than 5 minutes, so you can hit your snooze button a few times and STILL have time for breakfast.