Let’s start out the New Year on a healthy note by including nutritious foods in meals. Oatmeal is a breakfast cereal which is packed with nutritional benefits. Most importantly it is high in soluble fiber — beta-glucan — which lowers cholesterol and helps control blood sugars. Why not “revve up” this simple food to make it more tasty — and to add nutrition. My recipe for old-fashioned rolled oats adds satsuma juice, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries as well as a Louisiana Steene’s cane syrup and a pinch of cinnamon. This turns oatmeal into a satisfying breakfast meal.
Oatmeal – Good for You
There are plenty of reasons to eat oatmeal. Oatmeal is a “heart healthy” food which is often described as “good for you.” The fiber in oatmeal is the type which lowers cholesterol and maintains blood sugar control. And oatmeal has many other health benefits. It is high in minerals including manganese, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc and also in B-Complex vitamins – B1 and B5 – and folate as well as Vitamin E. Oats contain some unique components such as the class of antioxidants called avenanthramides which may help with blood pressure control and provide some anti-inflammation benefits. After reviewing all these nutritional benefits, I’m convinced to eat this food more often.
Gluten-Free, well sometimes
Rolled oats are gluten free, too. However, food mills which process multiple types of grains may have problems with cross-contamination between oats and wheat or other gluten-containing grains. For this reason, oats are often listed as a grain to be avoided on a gluten-free diet. Look for brands which have tested their oatmeal products for levels of gluten and certify negligible amounts of gluten.
Revved Up Rolled Oatmeal Recipe
I find that oatmeal is relatively bland-tasting. However, there are plenty of ways to “revve up” this breakfast cereal. Our local newspaper, The Advocate, recently included an article of ideas for dressing up oatmeal in a recipe for “Overnight Oats.” They suggested interesting flavor additions such as “Pumpkin Spice Oats,” “Pecan Pie Oats” and “Satsuma Cider Oats.” I tried a few variations of my own.
To make this recipe, I used the juice and zest of a satsuma from my backyard tree. (You could also use a small orange to substitute for the satsuma.)
Combine skim milk, the satsuma zest and juice to the old-fashioned rolled oats. Add a pinch of salt (optional) and a Tbsp of Steen’s Cane Syrup (a Louisiana produce) or brown sugar. Add extras for flavor and nutrition such as dried cranberries, roasted sunflower seeds, walnuts and a pinch of cinnamon.
The key to this recipe is to let the oatmeal combination set on the kitchen counter for about half an hour. (The Advocate article suggests letting the oatmeal set overnight — or even several days.) I found that half an hour was plenty of time to let the “oatmeal “rest”.
There are lots of ingredients that you could add to make the oatmeal more interesting. Use your imagination. This a healthy way way to start the day and the New Year!. Enjoy!
Revved Up Rolled Oats with Satsumas and Cranberries
- 1 satsuma (or small orange)
- 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oatmeal*
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 1 Tbsp Steen’s Cane Syrup or light brown sugar
- dash salt
- dash cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp dried cranberries (or raisins)
- 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds (or chopped walnuts or pecans)
- Plain non-fat, plain yogurt (optional)
Method and Steps:
- Zest the rind of the satsuma and juice the pulp. Strain to remove seeds from pulp.
- Add the old-fashioned oatmeal, skim milk, Steen’s Cane Syrup, salt, cinnamon, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds and the satsuma juice and zest to a microwavable bowl.
- Let set 30 minutes.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and microwave 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove and stir.
- Serve with a dollop of non-fat, plain yogurt.