Updated: October 13th, 2020
These recipes are provided by Joanna Balz, a graduate nutrition student intern in our on-campus Natural Care Center. Learn more about our academic programs in Nutrition and Integrative Health.

For many of us, a steaming bowl of oatmeal is a great way to start the day. Not only does oatmeal taste good, it’s also healthful and provides energy to carry you through a busy morning! I have been experimenting with two types of oats—rolled and steel cut—and finally perfected my morning oatmeal. When I have 10-15 minutes to cook breakfast in the morning, I make Ghee-licious Breakfast Oatmeal. When I know I have a busy morning ahead of me, I break out my slow cooker and make Easy-Peasy Overnight Oatmeal the night before, and wake up to a treat!

Oats are unique because they don’t lose their bran and germ during processing, thereby retaining important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients such as dietary fiber. Fiber works as a binding agent and sticks to cholesterol in the small intestine, preventing it from being absorbed into the body. In addition, oats also contain phenols that work synergistically with antioxidants and can protect LDL cholesterol from oxidation.

Ghee-licious Breakfast Oatmeal

Serves 2-ish

Ghee is like your body’s little helper: it aids in the absorption of vitamins and minerals (that oats are chock full of), stimulates the secretion of stomach acids for digestion, and also has anti-viral properties. No wonder it has such a long history in traditional Indian cooking!

  • 1 large apple roughly chopped (or ripe banana)
  • 1 heaping tbs ghee (or butter)
  • 2+ tbs almond butter
  • 1/2 cup oats (I use GF ones)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

In medium saucepan, heat ghee over medium heat. Add the apple and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until caramelized. Stir in the oats and mix well. Add the half and half, 1 tablespoon of the almond butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk together until well combined, making sure the almond butter gets incorporated and doesn’t stay clumpy. Bring to a boil (it may already be boiling at this point), reduce heat to low, and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Just before removing from heat, add the maple syrup and stir well.

Garnish with extra slices of banana and the reserved tablespoon of almond butter. Enjoy!

Vegan variation: Replace ghee with coconut oil and almond milk for the whole milk.


overnight oatmealEasy-Peasy Overnight Oatmeal

Serves 2-3

  • ½ cup steel cut oatmeal
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2+ tbs almond butter
  • ¼ cup maple syrup (or honey)
  • Fruit for topping

In a glass bowl large enough to fit 4 cups of liquid, combine the oats, milk, water, and salt. Place in a large slow cooker and add enough cold water to come an inch from the top of the glass bowl (think water bath for the oats). Cover the slow cooker with the lid and switch on low. Depending on your slow cooker, you may have to enter a cooking time. I’ve done anywhere from 7 hours 30 minutes, to 9 hours, with great results.

overnight oatmeal afterThe next morning, use oven mitts and remove the glass bowl from the slow cooker. Add the almond butter and maple syrup. Serve with fruit and your favorite garnishes (i.e., nuts, granola, and others). Enjoy!

Vegan variation: Replace whole milk with almond milk.