My foray into eating healthier began with breakfast. I’ve always found it’s easiest to make healthy choices first thing in the morning, and once you’ve set the tone for the day, it’s easier to continue making healthy choices throughout the day. If you’re looking to get into eating healthier, I strongly recommend that you get started with breakfast.
At the beginning of my transition to veganism, oatmeal was my main breakfast staple. I loved trying out new combinations, playing with classic flavour combos, and using my favourite desserts for inspiration. It’s been a very long time since I stopped eating oatmeal regularly for breakfast. I seem to bounce around from one food “obsession” to another. First it’s lavish oatmeal bowls every. single. day. Next I’ve ditched the oatmeal and switched to smoothies, and suddenly I’m turned onto savoury breakfasts and all I want is scrambled tofu and breakfast potatoes. Lately, my breakfast obsession has been coffee, and not in a good way. No matter what I tell myself first thing in the morning, coffee with vanilla soy milk does not make for a nutritious start to your day. Suddenly I noticed it became easier to make poor food choices throughout the day. Just recently I had two back to back bouts of an awful sore throat and summer cold. This was a bit of a wake up call, maybe healthy, hearty breakfasts need to make a comeback in my life? I think so.
I’m not the only one trying to get on (or back on) the healthy breakfast train. William’s been trying to eat a little healthier, and a little more. Luckily there are few things I love as much as cooking for those that I love (and I happen to love William a WHOLE LOT.) I’ve been making him smoothies most mornings (it’s so darn easy to pack like 600+ calories into one of those things, they’re freaking awesome if you’re trying to increase your daily calories!) But for the sake of variety I wanted to get him on board with another breakfast option. That’s how I ended up making this Chocolate Strawberry Oatmeal, once, and then twice, and then suddenly we were both having oatmeal a few times a week. THIS is my new breakfast obsession, I can’t help but return to this combo over and over again.
This oatmeal bowl starts with warm, perfectly sweet oats studded with chopped strawberries and just barely melting chocolate chips. Top that with a mixture of chopped strawberries + maple syrup, an extra sprinkle of mini dark chocolate chips, some roughly chopped raw cashews, a splash of vanilla soy milk, and if you like, a little dollop of peanut butter. It’s the perfect breakfast to give you that slow and lazy summer Sunday morning feeling, but it only takes 15 minutes to prepare so you can enjoy it any day of the week!
This recipe is really tailored to William’s preferences, so feel free to play around with the level of sweetness. If you don’t have much of a sweet tooth, start a little lower, taste, and adjust.
Speaking of sweetness, perhaps you saw our post for Chipotle Maple Glazed Tofu Burgers? If you haven’t, you need to check it out ASAP because it is a seriously simple and delicious vegan burger recipe. There’s plenty of summer left for grilling so I suggest you give it a whirl before the BBQ season winds down. We didn’t mention it at the time, but through Food Bloggers of Canada, that post was our entry to become brand ambassadors for Pure Infused Maple Syrup. Guess what? Those burgers seemed to do the trick! We’re going to be brand ambassadors for Pure Infused! We’ve been playing around with the syrups they sent us and this oatmeal is one place we’ve been loving using them. The Lavender Chai & Vanilla, and Cinnamon & Star Anise flavoured syrups are both amazing in this recipe. Something about Pure’s infusions makes anything you add it to taste straight up fancy, this oatmeal included. (PS: This isn’t a sponsored post, we’re just so excited to have been chosen that we had to chat about their place in this recipe a little bit!)
So, you can look forward to more maple syrup recipes in the very near future and let me tell you, we are already bursting full of ideas!
PS: Looking for more oatmeal ideas? Try out our recipes for Spiced Carrot Cake Oatmeal, Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip Banana Raisin Oatmeal, Chocolate Covered Cranberry Oatmeal, or browse the MANY oatmeal bowls I’ve made and shared on Garden of Vegan by looking through our /tagged/oatmeal/ category!
And, if you’re like William and looking for ways to add MORE calories to your diet, add a tbsp of chia seeds along with the ground flax seed, and don’t skip the peanut butter on top (almond or cashew butter would be heavenly too!) If you’d prefer a lightened up version, keep it as is, start with a slightly lower level of sweetness by reducing the maple syrup and brown sugar and go light on the nut butters or skip them all together (the cashews are lovely by themselves, I promise!)
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup rolled oats
- pinch salt
- 1 tbsp ground flax seed
- 1 tbsp brown sugar or coconut sugar (adjust to your preferred level of sweetness)
- 1 tbsp mini dark chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)
- 2 tbsp chopped strawberries
- splash of vanilla soy milk (or your preferred plant milk)
- 2 tbsp chopped strawberries
- drizzle of pure maple syrup (I used Pure Infused Lavender Chai maple syrup)
- 2 tbsp chopped raw cashews
- 1 tbsp mini dark chocolate chips
- (optional) 1-3 tsp natural peanut butter
- In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil over high heat. Add the oats and salt and turn the heat down to medium. Simmer for about 3 minutes before adding the ground flax seed and brown sugar, cook until thick (or until oatmeal reaches your desired consistency.)
- Add the chopped strawberries and dark chocolate chips, Stir and transfer to a bowl immediately.
- Mix the chopped strawberries with maple syrup.
- Top oatmeal with a splash of vanilla soy milk, the maple syrup & strawberries, dark chocolate chips, and raw cashews. Add a dollop of peanut butter if desired. Enjoy!