For years, you’ve heard about how important it is to eat breakfast, especially if you want to be healthy. Breakfast helps jumpstart your metabolism and can even put you on the right track for losing weight (if that’s your goal). Though more recent studies challenge the role of breakfast in weight loss, one thing is for sure: in order to maintain high levels of energy and concentration throughout the day, your body needs fuel within a few hours of waking up, and the fuel needs to be the right type.

Eating a plate full of greasy hash browns and bacon can be very enjoyable, but it’s not going to sustain you through that orgo midterm or your workout in Freeman. What will, however, is a meal that many have dismissed: oatmeal.

I’ll be the first to admit that oats can be bland, tasteless, and watery. Even worse, without brown sugar or the occasional dinosaur egg, eating it can be just plain boring. As far as breakfast foods go, however, it is one of the most nutritious. In every cup of oatmeal there are 25 grams of complex carbohydrates, which not only make you feel fuller for longer, but also release glucose, the high octane fuel your body needs, for that extra boost of energy when you need it most.

Having devoured oatmeal religiously for the past four years, I believe I’ve come up with a simple yet power-packed way to liven up a plain bowl of oats. The simple addition of granola and fruit (I prefer blueberries and a banana, but any kind of fruit will suffice) is enough to improve the taste, but to make this oatmeal “loaded,” a few more ingredients are required.

With the addition of chia, flax, and hemp seeds, the oatmeal gains a mixture of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which help with immune function and blood clotting. Additionally, they are packed with protein and fiber. The coup de grâce then comes with the addition of almond or peanut butter, which further increases the flavor and protein content of the oatmeal.

All of my friends who have tried this recipe are hooked. Some even go to bed in anticipation of waking up the following morning and feasting on a bowl of loaded oatmeal. After making your own bowl, I assure you that you’ll feel the same way.


Loaded Oatmeal


1 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup blueberries and 1 banana, or your fruit of choice

2 tbsp. each of chia, flax, and hemp seeds

1 tbsp. dried cranberries

1 tbsp. granola

Approx. 2 tbsp. almond or peanut butter

1 tbsp. fruit-based jam or preserves (optional)


1. Line a bowl with your fruit of choice. (If at Usdan, fill a black bowl about 1/4 of the way full.)

2. Fill your bowl with old-fashioned oatmeal. (At Usdan, fill until the bowl is 3/4 full.)

3. Add chia, flax, and hemp seeds to the mixture along with granola and cranberries. Each can be found at the condiment station in Usdan.

4. Add nut butter to the oatmeal. Top with jam or preserves if desired.

5. Serve with a cup of coffee or cold glass of water.

Note: With so many ingredients, the bowl might begin to overflow. Before beginning, place a plate underneath the bowl to prevent the additions from spilling over.

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