Life is continuing on here in much its usual way. Toys are played with and strewn around the apartment, hide-and-seek is played at least fifty times a day, and vacuuming is done over and over again, as are dishes and laundry washing. We go for daily walks and spend as much time as possible digging in dirt, looking for bugs, an picking dandelions.
All this busy time playing and exploring the world requires some good fuel. If Lewis had his way he would still be mainly fueled by constant breastfeeding sessions (in between digging in the dirt, playing in the sink, and carpeting our apartment with a random assortment of objects.) He still chooses to nurse several times a day, but I need some real food to fuel my part in all the activities, and he does a pretty good job of eating his share of real food as well.
Breakfast was the last meal we started giving him regularly, because he just wasn’t interested for a long time. Even now he can still take it or leave it depending on what’s on offer. However, oatmeal is one thing that I can pretty much always count on him to eat a good portion of and fill up his little tummy.
Often I go the easy route of cooking it in the microwave. Yes! Real oatmeal can be cooked in the microwave! It’s just as easy as those packets of “instant” oatmeal, and you get to avoid all that extra salt, sugar, and other unpronounceable ingredients. Just mix your oats, water, and whatever extras you want and microwave for 1 minute at a time, stirring in between until you reach your desired consistency. (But do keep an eye on it because sometimes it likes to mysteriously overflow from the bowl.)
Some days I feel like putting a little more effort in and actually cook our oats on the stove top, adding some extra ingredients to make it a little more fancy and give it an extra boost of nutrition. I think it was on The Kitchn website that I first saw the idea of adding an egg to oatmeal, although I can’t find the post now. It makes the texture of the oatmeal a bit lighter and creamier, plus adds a little extra protein and whatever other good stuff is in an egg. And of course I’m always looking for ways to add more veggies into all of our diets.
This recipe is inspired by carrot cake, although to be honest it doesn’t quite taste like carrot cake. it would need a lot more sugar for that, and the texture is completely different, but it is still very yummy! The measurements here are all approximate since my cooking style involves mixing together a handful of this, a pinch of that, and a good shake of the other thing.
“Carrot cake” oatmeal (2 servings)
1 cup oats
1 carrot finely grated
1 1/2 c. water (sometimes I substitute in some juice or milk instead – juice adds a little sweetness, milk makes it more creamy)
1 handful raisins
2 -4 T shredded coconut
2 t brown sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1/8 t each ginger and nutmeg
Mix oats and grated carrot. Whisk in egg until well mixed. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil on medium heat, turn down heat and simmer stirring occasionally until done.
Optional toppings: Chopped walnuts, more coconut, a splash of milk or cream, a dollop of plain greek yogurt, a drizzle of maple syrup. And if you are Lewis, an extra handful of raisins on the side!
The oatmeal has some visible orange flecks from the carrot, but this doesn’t seem to deter Lewis at all. Yum yum!