I made an important discovery while I was on a little mini-vacation to Delaware last week: my body is capable of sleeping, soundly, for 11 straight hours! I honestly didn’t think this was something I could do anymore. Since having kids, I have a daily alarm clock and I hear each and every little sound that comes from the general direction of my sons’ room. Restful sleep is not something that happens to me all that often anymore. But last week, I woke up in my dark hotel room (blackout curtains = amazing), hearing nothing but the sound of my covers rustling as I shifted to check the clock on the bedside table, and I thought I was dreaming. Was this real?
Once I got my bearings, I took a leisurely shower, did my hair, put on make up, and headed out in search of coffee. It was lunch time for the rest of the city, but for me, I needed a latté and some breakfast. As I walked to the café, I thought about how I take sleep for granted in my daily life. I stay up too late and look at my phone in the few minutes before falling asleep. And it shows. My eyes look tired all the time and I don’t have the energy I need to do it all. This is why it is good for me to get away for a while. I remember what it feels like to truly take care of my basic needs.
I’m working on the sleeping thing. Instead of staying up until all hours of the night, I’m trying to go to sleep at the same, reasonable time each night. And then there’s breakfast. I am realizing how important that meal is and what my body needs to get fuel for the day. Eggs are always a good choice, but sometimes I need something different. That’s when this beautiful bowl of goodness comes into play.
I love Irish oats (steel cut) more than old fashioned because of the texture. They have a slight crunch to them and the flavor comes through in a much more pleasing way for me. Some days, I top them simply with fresh berries, a handful of nuts, and a bit of cream. Other days, I add nut butters to give the meal a little more substance. This combination is one of my favorites. So many good-for-you things inside this bowl!
Also, I’m going to tell you a secret: one of my favorite ways to add flavor to my Irish oats is to toss a couple cinnamon sticks right into the water the oats are simmered in. Trust me. You’re gonna want to steal that little trick.
Are you taking care of yourself? If you’re feeling down in the dumps, take a close look at your sleep schedule and see if you need to get that under control. And up your breakfast game!
*Notes: I made four servings of this even if I'm only cooking for myself. The cooked oats keep well in the fridge and you can reheat them and get creative with whatever toppings you want throughout the week. Don't have honey? Maple syrup works well here. No bee pollen? No worries! Just omit them.
Irish Oats with Bee Pollen, Honey & Tahini
- 1 cup Irish oats (steel cut oats)
- 3 cups water
- pinch of salt
- 2 cinnamon sticks
Toppings for one bowl:
- 1/2 banana, sliced
- 2 tablespoons tahini paste
- 2 tablespoons good quality honey
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon bee pollen
- Bring the water to a boil. Stir in the salt and then the oats. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the oats are creamy. Stir every once in a while to ensure they don't stick to the bottom of your pan.
- If you're making this for one, fill a bowl with 1/4 of the cooked oats and refrigerate the leftovers when they are cool.
- Top your oats with the banana slices, then drizzle with the tahini paste and honey. Sprinkle it all with sesame seeds and bee pollen. Enjoy with a nice, strong cup of coffee.