Today I have been thinking about what healthy choice has been one of my favorites in the food department. There have been a lot of successes and failures in my kitchen in the past two months. Some have resulted in the smell of lemons and overcooked chicken, and others have resulted in the smell of sweet chocolate cupcakes baking in the oven (courtesy of Hungry Girl!). I have learned to cook the perfect sweet potato though, which happens to be on my list of top favorite foods now. I think the one food that I have grown to love more than any of them is my breakfast staple, Oatmeal!!
Oatmeal is the type of food that perhaps in its most bare form is not the most delectable of breakfast foods, but it is so versatile that you can add pretty much anything you want to it and it will taste great. For example, before starting my healthy lifestyle my oatmeal would have been a diabetics worst nightmare. Basically almost an entire quarter cup of sugar added into it with just the oatmeal and milk (keep in mind that was JUST for a half cup of oats). I was not aware that by adding fruits, nuts, different types of milk, and spices could take away the need for all that sugar. I know, I know, I can hear you yelling at the screen right now..who DOESN’T know that??? Well, like I have said, this is a whole new experience, so it was a whole new idea to me.
While texting Brandy about the desire to mix up my breakfast foods one morning she mentioned to me that oatmeal was a great choice. She told me to add apples, nutmeg, and cinnamon to the mix. So I took her idea and went with it. My oatmeal then became oats, granny smith apple, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a tablespoon of brown sugar with two percent milk. It was delicious! (and was not terrible in the calorie department, which is a key to this diet thing…).
Now that I have started the 90 Day Revolution, the very first breakfast recipe in the book is Steel-Cut Oats with Apples and Pecans. Seeing as though oatmeal is consumed daily by me, I was super excited to try this recipe. I was NOT disappointed. When I described it to Brandy she said it sounded almost like a Cinnamon Sticky Bun! You tell me how many people on a diet are craving something as scrumptious sounding as that! Now that I have your attention and hopefully have your mouths watering at the thought of sinking your teeth into a sticky bun…let me tell you how to make it in oatmeal form and satisfy that sweet craving…
MY version of Jillian Micheal’s Steel-Cut Oats with Apples and Pecans:
1/4 cup of steel-cut oats (You can use traditional Quaker Oats as well if you are looking to cook it quickly, steel-cut oats take time to cook that sometimes you just don’t have! Most Quaker Oats servings are 1/2 cup that I have seen.)
1 cup of Silk Almond Milk vanilla flavor (You could use regular flavor almond milk, I just personally love the vanilla)
2 to 3 tsp organic maple syrup (Just be CAREFUL here. Maple syrup can add up the calories fast, just use the minimal amount and then add a little more if you want it sweeter.)
1 tsp of cinnamon (I like to use more sometimes, just use it to taste)
1/4 cup of toasted pecans or hazelnuts, chopped
1/2 medium sized granny smith apple, chopped into bite-size pieces (Or any apple of your liking, I always cut the other half up into slices to eat along with the oatmeal)
a sprinkle of nutmeg
Cook the oats by the instructions on the packaging. The steel-cut oats that I use are cooked on the stove, so I cook the oats separately from the other ingredients and add them to the bowl at the end. If I use Quaker Oats I add ALL ingredients to the bowl and then cook in the microwave for the suggested cook time. If you use the steel-cut oats you may want to soften the apples in the microwave in a little water before adding them to your oats.
So now you have a peek at a breakfast at my home. I usually top it with my serving of caffeine for the day in a 4oz cup of coffee and savor the feeling of starting a new day to conquer another workout and make more progress to a healthier, better me.
Now if you are not convinced on trying out this sumptuous oatmeal yet…perhaps you should read more about the health benefits that can come from eating oatmeal on a regular basis! Below I will share a top ten list and the link to the article that I found then on that identifies the benefits of this breakfast powerhouse.
Ten Benefits of Oatmeal: (as wrote by Diana Herrington)
1. Low calorie food; stops cravings.
2. Provides high levels of fiber, low levels of fat, and high levels of protein.
3. Stabilizes blood sugar and reduces risk of diabetes (type 2)
4. Removes your bad cholesterol (without affecting your good cholesterol).
5. Gluten-free safe.
6. Contains lignans which protect against heart disease and cancer.
7. Contains unique antioxidants beneficial for heart disease
8. Protects against heart failure.
9. Enhances immune response to disease.
10. It tastes good!
Diana goes into describing her list in more detail in the article, and since I did not want to spoil all the good tidbits she has listed I thought I would let you read the rest! I have posted the link below….
So that is that for today. Hopefully I have showed you a way to make a small, but greatly beneficial change in YOUR lifestyle to help promote better health. Let me know what you think, even if it is to tell me that I make a terrible oatmeal. :) Hope everyone has a lovely evening!
Question for Today: Do you think it helps to eat healthier if you give your foods incredibly succulent names?? For example…my coffee this morning was Belgian Chocolate, while yesterday was Creme Caramel…it sure helps me!