Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Overnight Baked Oatmeal & Here's to a Healthy New Year!

WELCOME


First of all, I want to thank all of you for your support this past year, as my blog grew by leaps and bounds.  I wouldn't have this spot in Blogland without your interest and encouragement.  It means so much. Please know I don't ever take you for granted.  Each of you are special to me!
THANK YOU KINDLY!!

I don't know about you, but I certainly overindulged over the holidays, and am very ready to work toward eating healthier in the new year.

I have many yummy low fat/low/no sugar dishes to share with you, but not everything will fit those categories.  Sometimes we eat healthy, other times we'll indulge in something not-so-healthy.

I once heard a cookbook author speak - Dawn Hall.  She has a number of lowfat/extremely low fat/low sugar cookbooks. I tend to agree with her thinking that if you eat healthy 80% of the time, you can splurge a little the other 20%. 

 I know when I've done Weight Watchers in the past, the weeks I would have a little splurge day, seemingly, were somehow the weeks I lost more?  Didn't make sense to me, but I think my body agrees with that plan.  

I'm all for the thinking that we shouldn't always be on a 'diet'....but to live a healthy lifestyle all year long.  I was proud of myself for getting outside the first day of this new year and walking for over 30 minutes - even though it was a cold 37 and very windy.  I was determined and it felt really good. I walked with an in-home video inside yesterday and it was great to be moving....

And I do believe that our goal should be to be healthy, happy people. Overall well being and good health is a lot more than just the physcial...it includes the emotional, mental and spiritual health also.

(Please be patient...there really is a recipe at the end of this post!=)

For the most part, I do use Splenda, but am working at using more natural sweeteners. I just purchased some liquid stevia. It's all a learning process. I would love for you to share suggestions with me.

Honestly, I think there can be controversy over just about anything we put in our mouths....I'm thinking things like coconut oil or even agave nectar. I've read pros and cons....we all have to decide what's best for us, so I hope you'll stick with me as I learn as I go...and maybe you can help me too.

So jump on board and hang on tight....I'd love to inspire you to stay busy cooking healthy in your kitchen in the new year!  I will be pulling out some great 'healthier options' recipes from my archives (when I didn't have many followers) or ones that are just worth sharing one more time!

My husband is a diabetic, 100% disabled, with many health issues, and sometimes it's tough to figure out just what he can/should eat, but overall, we definitely try to stick with low/no sugar.  I'm finding some amazing recipes on the net and am always happy to share my finds.

{OK - I'll get off my soap box now=} 
I promise to not always be so chatty!!

The first recipe I'm sharing this year is an oatmeal dish...because {SSHHH} I am having a love affair with oatmeal. (Trust me...My husband knows about it) I like to flavor up oatmeal in many different ways. 

There will be more oatmeal recipes to follow in the days ahead. Yummy soup recipes too...and more!


We love love love oatmeal at our house!

We enjoy it for breakfast, lunch AND dinner mealtimes! It's a favorite dish to enjoy on Sunday evenings after church, especially in the wintertime.

It's a really great warmup!

Whenever we visit the Golden Arches, oatmeal is one of my favorite things to enjoy there.  MMMM!

This is a healthy dish as well. 

We prefer a 7-grain oatmeal we get from a local bulk food store. It gives the oatmeal some texture and added nutrition, but feel free to use whatever you have.

Oh how I enjoyed the almonds on top of this dish. It was so tasty and added the PERFECT crunch.


You can add apple chunks, pumpkin, any spices or nuts you prefer,
and it's oh so delicious!

I added craisins instead of the blueberries and cherries called for, though I would love to try that combo sometime too.

You can use all egg whites to replace the eggs (using 2 whites per egg called for in recipe) OR...did you know you can replace eggs with a mixture of flax seed meal and water?

It's true!  Mix 1 TB. flax seed meal in small bowl with 3 TB. water to substitute for one egg.  It adds nutritients and a slightly nutty flavor.  Use this mixture to replace each egg up to half the eggs called for in the baked recipe.

Any recipe that you can make ahead is a winner in my book!
This recipe gets mixed up the night before and you bake it in the morning.

This is a great choice if you are having company for breakfast or brunch, or just have a busy morning and want to serve something warm and healthy to begin the day.

Any way you look at it...this recipe is a  great option for any meal.

I will be sharing another similar recipe later this month. Same overnight idea, only 24 hrs. instead...and it's more like an oatmeal cake...with coconut on top.  No white sugar OR white flour! 


OVERNIGHT BAKED OATMEAL 

2 eggs, lightly beaten
(I used one egg and the flax seed meal substitute)
3 c. 2% (or skim) milk
2 c. old-fashioned oats
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
(I used 1/4 c. brown sugar & 1/4 c. Brown Sugar Splenda)
1/4 c. canola oil
(I used applesauce)
1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/4 c. sliced almonds

In large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, oats, brown sugar, oil, cinnamon and salt.  Stir in dried cranberries.  Pour into a greased 8" square baking dish.  Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking.  Uncover and stir; sprinkle with almonds.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 45 - 50 minutes
(Please remember that Splenda bakes faster) or until a thermometer reaches 160. Serve warm...with milk if preferred.

Yield: 9 servings