Warm breakfasts on very early mornings. It’s one of the things that I crave most in winter or chilly early spring mornings. I’m an early riser, usually up before the sun, and I have a deep fondness for the early morning bluish / golden light. Quiet morning hours are when my brain is most active and creative, and settling into those hours with a warm bowl of morning oats and piping hot, aromatic coffee feels pretty blissful. I haven’t quite transitioned into the morning smoothies yet (that’s usually an early summer gateway for me), but I’m still utilizing warming adaptogenic morning oats as my go-to breakfast until I can walk barefoot around my house and not be struck with a frigid chill. All throughout winter, I stick to about an 80% cooked and warming diet, with few raw foods or energetically cold foods. I run *very* cold, and when I keep my meals warm, fairly moist, and cooked, it helps to balance out my digestion and keep me a feeling a lot more grounded (and satiated) throughout the day.
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Nutritionally, oats are a wonderful way to incorporate more complex carbohydrates and healthy fiber into your daily diet, along with providing loads of healthful nutrients. Per cup of (dry) oats, you’ll get a hearty dose of iron, zinc, folate, copper, selenium, magnesium and thiamine. Consistent consumption of oats has been linked to lowering cholesterol (due largely to the beta-glucan soluble fiber content), and a hearty morning bowl of oatmeal, for many, can help to sustain blood sugar levels during the day, leading to more consistent energy*. Oats have also been shown to support cardiovascular function, and immune health too*. Oatmeal in the morning is a fantastic carrier for SO many things – including herbal powders, fresh or dried fruits, nuts and seeds. I load up my morning oats in a different way almost every time I make them. But I always include some base herbs and spices from Mountain Rose Herbs to make it a savory sweet breakfast!
In my foundational recipe, I always include sweet cinnamon powder, nutmeg, ashwagandha powder, a bit of raw cocoa powder, and a hint of sea salt and maple syrup. I prefer using steel cut oats (which take about 30 minutes to prepare), but quick cooking oats are a great option for a speedier meal. I’ve always gravitated towards ashwagandha as a morning adaptogen because it’s such a gentle, building and powerful ally that’s not going to be stimulating, but more supportive of normal energy levels. To get the full healthful benefits of ashwagandha, I like taking the powder, but cooked in a fatty milk (like coconut milk or whole milk for a “lipid extraction”) to really extract all there is to offer. It offers a gentle earthy/sweet flavor that mixes so well with the warmth of cinnamon and nutmeg. I like to use unflavored coconut milk when I make steel cut oats (and add my own dash of vanilla powder or extract), but experiment with your liquids and see which flavor you like best! Other options include hemp milk, cashew milk, whole milk, almond milk, flaxseed milk or filtered water.
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Below is my foundational, base recipe. More options to add:
Fruits – blueberries, strawberries, banana, cherries, blackberries, raspberries, apples, pears, persimmons, dried prunes, raisins, cranberries, coconut flakes
Seeds – sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, hemp, chia
Herbal powders (any can work!) – shatavari, reishi, astragalus, dandelion root, burdock root, clove