Organic Steel Cut Oats (My Favorite Breakfast)

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Why Steel cut Oats?

Steel cut oats are an excellent source of protein. 7grams per 1/4 cut of dry oats to be exact. There are both soluble & insoluble fiber in these types of oats which is associated with improving blood sugar levels in diabetes and improved cholesterol levels. They take about 15-20 minutes to cook. I add a little bit of raw sugar and cinnamon to the mix. If you add fruit you can take the sugar out because the banana especially is loaded with natural sweetness that helps with the plain flavor of the oats.

Breakfast (for those that don’t know) is extremely important in your overall functioning throughout the day. “Breakfast” literally means the meal that “breaks the fast”. It’s considered your most important meal because it affects your eating for the rest of the day. Starting the day with a well-balanced meal that supplies adequate protein, carbohydrate and fiber keeps hunger at bay and allows you to make wise choices for the meals which follow.

 

Have you tried steel cut oats? If so, what do you think? If not, what is your favorite form of breakfast?

Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner Quiche.

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As mentioned earlier this week I hosted a brunch over the weekend. I was trying to stray away from the traditional brunch items like eggs or waffles and decided to go with this amazing quiche recipe. Not all of my friends are vegetarians and even though they insisted veggie items were fine, I requested someone pick up some ham so I could add it to the goodness! I am sort of over the top when it comes to these things like hosting. It just so happens that I am a bit of a perfectionist and want my friends to have the best of the best so if this means me waking up at 6 am for an 11am brunch, well then, so be it! This was my first try at making quiche and I didn’t realize this was going to be so easy. I made one veggie quiche (for me..nice try thinking I would eat meat), and one with ham! Let’s just say they were so easy and gone within minutes! If you are having company or hosting a party soon – I recommend this recipe with both thumbs up!

{What you’ll need}

3 cups shredded hash browns (can buy or make yourself)
4 tablespoons organic butter (1/2 stick)
3 large eggs
1 cup half & half beaten (can use less if you add more filling less egg)
1/2 of a zucchini (diced)
1/2 bell pepper (diced)
White onion- use as much as you want (diced)
Sliced mushroom (about a handful)
Mild cheddar cheese (optional)
Salt/pepper to taste

{Directions}

Gently press drained hash browns between paper towels to dry them as best possible. In a 9 inch pie plate toss hash browns with melted butter into plate and press them into the bottom and up sides to form a crust. Bake for 25-30 min on 450 degrees F until golden brown and starting to crisp.

Meanwhile, in a sauté pan add a little olive oil and sauté onion, zucchini, mushroom and bell pepper until slightly cooked. Add salt/ pepper to taste and garlic powder if you like. (Note: you are just cooking veggies to take the crisp off- they will finish cooking in the quiche.) Remove hash brown crust when golden brown, add veggies, meat (optional) and pour egg mixture over. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 30 more minutes or until quiche is golden brown.

Enjoy!

Found this recipe here.

Easy Bake Fruit Granola Bars

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Old Fashioned Oats (Gluten Free if needed)
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I didn’t use because I was out)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.

Toss the oatmeal, almonds, and coconut together a sheet pan and bake for 10-12 minutes. stirring occasionally, until lightly brown. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.

Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in small saucepan on medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute and then pour over toasted oatmeal, apricots and cranberries and stir well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Wet your fingers and lightly press ingredients into pan. Bake for 25 to 30 more minutes until golden brown. Cool for at least 2 hours. When cool, cut into little squares. Serve at room temperature.

Keep in mind-the more dried fruit you use the chewier the bars will be. I used mango and they were pretty chewy! Good luck…these are good!

Crazy For Oats.

