What's For Breakfast?

What's For Breakfast?
iStock calls this photo "the concept of healthy eating."

I had something else planned for today – I have two podcast episodes recorded but unedited. So the key word in that first sentence is “planned,” and as things are still… not... great for me mentally right now, I did not manage to weave any straw into gold for you today.

Instead, I’m turning to the ol' standby in the “I have nothing to say but feel obligated to post online” genre: the open thread.

I haven’t posted one since I moved from Substack, and I need to get much better at responding to comments and to emails — so if nothing else, consider this an exercise in my performing that bit of Internet etiquette.

So, what's for breakfast?

Me, I’ve been on an overnight oats kick lately, which I like for a lot of reasons — mainly that I prepare it the night before. I am a big fan of, right before I go to bed, getting things ready for the next day. I'll set out my running gear, for example. Or I'll pack my gym bag. I'll pull a bagel out of the freezer for Kin's breakfast. I'll make a overnight oats for mine (I add 4 grams of creatine to the mix so I don't forget to take it).

I've been trying a bunch of variations of overnight oats, so I can pretend I've struck a breakfast balance between consistency and variety. Some mornings, I add dried blueberries and pumpkin seeds; some mornings I add pecans and cocoa powder.

Did you know that cocoa powder is a good source of fiber?

Maybe it's an aging thing, but I've been thinking a lot about fiber lately. (It's definitely an aging thing.)

As such, I’ve been experimenting with various grains in my overnight oats other than and in addition to good, old-fashioned rolled oats. Buckwheat groats, for example – these need more soaking time, so each night I add 1/8 cup to a mason jar of water, seal it up and then add this to the oats the following night. A word of warning: they are sort of slimy unless you rinse them really, really well – so let's just say, as I'm nearing the end of the bag I bought, that I'm nearing the end of the buckwheat groats experiment.

I recently bought some raw oats from Hayden Flour Mills after reading Lukas Volger’s recipe for "earl grey overnight oats." I haven’t tried them yet – the raw oats or the earl grey concoction. These raw oats too require a little bit more preparation – toasting for 5 or 10 minutes before adding to the overnight oats mix – because, well, they're raw. The vast majority of the oats on the market are not (even though we probably think of them as such). As I wrote about in my essay on the history and technology of oatmeal, there are several forms in which oatmeal is sold to us (and has been for a very long time, as one of the first branded breakfast meals): cracked or steel-cut oats, which are coarsely chopped oat groats (with the inedible hull of the oat kernel removed); rolled oats, which are oat groats that have been steamed and flattened; and quick-cooking oats, which are groats cut into even smaller pieces before the steaming and flattening process, with sweetener and flavoring sometimes added.

As I've noted before, I try not to get too caught up in the FUD around processed foods. I'm less interested in these Hayden Flour mills oats being somehow magically healthier than I am in tasting a heritage grain in its raw form and, of course, thinking about the trade-offs that come with the technologies of food processing and distribution. I mean, making a breakfast the night before is its own sort of weirdly inefficient efficiency. But I'm big on oatmeal, and I find that this breakfast – oats, chia seeds, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, milk, and creatine – can sustain me through my morning walk and morning workout.

Then it's time for a second breakfast, which is a whole other thing...

Superfood Oatmeal Smoothie

Servings: 2 
Source: The Miller's Daughter


  • 50 g cracked oats (you can substitute old-fashioned oats)
  • 3-4 pitted dates (to taste)
  • 50 g unsalted cashews
  • 1 tbs hulled hemp seeds
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp flax seeds
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 frozen overripe banana
  • 2 shots of espresso or strong iced coffee
  • 1 cup ice cubes


Combine the oats, dates, cashews, seeds and salt in a heatproof bowl and pour 240 ml (8 fl oz) of boiling water over this. Give it a quick stir, then cover and soak at room temperature overnight.

In the morning, place the soaked mixture in a blender, with the banana, coffee and ice and blend until creamy and smooth. (Don't forget to add your creatine!)

How about you? What's for breakfast?