When people find out that I am vegan, one of the many questions I’m asked is what do you eat for breakfast? Many people can’t imagine the idea of not eating eggs and bacon for breakfast, but breakfast is so much more than just that. True, that this is one of the most popular breakfast combinations that you can find in the majority of restaurants that serve breakfast. Now I eat a variety of different dishes for breakfast such as smoothie bowls, chickpea vegetable omelets, and chia pudding.
Even as a vegan I still eat traditional breakfast dishes like pancakes, French toast, and oatmeal but just made with a few ingredient substitutions. I’ve always made oatmeal with milk instead of water but now I use plant-based milks instead of cows milk.
How I Don’t Like To Eat Oatmeal
When it comes to eating oatmeal, I can’t eat it when its made any old way. Regular oatmeal that is served in a cafeteria, fast food restaurant, or sit down restaurant usually doesn’t meet my standards because 99% of the time it’s made with water. Oatmeal made with water usually lacks flavor and just tastes like blah. There are times when I had to eat oatmeal made with water, usually when I was short on time and couldn’t make my own or I was in a place where the oatmeal was the only option that looked edible. When I’m in a bind and the only two options I have are to either starve for several hours or eat the oatmeal made with water, I will bite the bullet and choose the latter.
When I do eat oatmeal made with water I’ll try to make it better by adding some dried cranberries to make it sweeter and vanilla flavored plant-based milk to make it creamier. This makes it a little better but it still doesn’t taste the same as if it was cooked with milk and a natural sweetener.
How I Like My Oatmeal
So you may be wondering how do I like to eat my oatmeal? Besides it being sweet and creamy it must have vanilla in it and the more vanilla the better. It must also be smooth and not very thick and lumpy.
It was the way my mother and grandmother made it for me my entire life. I don’t know if this way of eating oatmeal has to do with us coming from the Caribbean but I know people who come from other Caribbean countries that make their oatmeal in a similar way.
When I traveled to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic the oatmeal our hotel served was made with milk and slightly sweetened. It was good but I thought my oatmeal still tasted better than theirs. They did make a cornmeal pudding breakfast dish that was sweet, creamy, and straight up delicious and way better than the oatmeal they were serving
The best oatmeal that I have ever had that wasn’t made by me, my mother, or grandmother was in the hotel I stayed in while on vacation in Negril, Jamaica. When I first saw the oatmeal, it looked just like the one I make and I could tell it was made with milk because it was lighter in color. That made me want to try a little since I already had a full breakfast plate. The chef who made that oatmeal must have known that I was there and made it special for me because it was perfect. It was sweet, creamy, and not too thick and not too runny. It was almost like having dessert for breakfast. I still dream about eating that oatmeal and wish I could go back to Jamaica just to have it.
When it comes to sweetening the oatmeal, I use stevia or agave but only if I use regular rolled oats and unsweetened non-dairy milk. If I have non-dairy milk that is sweetened and use the instant vanilla flavored oats that my family buys which contains sugar, then I will not add any extra sweetener to the oatmeal.
It is important to know what is in your food before you buy it, especially if sugar is added to it. If I add sweetener to the oatmeal that contains sugar in the milk and oats that I’m using, it will be too sweet for me and I’ll get a headache from the excess sugar my body is not used to having.
When this vanilla oatmeal is made correctly it is not too sweet and you can taste the vanilla in it. You can top this oatmeal with your favorite fruit and/or edible seeds like chia or hemp seeds. I like to enjoy this without anything on it so I can savor the vanilla flavor since I really love vanilla.