Saturday, September 6, 2014

Leader Enterprise - September 3, 2014 - Oatmeal


Are you hanging onto summertime for dear life, as I am? I really do love fall, but want summer to last a while longer. It's been so nice. Trust you enjoyed it too and maybe crossed some things on your 'bucket list'.

Plain and simple, I am an oatmeal 'fiend'. I recently discovered I have 60 recipes with oatmeal at my blog, so I decided I needed to share my love for this healthy grain with all of you. I could share lots of facts, but decided I'd rather share more recipes (I may have to devote another column to more oatmeal recipes too). Simply said: Oatmeal is GOOD for you! It contains high levels of fiber that help fight heart disease. It also helps lower cholesterol levels. Oats help enhance your immune system's response to bacterial infection and is also linked to stabilizing blood sugar levels. Research has linked a lower risk of obesity to children who regularly eat oatmeal.

And on and on it goes. What I'm trying to say is - BE FAITHFUL TO EATING OATMEAL! (Keep in mind we're talking 'real' oats here, not the instant kind full of sodium and sugar.) We often enjoy the texture of a 7-grain oatmeal, found at our local bulk food store. 

This is a wonderful new recipe I've already made a couple of times. It works great to use a 'light' timer to turn on after you go to bed, and have it turn off before you get up. Nothing like wanting to run to the kitchen when your feet hit the floor in the morning!!


OVERNIGHT CINNAMON APPLE OATMEAL 



2 apples, cored, peeled and diced

1-1/2 c. (lite) coconut milk

1-1/2 c. water

1 c. steel cut oats

1 Tb. brown sugar
1 Tb. dry cooked (sugar free) vanilla or coconut pudding mix, optional (for added creaminess)

1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg, optional
1 Tb. (sugar free)maple syrup
1 Tb. coconut oil
1/4 tsp. sea salt

Spray crock of slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. (This made it oh so easy to clean up!) Add all ingredients to crock, combining brown sugar and cinnamon together separately before adding so cinnamon doesn't clump up. Cook on low for 5 - 7 hours. (Ours was perfect after 6 hours). Top with raisins, fresh apple chunks, banana slices, or (toasted) pecans. Yield: 6-8 servings

These are a moist and tasty cookie that all your family will enjoy. I love any recipe you can hide something 'healthy' in it, and they like it anyway.
APPLE OATMEAL (RAISIN) COOKIES

3/4 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
(I reduced from 1 c.)
1/2 c.light brown sugar
1 tsp.vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 c.scant(white wheat)flour
1 tsp.baking soda
1 tsp.cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c.old-fashioned oatmeal
1 c.shredded apple,lightly packed
1/2 c.pecans,chopped & toasted**see tip below
1 c.baking raisins or semi-sweet chocolate chips,optional

Preheat oven to 350.Line large cookie sheet with parchment paper;set aside.

In large mixing bowl, cream butter,sugar and light brown sugar, beating until smooth and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs; beat until well blended. In medium bowl, combine flour,baking soda,cinnamon,salt and oatmeal. Add to creamed mixture,beating on low speed until smooth. On low speed,add apple,raisins and nuts. Place heaping Tablespoonsful of dough about 2"apart on the parchment paper;bake for 12-13 minutes. You want the centers to be soft when removing from oven-and edges golden brown. I let them stand on the pan for a minute before removing them to a cooling rack. Yield: about 4 dozen good sized cookies 

TIP: To toast nuts, place in microwave-safe bowl. Zap on high for about 45 seconds, stir, repeat, stir, repeat, until you smell that nutty fragrance that will add great flavor to these cookies. 


I'm excited to have 3 recipes in a new cookbook-"The Greek Yogurt Diet" authored by Jo Brielyn & Dr.Sonali Ruder, who I have communicated with via email many times. Whether or not you care for cold oatmeal, this is a simple recipe you can make up the night before and enjoy cold or warmed in the microwave to take the chill off. Adapt them to suit each member of your family by changing up the fruit or milk you add.







OVERNIGHT NO-COOK OATMEAL YOGURT CUPS 




1/3 c. (1 oz) old-fashioned oats + 1 tsp. for topping


(I used a 7-grain oatmeal)

1/3 c. (2-3/4 ozs) (plain/nonfat) Greek yogurt 

(or use flavored if you'd like)
1/3 c. (2-3/4 ozs) milk
(nonfat,2% or almond, whatever you prefer)
1 tsp. chia seeds
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract or 1/4 tsp. almond extract
2 tsp. maple syrup or sweetener of choice
1/2 c. fruit, frozen or fresh *(see note below)

In a 12-ozs.jelly or Mason jar, add oats, yogurt, milk, chia seeds, extract, and sweetener. Screw lid on tightly and shake well. Stir in the fruit; mix to distribute throughout the jar. Sprinkle an extra rounded teaspoon of oats over top and do not stir. Replace lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. In the morning, enjoy straight from the jar! Or warm in microwave for about 1 minute to take the chill off. 

Sip! Sip! Horray! This smoothie is a very special treat. You won't know the oats are there but they will keep you full for a while. Enjoy!

NUTELLA-BANANA-OATMEAL SMOOTHIE
1/4 c. dry oats
2 bananas, sliced and frozen
1/4 c. nutella (or peanut butter)
3/4 c. milk (I use skim)

Put oats in blender and blend until powder-y. Add remaining ingredients and blend until there are no more chunks of frozen banana. Garnish with fresh banana slices if desired. Yield: 2 servings