Monday Morning SuperFood #1 – Oatmeal.

For the month of January, the Monday feature is going to be SuperFoods.

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SuperFood of the day… Oatmeal.

Since all of you new year’s resolutioners are probably making yourself miserable dieting, I would love to be able to show you a silver lining. It seems like a no brainer, but focusing on making something good for you taste delicious is truly the only way to stay on the wagon. It is easy to get caught up in the plain brown rice, or the tasteless egg whites and pieces of chicken breast, you lose the most weight eating like that! Are you happy and satisfied though? No way! So, plain oatmeal is not the focus here. I am going to show you how to doll it up and make it one of the best ways to start your day. 

If you are one of the many oatmeal “haters” out there, it is time to chill  out and come over the bright side. I will give it to you, the only time oatmeal is a scary thing is when it is already hours old. That’s the kind of oatmeal you get from diners, or buffets. It looks like a combination of paper mache goop, dirty snow, and glue because it has been left out for the elements to grab hold of. However, it isn’t fair to judge the poor bowl of oats on it’s overly expired exterior….  

So you don’t care whether it’s old or fresh. I don’t care… the benefits outweigh the risks! SuperFoods have that power about them. The Oat itself no matter whether you put it into a bowl, a cookie, or even a pancake brings along numerous positives for your body –

  • FIBER. We all know what fiber does. Regulates the digestive track, but it also has the ability to make a food fill up your belly for longer. Why not start a morning feeling full? 
  • VITAMIN B. Don’t avoid the oatmeal because you think it is a carb. It is a complex carb, and because of the vitamin D, the carbohydrate quality of the oat transforms into pure energy that helps you maximize your diet’s potential and your day.
  • CHOLESTEROL REDUCER. Young or old it is good be heart healthy. Start now so you won’t have to suffer later.

I realize some of you may have no clue where to start in terms of even making oatmeal properly. It really depends on the amount of time you have to devote to the process. From quick cooking to really COOKING oatmeal you have several excellent options.

  • KASHI. I have a long-standing love affair with this company. They make an excellent line of instant  hot cereals that I highly recommend you consider. Flavors like Golden Brown Maple, Apple Cinnamon, or Truly Vanilla are quick and easy and become alive with a splash of boiled water!

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  • Quaker Oats. Our go to little guy! The quick cooking oats can either be simmered over the stove, or thrown in the microwave. This is my personal morning oat of choice. I throw a 1/2 a cup of oats, and 1 cup of water in a 4 cup glass measuring cup… microwave for 1 minute and stir, and then continue at 20-30 second increments stirring each time until the water is all absorbed.

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  • Scottish Porridge Oats. Another excellent option. Cook time is a little longer, but these are hearty oats that have a full body taste.

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  • Steel Cut Oats. My absolute favorite, even though it requires over a half an hour of cook time…. On a lazy Sunday there is nothing better than this high quality option.

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Now, you want to make it fancy…. It’s as simple as throwing in a few accessories.

  • Strawberries, blueberries, bananas… 1, 2, or all 3 of them together. They provide a natural sweetness that you can’t get from anything else.
  • Sugar – I hesitate to make it such a broad category because using white sugar takes oatmeal from SuperFood status, to LoserFood status. Stick to less processed sugars – There are several options.
  • Stevia
  • Honey
  • Splenda
  • Blue Agave Syrup
  • Organic Evaporate Cane Sugar
  • Organic Brown Sugar
  • Organic Turbinado

A GREAT organic brand.

  • Protein Powders – whether you are vegetarian, vegan, or a carnivore, we all need protein. Throwing on half a scoop of vanilla whey or soy protein powder kicks things up to make it even more fabulous for you!
  • Spices – depending on what excites your taste buds, try a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, or maybe even pumpkin spice!
  • Nuts – another broad category because you don’t want to take in too many calories,but breaking up 3 or 4 walnuts, pecans, or almonds is also another great way to add protein into the mix.
  • Dried Fruit – a perfect blend with the soft texture of the oatmeal are the entrance of a few soft little gems like raisins, cranberries, apricots, or blueberries. You can keep these much longer than you can keep fresh fruit, so especially in the winter when good fruit is expensive and out of season, this is a great option.
  • Butters – Almond and peanut butters. Any of the organic all natural options are great. Just a dollop thrown in and swirled throughout the hot oats can really make the cereal pop!
  • All natural applesauce – if you love apple pie as much as I do, throwing in a couple of spoons of unsweetened applesauce with cinnamon and little organic brown sugar is the ultimate combination.

Wholesome, desirable, versatile, and delicious. It is easy to make sure your morning oatmeal fits into all those categories. Go to Costco and stock up on the big tub of oats, or investigate the aisles of Whole Foods for all the great brands they have there. Not only is it super and full of nutrients, it’s cheap and easy and since so many people strive to start of the year right, that can only happen if you start of your days off right too!

Do whatever it takes, buy yourself a gorgeous bowl that you will dedicate to your morning oatmeal, find one of my fancy combinations that works for your palate, and dig in tomorrow morning!

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