I suddenly like mornings.
I never used to, always dreading the early rises when I would be forced to tread quietly through the house trying not wake anyone as they still slept blissfully, cozied up in bed. It's weird for me, and I like that. Weird is interesting.
I now go to bed anticipating the time when I sit down to my breakfast, engrossed in a book and my morning green tea. If I'm feeling exceptionally adventurous I'll even turn on the radio, which mostly remains fuzzy to what I call "morning ears," causing things to sound strange and indecipherable, but allowing me to remain peacefully unaware of the world around me, that is until the cold air from outside awakens me furiously.
Even though the house usually sleeps in a colder state than my room, a warm cave for my cold-blooded self, it doesn't bother me in the early mornings, and I just slip into a cozy blanket that awaits neatly folded on the back of a chair, and as I shuffle around to make breakfast it slips off my shoulders every now and then. I don't even mutter under my breath like usual, although I may unconsciously wish I had a snuggy to loyally cuddle around me.
Suddenly, I've come to lay in bed at night almost in anticipation for the morning. Some would say I'm crazy to love waking up at six-twenty everyday. But I don't really, I don't actually enjoy cutting my sleep in half just to get to school, I just like having that time to myself, where I have not yet tuned in to my phones beeps and alerts, and the chatter of life hasn't drowned my own desires. From when I get up until just before I leave the house, it's me time.
To allow a little more time in the mornings, I like to prepare my breakfast the night before and leaving it in the fridge for the next morning. Now, this cannot be done with any cereals, because soggy breakfast is not enjoyable in the least, however, oats are a perfect (and quick) morning starter.
I understand that some cannot (or do not) eat oats, due to the small gluten component, however I would like to clear up some common misconceptions that I've uncovered in my 'investigations' for the truth. Contrary to what many believe, oats, like quinoa and buckwheat, are naturally gluten-free. However, because they are often a rotational crop with wheat, and processing occurs in the same facilities, contamination with gluten can occur.
My mum, a buyer for a local food store, asked a few of her suppliers and distributors to clear up the facts after we scoured Whole Foods and our local grocery store for oats that stated 'gluten-free.' Before becoming gluten-free I was a religious breakfast enthusiast when it came to hot porridge every morning, reminding me of breakfasts when we went camping when I was much younger. Apple cinnamon was always a favourite on those brisk mornings after coming out from the tent, still wrapped in a warm blanket.
It is different in the United States, however government guidelines in Canada state that no oat-containing product may have the label 'gluten-free,' although Health Canada recognises that oats, certified pure and uncontaminated, can be consumed by people with celiac disease of gluten sensitivity in small quanities. Uncontaminated oats contain no more than 20 parts per million of gluten, though those with severe celiac disease are recommended to contact their doctor or health care practitioner before consuming oats.
In the United States oat-containing products can be labelled 'gluten-free,' but the stricter guidelines in Canada state that there cannot be any amount of gluten in the product for it to attain this label. Instead, we see many items on our grocery store shelves that will instead have packaging promoting 'wheat-free.' The difference? It's in the policies. Since oats do actually have some gluten, a very minute amount, they are marketed to be avoided for everyone with allergies to gluten, severe or minute, thus causing this widespread misconception.
My granddad for instance, who has a severe celiac condition, cannot eat any oats or any products which contain them. Me on the other hand, will be able to eat small quantities of oats, and hopefully after reading this, some of you will realise that you can too!
|Cooked oats, heated and served with chopped apple and maple syrup|
I put them in the fridge the night before, two ingredients that looked as if they would never form something tasty, and by morning, to my wonderful surprise, it was a delicious, hearty breakfast. Filled with lots of fibre and nutrients, oats are a great way to start the day as they provide the energy you need to keep going.
When gluten is not being eaten, small quantities of oats should be added to the diet first, slowly increasing to about 1-2 cups per day for adults. For severe celiac conditions, oats should be avoided.
1/2 c instant plain oats
3/4 c almond milk
1/2 c blueberries
1 chopped banana or 1/4 c dried fruit and nuts/seeds
maple syrup to serve
The night before combine the oats, almond milk and blueberries in a bowl, cover and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
The next morning, add the banana, dried fruit or nuts/seeds and drizzle with maple syrup to sweeten. The oats can be heated in the microwave as well if you prefer.
Labels: blueberries, breakfast, gluten-free, Oats, overnight, porridge