Wow, I’ve just made the best and easiest batch of granola possible. It is crunchy and aromatic. And I used my newest kitchen “gadget,” an air fryer, which I purchased around the holiday season. The air fryer was intended as a Christmas present for a relative. But when the relative stated that she already had an air fryer, I decided to keep this Christmas present for myself. Do you ever do that? Although other friends say that they “love” cooking with air fryers, I really haven’t figured out a way to make good use of my air fryer. Today I decided to give this little appliance another try and am pleased to report that I made a very successful batch of granola.Continue reading
Here’s a delicious dessert, “Crumbly Blueberry Bars,” which combines two of my favorite ingredients and flavors — blueberries and oatmeal. Both these ingredients have many nutritional benefits which adds to the appeal of this dessert bar. I still have blueberries in my freezer to use from my last summer’s backyard blueberry crop. So, I’m making this very simple recipe for “Crumbly Blueberry Bars” with some of these frozen berries. These bars are very soft and crumbly — they are best eaten when served as a dessert bar with a fork. They make a great breakfast bar when served with yogurt as well as a snack or dessert.
My grandmother Ida’s pride and joy was her “Oatmeal Bars” which we helped her bake every summer during our visits to her Iowa farm. She was especially proud that you could make these bars using only one bowl. I decided to bake a variation of her recipe, but making cookies rather than bars. I had a very tart apple to use up and added this to the dough. The cookies turned out great. They are soft and moist yet chewy with plenty of apple and oatmeal flavor. The cookies are very simple to make. I used a large saucepan and “dumped and stirred” in the ingredients — one at a time in order. For further ease, I adjusted the ingredients so that most of them are “one” cup or “one” item. The hardest part of the recipe is peeling and chopping the apple.Continue reading
As far as I’m concerned, an “Instant Pot” might also be called an “Impatient Pot.” For the person who likes to cook everything on the “high” burner of the stove, then an “Instant Pot” is the perfect kitchen appliance. Get the “Instant Pot” settings programmed and hit “Start.” Then leave the appliance alone and go on to another task. It doesn’t matter, as the “Instant Pot” regulates the temperature and pressure automatically. The recipe finishes cooking and the “Instant Pot” turns off. Yeah! No more burnt pots. I’ve tried cooking a variety of dishes in my brand new “Instant Pot.” And to the doubters who questioned if you could cook oatmeal in an Instant Pot, today I’m giving it a try.Continue reading
When healthy tastes good…..It is much easier to eat a healthy breakfast when it also tastes good. I brought out the Ninja Smoothie maker again this summer to make coffee frappés and began experimenting with smoothies, too. I “invented” a wonderful oatmeal and banana smoothie. It is filling and tasty and and very nutritious. I enjoy sitting in the sun in the morning sipping my smoothie for some added health benefits — read on. Best of all, made with almond milk, this smoothie is lactose-free.Continue reading
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.
Once a good cookie recipe, always a good one, and this is true of the $250 Neimam Marcus Cookie. It is associated with the luxury Neiman-Marcus department store chain which is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. The cookie is a great one for the holiday season — it is a chewy and loaded chocolate chip cookie with nutty oatmeal and walnuts. My work supervisor made these as a Christmas present one year and shared the recipe which I have saved all these years. I found it again while sorting through recipes files.
Blueberries are ripening in my garden in Louisiana and I’m looking for ways to use them. Here is a quick, simple and very healthy pie which combines blueberries and bananas with an instant pudding filling and oatmeal crust. It’s delicious!