I wasn’t exactly a health conscious person before marriage, but the simple and well-balanced Maharashtrian meals cooked by my mom kept me slim. After marriage however, health and nutrition went for a toss. I used to have breakfast and lunch in the office. I would still say it was a healthy meal despite it not being homemade. It’s my dinner that was the problem. My husband doesn’t like eating sabzi-chapatti, daal-rice type of dinner. So we would end up having paav bhaji, hakka noodles, sandwiches, and even Maggie a lot of times. Needless to say both of us gained weight post marriage.
I quit my job after Devansh was born. While I was breastfeeding Devansh, I ate proper food. But eating healthy foods again took a backseat after he was weaned off. For breakfast I would mostly have biscuits, which we all know are super healthy, what with them being loaded with refined flour and sugar. :p But my conscience kept pricking me. On the one hand, I was writing about the evils of refined flour and sugar in my blog, and how we should be making healthy food choices for our kids. And on the other, I was nicely gulping down biscuits as breakfast. But I just didn’t have enough enthusiasm and sufficient time to cook a separate breakfast for me and Devansh. And of course cooking breakfast for Devansh took priority over mine.
Then the other day I was talking to my friend Mini, whose son is now 4 years old. She said, to save time she would eat the same breakfast that she used to make for her son even if it meant eating a mushy upma or a slightly bland food. That made perfect sense to me and of late I eat whatever breakfast I make for Devansh. Usually, it is vegetable upma and ragi porridge. Now I want to now try out more healthy breakfast recipes. Oats upma was the first thing that came to my mind as I had eaten instant oats upma before and really liked it. But obviously I don’t want to give the packaged version to Devansh because of the additives and preservatives. So as usual I looked up the recipes on the Internet and customized it to suit my requirements.
The recipe given below can easily be customized if you are making the upma for grownups. Just add a green chili in the tempering and use more chili powder while cooking. Devansh and I both liked this oats upma. Hope you and your child too enjoy this healthy breakfast dish. The ingredients listed below will make oats upma for one grownup and a child.
Healthy breakfast recipe made using oats and assorted vegetables, ideal for kids and grownups alike.
- One cup instant oats (I used Quaker's)
- 1/4th tsp mustard seeds
- 1/4th tsp cumin seeds (whole or powdered)
- 4-5 curry leaves
- Half onion (finely chopped)
- Half tsp grated ginger
- 1/4th tsp red chili powder (optional)
- 4 tbsp (cooked) mashed vegetables
- Half tsp chopped coriander
- 1 tbsp homemade ghee (clarified butter)
- Salt to taste
- Heat a pan, add oats, and then roast them for about a minute while stirring them continuously. You need to ensure that the oats don't turn brown so transfer them in a bowl the minute you see a hint of color.
- Add ghee in the same pan. (You may want to wipe the pan with dry cloth first in case there's any oats' residue left.)
- Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds, and when they splutter add grated ginger and curry leaves. For babies who cannot chew properly, you can use powdered cumin seeds (jeera powder).
- Add chopped onion and sauté till the onion turns translucent. This should take about a minute.
- Add one and a half cup water and bring it to a boil.
- Lower the flame, add chili powder and salt, stir the mixture properly, and then add oats. Don't add oats before boiling the water or they'll turn sticky.
- Add chopped coriander and mashed vegetables. (If you want to use fresh vegetables, add finely chopped vegetables after the onion is sautéd. Sauté the vegetables for a couple of minutes before adding water. After the vegetables are cooked, mash them with a masher before adding oats. So that your baby doesn't have difficulty in swallowing them.)
- Keep stirring the mixture on medium flame for a couple of minutes. Turn off heat when the oats are properly cooked and the mixture has the desired consistency. Add water if you want to make the upma more runny.