By Brandon McDearis
If you are like me, then it is quite rare that you ever start the day without a bowl of oatmeal. While people have been eating it for centuries, interest in oatmeal has increased in recent years because of its many health benefits. Numerous studies have suggested that oats can lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. In addition, it’s high content of complex carbohydrates and water-soluble fiber encourages slow digestion and helps stabilize blood-glucose levels. Oats are also a good source of many nutrients including vitamin E, selenium, zinc, copper, magnesium, manganese, and iron.
Unfortunately, many people are still afraid of the plainness of oatmeal, while others over-compensate for its blandness by adding too much sugar. Those sugar-filled, overly processed instant packets are pretty popular these days, but they do not have to be the only answer to someone looking to make oatmeal a part of their daily breakfast routine. The different possibilities for oatmeal recipes are endless, and there is absolutely no reason why a bowl of it has to be boring and bland.
This month’s recipe is what I personally eat for breakfast almost every morning. I got the idea from a buddy of mine that served me a similar concoction as our pre-race meal before a triathlon a couple of years ago. The combo of the oats, milk, yogurt, fruit, nuts and flax seed result in a very balanced meal full of fiber, protein, and calcium. The probiotics in the yogurt and the antioxidants in the berries is an added bonus. This recipe doesn’t have to be strictly for breakfast either. It is a great source of energy for a long workout, no matter what time you may be exercising during the day.
– ½ cup of dried oats
– ¼ cup milk
– ½ cup water
– ½ teaspoon salt
– ¼ cup frozen blueberries
– 1 teaspoon honey
– ½ cup lowfat vanilla yogurt
– 1 small banana sliced
– 1 tablespoon flax seed
– 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
– 1 teaspoon chopped almonds
1. Cook the oats in the milk and water, either on the stove top until the liquid is almost completely evaporated or in the microwave for about 2 minutes.
2. I like to simply add the next 6 ingredients and mix together. The heat of the oatmeal thaws the blueberries, and the added yogurt gives the temperature and consistency of a parfait. It can almost trick you into thinking that you are having ice cream for breakfast. However, if you prefer a warmer, more blended porridge, then you can cook the banana and blueberries in the oats during step one.
3. Garnish with cranberries and chopped almonds.
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Brandon McDearis is a personal chef working in the Charlotte area. He currently owns and operates Your Way Cuisine, www.yourwaycuisine.com. In addition to his culinary training, Brandon also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in foods and nutrition, with a concentration in dietetics. He primarily focuses on healthy cooking and addressing specific dietary needs of everyone from professional and amateur athletes, to busy families and elderly people.
– Courtesy Endurance Magazine