My Utensil Crock Oatmeal Station

Oatmeal Station by My Utensil Crock - a streamlined way to assure a quick, healthy, filling breakfast

It has been raining in Washington, D.C., since April 27.

Not constantly, but a lot. Every day. News outlets report that it didn’t rain on Thursday or something, but my hair begs to differ. It’s been unpleasant, and cloudy, and foggy, and misty for as long as I can remember. After driving rain during the day Friday, we did have a little respite last night with a glorious sunny evening, and this morning was also lovely, but we were back to storms by mid-afternoon.

But you know my motto: When life gives you cloudy days, make comfort food!

Or something like that.

Oatmeal Station by My Utensil Crock - a streamlined way to assure a quick, healthy, filling breakfast

A few years ago, I was tricked into going to a “Longevity Center” with my mom for 4 days. A long story, of course, filled with so. many. steamed. vegetables, but I did pick up a few tips along the way.

The advice from that trip that I incorporated into my life the most was the breakfast tip. The wisdom was that you want to fill your stomach, by volume, with the most calorie-efficient food you can. Oatmeal and Grits are on their “nice” list; things like smoothies and nuts aren’t large enough to satiate, on their scale. Of course, there are other factors in the calculus and everyone is different. What about eggs, with such a high protein ratio? Surely that makes for a healthy start to the day? Eh, they preferred oatmeal and other grains.

I have great success with feeling full from a big serving of oatmeal in the morning – not to mention my cholesterol is aces these days, and I don’t think the two are unrelated. I mean, you will still find me at my work’s tater-tot-and-scrambled-egg bar with not unfrequently. Because, tater tots and scrambled eggs. But you will also find me starting my day with oatmeal on a regular basis.

Oatmeal Station by My Utensil Crock - a streamlined way to assure a quick, healthy, filling breakfast

I find that streamlining the oatmeal process takes prep down to like 3 minutes, which is always welcome in the morning. I made an Oatmeal Station to help with this effort, and it’s been great. I love to add cocoa, cinnamon, and sugar to my oatmeal, and it used to be a total pain to gather all of those things in the morning. Cocoa with the baking stuff like chocolate chips, cinnamon with the herbs and spices, and sugar in the main pantry in a container that holds 5 pounds of the stuff? A mess.

My oatmeal station holds the staples for delicious oatmeal:

  1. A small airtight container filled with quick oats
    Quick Oats, by My Utensil Crock
  2. Cocoa
    Cocoa, by My Utensil Crock
  3. Cinnamon
    Cinnamon, by My Utensil Crock
  4. Sugar
    Sugar, by My Utensil Crock
  5. A small jar filled with tiny spoons, and
  6. 1/2 cup measuring cup
    Extra Spoons for Oatmeal Station, by My Utensil Crock

A cute, appropriately-sized box, and we are off to the races.

I make the oatmeal (1/2 cup of quick oats) in a Sistema Microwave Rice Cooker, using skim milk (1 cup), microwaved for 1:45; and then I stir in the sugar, then cinnamon, then cocoa. If I have fresh fruit, I wash it while the oatmeal is microwaving and stir it in once the sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa have dissolved. I haven’t had fresh fruit around recently, because I’ve been pretty busy {annnnd a little lazy}, but frozen fruit works in a pinch too, when microwaved until hot and stirred in at the end.

A few more notes:

  • The matching small round jars are from Ikea; the littlest hexagon jar is repurposed from a little jelly or jam that came with a cute gift basket I received; the oatmeal container is an OXO snap-lid.
  • Yes, you probably already have sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa. But it’s totally worth it to “invest” in the second set – a second 1/2 cup measuring cup as well, so you aren’t constantly looking for them. You know how much easier it was once you just admitted you needed a second toothbrush for your travel bag? Yeah. Like that.
  • The spoons are appetizer spoons; you can buy them by the dozen inexpensively (thanks, mom!). These are approximately 1/4 teaspoon capacity. I like having a lot on hand, so I can not worry about having them washed immediately for the next day – same thing with the 1/2 cup measuring cup. For oatmeal, I don’t mind if a little cocoa gets in the cinnamon, and vice versa – because it’s all going to the same place: my oatmeal – but having a number of spoons helps keep the spices separate, if you prefer.
  • My sugar is honestly the odds and ends of some random sugars I have had around: regular cane sugar, turbinado sugar, some “organic sugar” that wasn’t white when I was at a specialty shop that didn’t have “regular sugar,” etc. It doesn’t really matter for the oatmeal! I only use 1/4 teaspoon or so anyway – I don’t find it needs more and I’m not interested in loading up on sugar for the day at 8am.
  • Find my every-day recipe for oatmeal in this post!

Oatmeal Station by My Utensil Crock - a streamlined way to assure a quick, healthy, filling breakfast

I hope you make and enjoy your own oatmeal station. Please let me know in the comments if you make one, and if you have any tips to improve upon my station. What would you add to yours? Chocolate or peanut butter chips? Ground ginger? Let me know…

And now, I am out to grab a sliver of sunshine, while I can!

Comments

  1. Lana says

    Love this idea! I like to make my oatmeal taste like oatmeal raisin cookies, so my kit would be brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins, and a little bottle of vanilla. The microwave rice cooker is a genius idea too…never would have thought of that.

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