The mother of all breakfasts

I’ve found myself to be a little bit obsessed with oats at the moment, and so I’ve been making a lot of baked ‘oatmeal’- type things for my breakfasts this week. I’m not one for exquisite presentation because to me it’s all about FLAVOUR: 

That beauty right there is what I’ve called Baked Apple and Cinnammon Oatmeal – and it’s really simple to make! See below for a recipe that doesn’t need weighing scales.

What you need (for 1 nice and big serving of any baked oatmeal brekkie): 

Porridge oats 

Banana, chopped

Milk 

Sugar

Sultanas (optional)

Ground Cinnammon (optional)

Cashew nuts, chopped (optional) 

Honey or syrup (optional)

Plus any topping you fancy!

What to do:
– Preheat the oven to around 200 degrees celsius

– Pop a couple of generous handfuls of oats, a little sprinkling of sugar, and a few sultanas (optional) into an ovenproof dish.  ~The dish shouldn’t be much bigger than about a 5-ish-inch diameter circle; if it is then the cooking time for the oatmeal mix may be shorter~

– Add a good splash of your favourite type of milk, and a chopped banana, to the oat mix, then mash it all together until it is fully mixed and resembles the consistency of a thick porridge

– Mix in a few chopped cashew nuts (optional) and a 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnammon (also optional) – or more if you love cinnammon as much as I do!

– After ensuring it is all well-combined together, flatten the oatmeal in its dish and bake for 35-40 minutes

– When the oats look golden brown, take the dish out of the oven and drizzle honey or syrup (optional) over the top. Leave to rest for 10 mins whilst you prepare the topping of your choice! 

– You can then either eat it straight out of the dish (careful if it’s hot!) or, if you’ve made more than one serving then spoon them into separate bowls before adding toppings.
Topping ideas:

The topping I used for the oatmeal photographed above was diced apple with a bit of sugar and a bit of cinnammon; 

– Dice one apple into small chunks, add a splinkling each of cinnammon and sugar, and then   bake in a separate dish to the oat mix for around 30-40 minute

But there are plenty of other ideas:

– You could grate some lemon or orange zest (and squeeze a little bit of juice, substituting for the milk) into your oat mix before baking, and then top with blueberries – Yum!

– You could top the freshly baked oatmeal with more chopped banana and a dollop of nut-butter – such as peanut butter or almond butter 

– Top with strawberries, raspberries or cherries; with a spoonful of chocolate spread (or Nutella if you fancy it – I have a slight obsession with Nutella!)


– Go tropical by topping with diced pineapple and/or mango and a spoonful of coconut butter (or Bounty spread!) If this is your kind of thing, you could add a sprinkling of dessicated coconut or coconut flakes to the oat mix before baking 

– If you’re a chocoholic like me, you could swap the sultanas for choccie chips 😛 

Happy brekkie! Let me know if you make this or anything similar – or just comment with your own favourite breakfast food at the moment 😃

If you have any questions then don’t hesitate to ask!

Love & Hugs, 

Rachael (DisabledCatMom)

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Mindfulness for the Many (1)

‘Mindfulness’ – it’s being mentioned absolutely everywhere at the moment. But what actually is it? How ‘mindful’ are we? And perhaps most importantly, how can regularly practicing ‘mindfulness’ benefit us? 

What is mindfulness?

Many people have the misunderstanding that mindfulness is some sort of religious or spiritual practice – and whilst mindfulness is taught as part of a number of different faiths, it is certainly not solely a practice used by religious or spiritual groups.

Being in a ‘mindful state’ simply means that you are fully aware of the present moment – along with the thoughts, feelings and sensations that come with it. In your mindful state, you completely accept all that is happening to you and around you, without judging or criticising any of your experiences. ‘Mindfulness’ can then be described as achieving this mental state, in which you are being ‘mindful’.

Being ‘aware’ of the present moment may sound fairly easy, but most of the time it’s actually much harder than you might think.

How much of your time is spent thinking about what needs doing once you’ve finished the task you’re currently completing, or wondering how things may be different if something in the past had taken a different turn? How many times have you put down an item and immediately forgotten where you’ve put it, or walked into a room only to find that you have no idea why you went to that room in the first place? On your commute to work or travelling to somewhere familiar, how often do you ‘zone out’ and forget which roads you’ve travelled along, or which train stations you’ve passed through? When talking to another person, how often do you find yourself focusing on what you will say next – even when the other person hasn’t finished talking? Or, on the other hand, do you sometimes lose track of what has been said and forget the topic of conversation?

All of these occurrences, plus many more similar things that happen to us all on a daily basis, can be described as ‘mindless‘ experiences. They all go to show that our focus is often fixated upon the future, or preoccupied by the past. These mindless experiences aren’t harmful of course, but there are a number of positive differences we can benefit from if we learn to better focus our mind on the present moment.

How can practicing mindfulness benefit me?

Mindfulness has been shown to be effective at reducing anxiety levels and chronic pain, as well as increasing a person’s tolerance and resilience in situations that are distressing for them, and increasing a person’s ability to fully relax. In today’s society, life can pass us by very quickly, and therefore proper relaxation is extra-important to maintain mental and physical well-being. Along with a new type of relaxation that’s good for your mind, you might also benefit from an improved attention span, an enhanced awareness of your emotions and thoughts, and decreased stress levels. What have you got to lose?

My next ‘Mindfulness for the Many’ post will give details of a few really quick mind-exercises you can do that will help you to practice mindfulness. Look out for it and give them a go – you might be surprised!