Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ronda from~ The Family Table, brings us "Apple Pie Oatmea!"

Apple Pie Oatmeal! 

Do I have your attention yet? Well I should because this stuff is good! I’m not talking about the oatmeal in the packet; this oatmeal is the real deal. Now I know you are probably thinking that you don’t have time to make oatmeal from scratch. That is just what the packet people want you to believe. I am here to tell you that you really do have time to make oatmeal in the morning and then you are going to wonder why in the heck you ever wasted one red cent on packet oatmeal ever again. 
I use Bob’s Redmill Oatmeal, extra thick cut oats. I have a basic recipe that I use and then the sky is the limit on where you can take this recipe. Keep in mind this isn’t the quick cooking type oats but rather the thick cut oatmeal.  
Oatmeal is a two to one ratio. So, if I make it for one person, I use 1 cup water to ½ cup oats. For two, it would be 2 cups water, 1 cup oats and so on.  Because I like a little creaminess, I add a generous splash of almond milk. I just can’t eat my oats without a little bit of that almond milk and I believe it makes a difference in the texture without adding a whole bunch of extra calories.
The night before, I set out my oats, measuring cup and pan. I set out the container I am using to take my oatmeal and the spoon. I have the fixings close at hand and when I wake up, while I am gathering up the lunches for the day, my oatmeal is bubbling away for no more than 5 minutes and that is it. It’s a simple recipe but the magic happens with the fixings. 
My morning set up...  (my menu planning binder in the background!)

For a while I was having my oats with sliced banana and semi-sweet chocolate chips. YUM!!! I was eating it every morning. Then my friend introduced me to the oatmeal with chopped apples, cinnamon and brown sugar. Oh my goodness! Talk about good. It tasted just like apple pie. So, that is what I have named it, Apple Pie Oatmeal.  
You have all heard it before, but breakfast really does jump start your day and metabolism. We only have one God-pod (I am stealing this word from Kris Carr, amazing author of  the book Crazy, Sexy Diet), so why not feed it well. How can we expect it to take good care of us for years to come when it isn’t getting the great fuel it needs to propel us forward into this great life we have all been blessed with living? So, let’s see if we can’t all commit to a good breakfast, shall we? Plus, modeling healthy eating habits to our children is a great start in the right direction in getting them to eat better as well.
Ok, back to oatmeal. I dice up one whole apple, leaving the skin on because I want all of those yummy nutrients inside of me. I toss that right into the pan with the oats, water and almond milk. Next I toss in about ¼ tsp of cinnamon and let it bubble away on low until all of it has cooked down a bit. If it seems to need a little more almond milk, I just toss a little more in until I get that desired creaminess that I love so much. Now I pull it off the stove and put it right into my thermos and top it off with a little brown sugar and then I’m out the door. Oh, that brown sugar just melts right on top and when I go to eat it, well it tastes so decadent that I can’t believe it is healthy for me. 
When I add the fixings, I usually cook the oatmeal first then layer the fruit, nuts, chocolate on top or in layers. The only exception is the apple as I like those little apple bits to soften up a bit. Here are a few more delicious toppings….
Banana with Semi-sweet chocolate chips
Banana with fresh sliced strawberries
Fresh blueberry and brown sugar
Apple Pie (diced apples, cinnamon, brown sugar)
And of course, almonds, pecans, walnuts, or a tsp of chia seeds added to any of the above will certainly make it all the more delicious and healthy! Just one last little reminder…please don’t go adding 3 tablespoons of brown sugar. The point is to have healthy oatmeal with a touch of sweetness Moderation is key!
Well SkyMoms, I hope you enjoy yourself some yummy oats this next week. You never know, you just might bring your cholesterol down and widdle your middle.
Happy Eating and lots of Love… 
Ronda from… The Family Table

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