Celebrate National Oatmeal Month by Serving Students Hot Cereal on Cold Days
It’s January! As temperatures dip a little faster than we’d like, it’s hard to get students excited about cold breakfast selections. Sure, there are plenty of warm breakfast options to choose from, but few are as comforting as a steaming bowl of hot oatmeal. Since January is National Oatmeal Month, there’s no better time to serve hot oats and experiment with a few new recipes.
Oatmeal is among the most popular hot cereal. It tastes good, can replace flour in some recipes, or can be added to other foods such as meatloaf. It is also convenient, making it ideal for breakfast and afternoon snacks. This breakfast indulgence is a hearty way for students to start their day without any unnecessary calories and will keep them fuller for longer.
Health Benefits of Eating Oatmeal
- They are nutritionally well balanced with lots of important vitamins, minerals and antioxidant plant compounds, and a good balance of fiber and protein.
- They’re rich in antioxidants, which can help lower blood pressure.
- They contain large amounts of beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber, which can help lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Fun Facts about Oats
- People have been growing and eating oats for at least 7,000 years
- The Greeks were the first people to make them into porridge
- A bowl of oatmeal for breakfast provides energy and fuel all morning long
- More oats grow in Cedar Rapids, Iowa than anyplace else in the country
- Eighty percent of households in the U.S. have oats in their cupboard
- An 18-ounce package of Old Fashioned Quaker Oats contains about 26,000 rolled oats
How You can Celebrate National Oatmeal Month
Celebrate oatmeal month by offering students a sample of a new oatmeal recipe or by letting them customize their oatmeal with a variety of toppings. The best part about oatmeal is, even if you only have plain oats, the recipes you can make are endless (see one of our favorites below). An oatmeal bar with assorted fruits, nuts, other grains, and spices like cinnamon or pumpkin spice will give students the ability to customize their oatmeal to their particular taste.
Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal
- 1 cup steel-cut oats
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 apple, peeled and diced
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- Fresh berries of your choice
- Any other additions such as pure maple syrup, sugar, dried fruit, walnuts, etc.
The day before:
Prepare your Steel Cut oats according to package instructions (generally this includes 1 cup oats, 4 cups water, and ¼ tsp salt). Bring 4 cups of water to a rolling boil. Add salt. Then add 1 cup of Oats. Let the oats boil for 1 minute. Turn the heat off, place a lid over the oats and let them sit overnight on the stove.
- Remove the lid from the oatmeal
- Add diced apples, cinnamon, and vanilla. Heat over low to medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until apples softens
- Once the oatmeal is heated and apples are soft, spoon into a bowl and let students top with berries or other toppings
- Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for the following morning. If your oatmeal is too thick the next day, heat it up on the stove with a little almond milk or water to create a creamy cereal. Your leftovers will store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days
Storage Tips to Avoid Food Waste
To keep oats fresh always store them in an airtight container after opening. Oats will keep for a year under cool, dry, airtight conditions. However, if they look, taste or smell off, discard them.
Need Help Getting Started?
Need help implementing the perfect Oatmeal Bar? Our experienced Education Specialist can help you choose the right products while staying within your budget. Contact us today.