I tend to classify the processes in the aim of “making food” as either cooking, baking, or assembly.  Upon waking, I am usually stuck in a half-dream state and able to comprehend little more than the aching grumble of my lonely stomach, so I normally forgo the former two more laborious processes and opt for assembly.

“Real” oatmeal, cooked slowly over the stove, is a wonderful thing and a totally different animal from the instant variety.  However, in an effort to do less for a similar result, I have become very skilled at elevating a packet of plain ole’ instant oatmeal into something much more praise-worthy.

Here’s what I did this morning:

It always starts the same way, I tear up a banana and cut it up further with a spoon, but I don’t mash it.  The banana serves as the sweetener in the oatmeal; I really won’t need to add any more sugars once this little baby heats up in the microwave.

Today I added a generous plop of pumpkin puree because I have a ton of it that I need to use up.

I buy this plain store brand oatmeal and I’m pretty pleased with it.

I just pour the oats right over everything else and add a spoonful of flax meal.

Next I pour over almond milk and water and stir it all up.  I’ve found that if I add all almond milk and no water, it’s a little too rich for me to finish all of it.  It should look a little soupy, it’s gonna thicken a lot.

You have to microwave it about 30 seconds longer than the package suggests because there’s a lot more stuff to heat and some of it is coming from a refrigerated state.  I added chis seeds at this point and stirred them in.

That is pretty much it.  I topped it with apple butter and toasted buckwheat because that’s the kick I’m on right now, but you can eat it plain or top it with anything you want.

It really is amazingly good. You would not guess that this was microwaved oatmeal. I often eat it with just the chopped banana and oats; it’s easy to put together at the office that way too. Another quick trick is to just use a spoonful of jam and microwave that with the oats, makes for a really sticky sweet oatmeal.

I’m not ashamed of my instant oatmeal, I’m really lucky to even be able to put that together after just waking up.

With a cup of tea, it’s a fabulous breakfast.