US of A+J: American Oatmeal Enthusiasts

by Jaynie Loeb and Andi Davis

This summer, two UC Berkeley graduates named Andi + Jaynie traveled across the country on a 3-month road trippin’ adventure to gain a deeper understanding of their American identities. From exploring beautiful and diverse landscapes, learning about regional cultures, and meeting new Americans in far-off places, to visiting historical landmarks and of course eating their way through the country in search of undiscovered culinary treasures, A + J had a life-changing experience on the road–which they documented through photo-blogging and a food documentary (still in the early production phase). A + J also kept personal journals with entries mostly revolving around inside jokes and experimental recipes tested out in various kitchens along the journey (including a faithful camper stove!). Both A + J are vegetarians and try to stay away from highly-processed, nutritionally void foods, so maintaining a healthy diet was definitely a priority on their trip. As members of the post-grad unemployment club, the duo also valued the importance of thrift and managed to stay within a very reasonable budget for the duration of the 3 months. Here’s their secret: exorbitant amounts of oatmeal! A + J learned a lot on their whirlwind excursion—most importantly that it’s quite possible to enjoy delicious, high quality, affordable breakfasts while traveling. Let’s take a peek at the different ways they prepared their daily dose of oatmeal between Berkeley, CA and Boston, MA.

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Instructions for damn good oatmeal production~
1)	Cook oats and water together in a small pot over medium heat
2)	Bring to a slight boil, then reduce temperature and simmer until oats 
become moist and begin to stick together 3) Sprinkle desired seasonings into the pot during the cooking process 4) Don’t be afraid to get crazy creative with topping combos! Coastal Redwood State Park, CA: Tree Climbers Delight 1/2 cup organic rolled oats 1 cup of water pinch of salt 3 dashes of cinnamon splash of Madagascar vanilla extract 1 teaspoon of Wild Squirrel cinnamon-raisin peanut butter handful of organic almonds 1/2 whole trade banana, sliced on top Ann Arbor, MI: Oat-Brulee 1/2 cup organic rolled oats 1 cup of water pinch of salt 1/2 whole trade banana, cooked in the pot sprinkling of raisins, also cooked in the pot 1/2 teaspoon of organic agave Sylvania, GA: PB O’ Jelly 1/2 cup organic rolled oats 1 cup of water pinch of salt 1 teaspoon of homemade pecan butter 1 teaspoon of farm-fresh blueberry jam Ocean Isle Beach, NC: Peaches n’ Beaches 1/2 cup organic rolled oats 1 cup of water pinch of salt 1/2 a peach, grilled on the barbie with a touch of balsamic 1 teaspoon of cashew butter swirl of honey Harrisburg, PA: Coco Loco 1/2 cup organic rolled oats 1 cup of water pinch of salt 3 dashes of cinnamon 1 teaspoon of Earth Balance coconut butter 1 Medjool date, chopped a few organic raspberries swirl of honey Washington D.C.: Dessert is the New Breakfast 1/2 cup organic rolled oats 1 cup of water pinch of salt frozen berries, cooked in the pot 1/3 cup of dark chocolate chips a few slivers of ripe banana

Jaynie Loeb graduated from UC Berkeley in May 2013 with a B.S. in Conservation + Resource Studies and a Minor in Spanish Language + Literature. She currently lives in her hometown of The OC, CA, where she works on various community-driven agricultural projects to cultivate healthy changes to her suburban foodscape. Her future plans include becoming an urban farm-boss in the great Pacific Northwest and saving the world from genetically modified oat monsters. This morning, Jaynie’s mother made her a bomb breakfast scramble of pasture-raised eggs, green onions, organic spinach, and wild smoked salmon from Alaska. Shout out to all the homies out there who love a hearty hug in the morning!

Andi Davis, a recent 2013 graduate from UC Berkeley, loves to find creative outlets to use her dynamic degree in Human Geography. Living in her hometown of dusty Bakersfield, she spends her time in a fruitful oasis called The Edible Schoolyard, working as an Assistant Kitchen Teacher. Every day she has the rewarding opportunity to educate young minds about the importance of cooking from scratch by creating and tasting garden-fresh recipes alongside the kids. My favorite breakfast food? Oatmeal duuuuh, but not without a dollop of nut butta!

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