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Oatmeal: A Healthier Alternative To Cereal

There’s nothing like starting your day with a piping hot breakfast. A great alternative to those highly processed boxed cereals, breakfast bars, and baked goods, these healthy oatmeal recipes are filled with nutrients to start your day with success.

Oats are rich in fiber (beta-glucan), antioxidants (avenanthramides), phytonutrients (lignans), minerals (magnesium and manganese) and vitamins (thiamin and riboflavin). These nutrients work together to help lower blood cholesterol, fight free radicals, stabilize blood sugar levels, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and even cancer.
When selecting oats, it’s best to get the actual “whole grain,” not a product “made from whole grains.” There’s a big difference. When a product is made from whole grains, it’s processed and refined, resulting in a much higher glycemic load (GL). The higher the GL, the greater the spike in insulin, a.k.a. your fat storage hormone. For a lower GL with nutty flavor and creamy texture, select steel cut oats. Although they can take a long time to prepare, the recipes below reduce cooking time greatly with a simple pre-night prep technique.

When a product is made from whole grains, it’s processed and refined, resulting in a much higher glycemic load

Oatmeal is high in carbs, so be sure to balance your morning meal with some healthy fat (butter, coconut milk, walnuts, etc.) and a side of protein, such as cottage cheese, yogurt with whey, eggs, or smoked salmon.
Lastly, beware adding too much sugar to your morning meal by selecting fresh fruit over dried fruit. For healthier sweeteners try in this order: cinnamon, stevia, fresh fruit, dried fruit, raw local honey or grade B maple syrup.

Berry Coconut Oatmeal

Serves 4
Ingredients
3 cups water
1 cup gluten-free steel-cut oat (Bob’s Red Mill brand)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk (Native Forest brand)
To taste, vanilla flavored stevia (1/2 dropper liquid stevia or 5 scoops powdered)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups fresh/frozen berries (if frozen, then defrost before use)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Instructions
• Bring water to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Remove pan from heat; stir in oats and salt. Cover pan and let stand overnight.
• The next morning, stir coconut milk and stevia into oats and bring to boil over medium-high heat.
• Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.
• Remove pan from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. The oatmeal will thicken as it cools.
• Stir in cinnamon, berries and walnuts before serving.
For a quick grab-and-go breakfast the next day, store 1 cup of leftover oatmeal with 1/4 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt and 1/4 cup frozen cherries overnight. Stir with a spoon and enjoy cold.

A Twist on “PB&J” Oatmeal

Serves 4
Ingredients
3 1/2 cups water
1 cup gluten-free steel-cut oat (Bob’s Red Mill brand)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon raw honey
To taste, vanilla flavored stevia (1/2 dropper liquid stevia or 5 scoops powdered)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup almond butter
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 bananas, sliced thin
1/2 cup almonds, chopped

Instructions
• Bring 3 cups water to boil in large saucepan over high heat. Remove pan from heat; stir in oats and salt. Cover pan and let stand overnight.
• The next morning, stir remaining ½ cup water, almond milk, honey, and stevia into oats and bring to boil over medium-high heat.
• Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.
• Remove pan from heat. Stir in cinnamon, almond butter, and butter and let stand for 5 minutes. The oatmeal will thicken as it cools.
• Stir in bananas and almonds before serving.

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