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TGIF! As the week is winding down I finally have a chance to sit at the computer and devote some effort to my blog. Between classes, working out and work it seems there is just not enough time in the day. Does anyone else feel this way? Thought so. I have been asked a lot in the last couple of weeks about my diet routine and what exactly it is that I eat. I answer, “food?” haha. In all seriousness, I think when people think of healthy they think of getting rid of everything in their diet that they love that is not exactly good for you. Ideally, yes. Reality? No. This isn’t possible, at least the way I see it. I most definitely believe that your body knows when it’s feeling really good and not so great. If you work out, eat real food (non processed/short shelf life) and keep your mind right- chances are you are feeling pretty awesome. If you have the occasional night out, few drinks here and a few drinks there, and resort to unhealthy food as a result of drinking (we have all done this), chances are you are feeling not so awesome. I want you all to know that I eat REAL, unprocessed, organic (when possible) food. This is by choice, not chance. I enjoy it, I feel better because of it, and I have even lost weight in the last year from being healthier than the “healthy” I was before. Eating better doesn’t have to be a dreadful process. For me, it’s a constantly changing. Often, I get stuck on my favorite foods and then have to remember to incorporate the other foods in the pantry/fridge. Find the foods that you love and switch things around so that you enjoy it.

Right now I am hooked on Steel Cut Oats. I used to be a victim of the Quaker Oats oatmeal loaded with sugar and who knows what else, but after discovering these plain oats there is no turning back. They take about 15 minutes to make. You boil a pot of water, throw in the oats, add some cinnamon and stir consitently until the oats become thick. You can add a little fruit, agave, ground flax, chia seeds, and anything else that you love. They are SO good. If you aren’t convinced come to my house and I will make for you. 🙂

Benefits:

Cinnamon: Sedative for smooth muscle, circulatory stimulant, digestant, diuretic, antibiotic and reduces type 2 diabetes.

Steel Cut Oats: A diet that includes oats may decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and obesity. This is also a great source for fiber.

Almond Butta!

If you are like most people, buying almond butter would be much easier than making. Who has the time, right? Wrong! I on the other hand am a little funny when it comes to buying new items at the grocery store. Mostly because I shop at Whole Foods- and it can be expensive to try new things and end up wasting them. Luckily, I just found out you can return anything if you don’t like it (probably a little late to the game). You just can’t eat it all and then try to bring it back. 😉 I recently bought an almond butter that I like called Justin’s. You can find it here. I have had homemade almond butter before and it beats any store bought anything (except this one). You can add the exact amount of sweet and salty that YOU like. Just don’t overdose. Almond butter is a great substitute to those who have a peanut allergy or simply love almonds. Raw nuts can lower blood pressure, control blood sugar, help w/ weight conrol, and are rich in antioxidants. Most traditional nut butters are full of sugar so make sure you are reading the labels. Here is a recipe I found and can’t wait to try. This almond butter can last up to six weeks- I would have to say that the 15-20 minutes it takes to make it  isn’t so bad after all. Give it a try…

What you’ll need:

  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 1 teaspoon oil, such as almond, unrefined peanut, or extra virgin coconut
  • Seas Salt
  • 1 1/2 teasonpoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Put the almonds in a food processor or Vitamix and process for about 1 minute. Add the oil, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and the cinnamon. Continue to process for another 8-10 minutes, scraping down the sides of the food proecssor or Vitamix as needed. You will see a change in consistency from crumbs to big climps, to a large ball. Finally, as the oil is released from the almonds, the mixture will smooth itself out. If you want it even smooter add more oil.

When it’s as smooth as you’d like it, stir in the honey, add more salt to taste and transfer to glass jar. It will keep, covered, in the fridge for up to 6 weeks.

*This recipe is out of  The Sprouted Kitchen – One of my newest cookbooks I am in love with.

Snack Time

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{Greek yogurt w/ granola and Agave (if desired)}

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{Fruit and Granola Medley}

{Fruit Kabobs}

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{Whole wheat bagel – no cream cheese!}

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{Edamame w/ Sea Salt}

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{Raw/Unsalted Almonds are best}

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{Little to no salt is best}

I love incorporating new snacks. Pinterest has been my go-to for all things creative these days! I always hear that people, “just don’t have time to be healthy” but I am here to tell you….you’re wrong! With a little preparation anything is possible. Here are some yummy eats to include throughout the day! Try to pick the least processed and least salted items (if packaged). Be creative and have fun making new goodies apart of daily snack time!

All photos can be found on http://www.pinterest.com