Sunday, April 15, 2012

A TON of Oatmeal Recipes!

I have always hated cooked oatmeal so I find it kind of ironic that I'm writing about oatmeal today.  Or that oatmeal has become such a HUGE part of my diet at all!  I had no idea it was possible to eat raw oatmeal until a few months ago, when my sister introduced me to their raw oatmeal that they eat every morning.  It turns out that while I hate cooked oatmeal, oats in general I absolutely love!  It's a good thing too because they're rich in iron, which is something I seem to be really needing these days.

Oats are not only high in iron, they also provide a solid amount of protein and fiber.  They can be ground into flour or used whole.  You can find them in quick cooking versions (these have lower nutritional value as they are more processed), long cooking (these are what we eat/use.  I think they taste better) or steel-cut oats, which are harder to chew but pack a real nutritional punch!  Oats help lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar and are incredibly healthy for the heart.  Seriously, what's not to love about oatmeal? 

Except...when cooked, I seriously hate the texture.  It's either slimy or so thick I'd need a glass of milk for every spoonful.  And they're sooo bland.  The only way I could eat oatmeal was in the instant flavored packets.  But once I started learning about eating healthy, I discovered how unhealthy those packets were.  In fact, the sugar and salt levels in them completely negated all health benefits of the oats!  (And the "diet" versions are actually much worse that the regular.)  I can't tell you how glad I am to discover that raw oats not only taste great but are even healthier than the cooked version.  (Any food cooked over 104 degrees loses nutritional value.)

Is it any surprise that I have a TON of recipes to share?  Some I'll give you links, some I'll type below for you.  Sorry I don't have many pictures.  (There are some things I just have to let slide these days and photos of food is one of them.)

Serving Size:  1/3 cup = 1 serving of oatmeal.  If you're focusing on weight control, be sure you keep a measuring cup with your oats.  I used to just dump from the container the amount that looked good to me until I discovered it was more like 2 servings worth.

Recipe 1: Melissa's Raw Breakfast Oatmeal

I name this for my sister who shared the recipe with me.  I can't remember if she created it herself or found it somewhere.  What I'm sharing below is how I make it, which is a little different than she does.  Same great results though!

1/3 cup whole long-cooking oats
pinch of salt
couple shakes of cinnamon
approx 1 tsp pure maple syrup
handful of raisins or craisins
non-dairy milk (we use almond milk...also rice or soy are good options)

Mix ingredients and add as much milk as you desire.  Let sit for 5 min.  The longer they sit the softer the oats will be.  Remember this oatmeal will be cold!  It's a different experience and one I was hesitant to try, but once I did...absolutely loved it!!

Recipe 2: Tosca Reno's Oatmeal-on-the-Go

This recipe is from The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged by Tosca Reno.  She keeps the following ingredients in baggies and carries them with her.  If she's out and clean food isn't an option, she simply asks for a bowl, spoon and hot water, whips out her oatmeal, adds water and has a full meal.  My kids eat this several days a week.  2 of the 3 love it (pretty good stats for my family).

1/3 cup whole oats + a little of each of the following (no worries if you're missing one or two):
wheat germ
ground flax seed
sea salt
protein powder
bee pollen
raisins or craisins (although they do have sugar)
*peanut butter
*maple syrup or honey

The * foods are ones we add in addition to Tosca's recipe.  Add boiling water and wait 3-4 minutes before enjoying.

Recipe 3: "Crunchies" (aka Clean-Eating Granola)

·   2 cups of Oats
·   4 Tablespoons crushed raw walnuts (or other nut of choice)
·   2 Tablespoons all natural nut butter (any kind you like)
·   1 tsp pure vanilla
·   3 Tablespoons raw honey
·   3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
·   1/2 c dark chocolate chips
·   a few Tablespoons flax seeds
·   1 tsp chia seeds
1.      Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.
2.      Mix the oats, walnuts, flax seed and chia seeds in a mixing bowl.
3.      In a separate bowl add the nut butter, coconut oil, honey and vanilla. Heat in microwave in 20 second intervals until melted. Stir until nice and creamy.
4.      Slowly add the wet mixture to the oats and fold gently until all oats are covered and a bit moist. Fold in the chopped dark chocolate.
5.      Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Spread the oatmeal mixture on the parchment paper nice and flat. Bake for 12 minutes and then flip and move the oat mixture around, then cook for another 12 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet for 30 minutes.
Makes approx 3 1/2 cups of granola.

Recipe 4: Tosca's Oatmeal Pancakes

This is our favorite pancake recipe, although I'll add one more at the bottom via link that is also fabulous.  The base recipe is Tosca's however I've changed a few things so if you find hers on-line, it looks similar but isn't exact.

• 2 1/2 cups dry rolled oats
• 4 whole eggs (or 6 egg whites)
• 1 cup milk of your choice
• 1 Tbsp ground flax seed
• 1 Tbsp Coconut oil
• 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• Coconut oil for cooking the pancakes
**Our favorite way to eat these is to leave out the cinnamon.  Add juice of 1 lemon + the grated rind of the lemon.  Add about a cup of blueberries.  YUM!!
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor (except blueberries if you're using those...add those at the end whole). Blend the mixture for 20 seconds. The resulting mixture should be smooth. Melt or pour 1 tbsp coconut oil into your frying pan. Heat over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup of pancake mixture on the hot surface. Cook until the pancakes are dry and bubbly on the edges. Bubbles should appear on top, as well. Turn and brown the other side. (These take longer than normal pancakes to cook.)
  2. Always use pure maple syrup, never the cheap fake versions.  This is always your best option for both flavor and health.

Blueberry Pie Pancakes (and a whole lot of other choices):

Energy Bites (my kids call them chocolate balls):

Clean-Eating Muffin Cookies:

Alrighty...there are actually SO many oatmeal recipes I keep coming across that I'll have to do another blog with more of them.  Here's my most recent one and a current favorite.  It was so good when I made one batch (and ate straight from the bowl) that I had to make a 2nd batch while the ingredients were still out.  It uses oatmeal flour.  I just put raw oats into a mini food processor and a few seconds later have flour!  I do sift it before adding to the bowl.

No Bake Peanut-Butter Pretzel Bars  (leave pretzels out to make them GF)

You can probably tell from these recipes that I also love peanut butter! 

All of this reminds me that I have to bring a casserole for my MOPS group this next Wed.  Guess what I'm bringing...OATMEAL CASSEROLE!  (A recipe all the moms love, and one I'll have to share next time because I actually have to locate the recipe :-).

Enjoy and please share your feedback: which you tried and what you thought.

**Note on oats...they are gluten free naturally however Quaker Oats are processed in a plant where other wheat products are processed.  There is a high chance there will be cross-contamination.  Try Bob's Red Mill for truly GF oats.

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