My Power Meal Breakfast for Only a $1

A lot of people skip breakfast because they’re in a hurry or because they want to shave some money off their grocery bill. Experts have been telling us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet we ignore the advice.

I know that whenever I skip breakfast, I can make it to lunch, but overeat as a result and throw off the rest of my day. What if you could make a breakfast that was quick and easy, nutritious, and cheap? That’s exactly what I do!

The Ingredients of a Power Breakfast

The following list makes enough for about one adult:

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats. You can get good quality, organic rolled oats for about $1 a pound (that’s roughly 5 cups). I buy mine in bulk at Whole Foods, and can get as little or as much as I want. Rolled oats contain high amounts of thiamine, fiber, and specific antioxidants, and go well with almost anything. Total cost: $0.10.
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt. A 32 oz. of Chobani plain Greek yogurt runs about $6, so you can get about 12 servings out of a single container. The straining process removes much of the fat, sodium and sugar in the yogurt, but concentrates proteins by volume, which is why Greek yogurt is becoming so popular as a healthy food. Total cost: $0.50.
  • 1/2 cup of fresh fruit in season. Fruit is a great start to your day, filling you up without slowing you down and boosting your vitamin intake. Some days, I’ll add as much as 1-1/2 cups, depending on the fruit. The cost varies, but I rarely pay more than $0.40 for the pleasure.

The beauty of this breakfast is that most of the cost is in the additives, which means that you can make it as expensive or inexpensive as you want! The basic oats cost only a dime and the time to prepare them.

The Preparation

Oats are incredibly easy to make—simply take the volume of oats you’re making and put double the water in a pot to boil. Add a sprinkle of salt and wait for a boil, then throw in the oats and bring to a simmer.

I like to cook the oats until slightly soupy (~10 minutes), then let them rest off the heat and covered for another 5 minutes. If you’re not planning on adding yogurt, I would suggest a runnier consistency.

From start to finish, the process takes about 20 minutes, but it only requires your attention for a few of those minutes.

Kicking Up Oats a Notch

If you’re so inclined, there are literally hundreds of variations on this breakfast, since oats are fairly plain and compatible with nearly anything. Some of my favorites are:

  • Honey, or agave nectar
  • Cocoa powder
  • Coconut flakes

Experiment on your own to find out what you like best!

Photo by little blue hen