Tuesday, January 7, 2014

There's a National Oatmeal Month!


I was riding to work the other day and heard on the radio that January is National Oatmeal Month! Because oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfast staples, I was intrigued and excited.  According to the folks over at Quaker Oats, Americans eat the equivalent of 420 million bowls of oats in January...amazing! 

Not a real surprise, since January is also the most common month for resolutions to “eat healthier” by adding whole grains, like oatmeal, to your diet (according to Michigan State University Extension), can:
  • Lower the risk of heart disease
  • Help reduce blood cholesterol levels
  • Prevent certain cancers
  • Help manage your weight
  • Prevent Type 2 diabetes
  • Prevent high blood pressure
  • Support a healthy immune system
A life-long fan of oatmeal (even having stayed several times at the old Quaker Oats Mill - now hotel - in Akron OH) I thought I'd help celebrate by passing on some of my favorite, self-designed homemade oatmeal recipes.  Enjoy!

  
Crunchy Oatmeal Breakfast Parfait
  • ¼ cup granola
  • ¼ cup rolled oats – raw/uncooked
  • 1 TB ground flaxseed
  • 1 sliced banana or ½ cup fresh berries (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry or blackberry – pick your poison or have a little of each!) 
Throw all ingredients in a bowl and top with ½ cup 2% milk

Warm Apple Pie Oatmeal
  • ½ gala apple, cubed
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1TB ground flaxseed
  • ¾ cup steel cut oats, cooked on stove with water
Sometimes this comes out a little thick, so I’ll add some 2% milk to thin it out. I also sometimes substitute pears for apples (especially around the holidays when the Harry & David packages start arriving)

Vanilla Cake Oatmeal
  • ¾ cup steel cut oats, cooked
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 TBSP ground flaxseed
  • 1 ½ scoops USANA Vanilla Nutrimeal (or ½ scoop of any vanilla protein powder)
Cook the oats first on the stove, and then stir in remaining ingredients. I often use this for lunch or a pre-workout afternoon snack – it tastes just like a piece of vanilla cake!

Overnight Chocolate Refrigerated Oats (modified from a recipe I found in a SHAPE magazine years ago)
  • 1/2 cup raw oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1 TB raw, dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 1 TB ground flaxseeds
  • 1 packet or 1 tsp stevia
  • ½ banana, sliced
Combine all ingredients except banana in a covered container and put in the fridge overnight. In the morning, stir it up and add the sliced banana. You might need more milk to get the consistency to something you prefer, but I enjoy my oats a little thicker. 
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(Image courtesy of Pinterest)

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