Oatmeal has been around for 7,000 years and is in the kitchens of millions of people worldwide [Oatmeal Facts]. Oatmeal is a delicious, easily prepared and healthy breakfast or midday snack. So next time you’re at the store, skip the prepackaged stuff and grab the kind that comes in a cardboard can. The stuff that says “ingredients: rolled oats.”
Natural oatmeal is easily digested and can be eaten raw. It is full of healthy fiber and is one of the least expensive foods on supermarket shelves. It’s much cheaper than cereal, and contains no high fructose corn syrup, added sugar, colors, or preservatives.
Oatmeal has been found to lower cholesterol, the risk of heart disease, heart failure, and cardiovascular disease. Oatmeal stabilizes blood sugar and reduces the risk of type-2 diabetes. It can boost the immune system, protecting against bacterial infection. And the antioxidants in oatmeal (namely selenium) can help repair DNA and reduce the risk of cancer. [Oats]
Below are five ways to turn oatmeal into a breakfast that tastes less like horse food and more like power food. Remember that a serving of oatmeal is one-half cup, contains 150 calories, 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of healthy fats, and one gram of sugar. A half-cup is great for a child or for a snack, but a full cup (300 calories) is much more filling for an adult. I use one cup, but if you’d like to use just one-half cup, simply cut the following recipes by half.
1. Peanut butter cookies in a bowl. Heat oatmeal with one cup of milk or water, and as it cools stir in two tablespoons of peanut butter until the oatmeal is all one texture. This 600-calorie meal will taste like a dessert, but don’t be fooled. Peanut butter adds powerful vitamins, proteins, and some healthy fats that compliments the health benefits of oatmeal. Peanut butter also contains an antimicrobial called Resveratrol, a sort of wonder property that has been shown to kill dangerous pathogens in the body. [Health Benefits of Peanut Butter]
2. Apple pie. Add one-half cup of 100% apple juice to a bowl of dry oatmeal. You can heat the oatmeal or eat it cold. Stir in as much cinnamon as you want and when you’re done you’ll find the taste oddly familiar…just like apple pie. Apple juice is a great substitute for milk if you or your child are lactose intolerant. The health benefits of apples and apple juice are well documented, but to maintain apple juice’s antioxidant and vitamin content, buy juice that is dark and cloudy. Refined apple juice loses most of its health benefits. [Cloudy Apple Juice Has Clear Benefits]
3. Raisin-cinnamon-honey swirl. I add raisins, cinnamon, and honey to most of my oatmeal recipes. The calories added by a one-forth cup of raisins and a tablespoon of locally grown and unrefined honey are balanced by the extra fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants they provide. Cinnamon has a list of its own health benefits, is virtually calorie free, and tastes great. These three ingredients alone, or added with apple juice or peanut butter can create a dish that is both healthy and satisfying.
4. Celery-oatmeal salad. Adding a serving of vegetables into your morning oatmeal is simple. Dice two stalks of celery into small pieces and stir evenly into hot or cold oatmeal. Make sure the celery is chopped well enough that it’s not stringy. Celery stalks adds vitamins B and C, and celery leaves add vitamin A. Celery adds fiber without calories or an overpowering taste. Combine with peanut butter and you won’t even taste the greens. [Health Benefits of Celery]
5. Olive oil/Banana. Both olive oil and bananas are important to our health. Bananas add fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Olive oil adds healthy monounsaturated fat. Both are filling. Bananas are best mashed or chopped and stirred into the oatmeal. Pour one tablespoon of olive oil (about 120 calories) over your oatmeal, or stir in with the bananas. Don’t microwave olive oil, but add it after the oatmeal has been heated.
Experiment. Mix and match the above ingredients and come up with your own concoctions. Add other fruits and spices such as raspberries and blueberries, vanilla, nutmeg, or pumpkin spice. The possibilities are endless because oatmeal goes good with just about anything.
1.Oatmeal Facts, Hungrymonster.com
3.Health Benefits of Peanut Butter, Peanut-Butter.org
4.Jennifer Warner, Cloudy Apple Juice Has Clear Benefits, WebMD.com
5.Health Benefits of Celery, Juicing-for-health.com