On the average work day I have instant oatmeal for breakfast at my desk. The first time I got tired of this routine, I bought a new flavor of oatmeal. After trying the majority of flavors (peaches n cream just did not seem appetizing in the least), I switched it up and bought instant cream of wheat instead. One tiny packet of cream of wheat contains 50% of the daily recommended amount of iron! While I thought that was fabulous, I was not a huge fan of the product. After some discussion with my coworkers, I realized that cream of wheat turns out to be much more enjoyable after I added more water than the packet recommended and stirred it for about three minutes after it came out of the microwave. Much better.
Recently, I've been trying to get even more creative with my routine breakfasts. Not that buying a new flavor of instant breakfast cereal is exactly creative...but you get the idea. My first experimental breakfast was with cream of wheat. First of all, I used milk instead of water. This results in a creamier consistency, plus extra protein! I also added fruit--blueberries and bananas--as well as some cinnamon. It doesn't look super amazing in this photo (I took it with my cell phone at my desk), but believe me, it tasted much better than plain cream of wheat.
My second attempt at creative breakfast cereal was a little more involved. I bought old fashioned oats to cook on the weekends. I figured that creating my own oatmeal flavors would be fun, plus healthier since the instant packets contain a lot of sugar. I call this creation pecan pear oatmeal. In this version, I cooked the oats as directed on the stove, and stirred in cinnamon, a little raw cane sugar, half of a diced pear, and a handful of pecans while the oats were cooking. The oatmeal turned out to be the best I have ever eaten. The flavor of the pear permeates through the oatmeal, creating a rich flavor. It is almost like eating a poached pear for breakfast. Yum.