Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Harvest Oatmeal

I'm a girl who is always looking to maximize my breakfast. Probably my top fave is oatmeal, mostly because you can do just about anything with it. Nuts, fruit, peanut butter... tons of options. Breakfast sets the tone for your entire day. I like to cram as many vitamins and minerals in as I can; it makes me eat healthier the whole day!!

Since it's fall, I thought I'd do a little experimenting with fall flavors and my oatmeal. Here's a recipe for something I'm calling "Harvest Oatmeal"....

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or you can just use another 1/2 cup water)
1/2 cup slow-cook oatmeal (I always recommend Bob's Red Mill brand)
1/4 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin
1/8 cup raisins
pinch of salt
nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla to taste
sugar or sugar substitute to taste
OPTIONAL: walnuts

* Bring the water and coconut milk to a boil.
* Add oatmeal, salt, and simmer until mostly thickened.
* Add pumpkin, raisins, nuts if opting for those, and seasonings/vanilla/sweetener.
* Cook until thick and creamy.
* Enjoy!

I don't like to add a lot of sweetener to my oatmeal, which is why I encourage you to taste-test it and see exactly how much you like.

~ Why pumpkin?
Besides being low in fat and calories, pumpkin is basically one of the most nutrient-packed fruits around. Alpha and beta-carotene, fiber, vitamins A and C, potassium, magnesium.... lots of vitamins to boost your breakfast.

~ Why coconut milk?
Coconut milk is regarded by some as a "miracle food". It's dairy-free, so it's great for those who are lactose-intolerant. But it's also soy-free, gluten-free, and nut-free! It's somewhat high in saturated fat, BUT the majority of fatty acids it contains turn into energy rather than body fat. So it can actually help aid weight loss. It contains many vitamins/minerals like potassium and calcium, as well as electrolytes. And hey, theatre people! Coconut milk is also known to boost the immune system, and help relieve the symptoms of sore throats, as well as ulcers. Basically, coconut milk rocks.

So give it a shot, let me know what you think. Get those fruits and veggies in wherever you can!

“If you're in a war, instead of throwing a hand grenade at the enemy, throw one of those small pumpkins. Maybe it'll make everyone think how stupid war is, and while they are thinking, you can throw a real grenade at them.” ~Jack Handy

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