Day 12: Pumpkin Pear Oats

It’s so easy to watch the news (online) or read the paper (on an app) and resonate with the USDA’s fight to end childhood obesity. Americans are fat because of sodas, refined sugars, white flours. American adults overeat and overindulge, which means we are creating children that overeat and overindulge. It’s amazing how children pick up on their parents’ habits. Can you think of some eating habits that you’ve ‘inherited’ from your parents?

My parents were great in their parenting skills, and I think they did a great job raising me. (The results are up for debate.) And, good or bad, I have definitely picked up many of their eating habits over the years, many without even realizing it. Good: fruit with lunch and veggies always with dinner. Not so good: dessert after lunch and dinner. They don’t do that as much anymore, but it’s amazing how even just a year of one habit can stick with a person (like me). But these are things we grew up with, and it is our responsibility to decide to incorporate healthier choices into our inherited eating habits.

So, instead of a cookie at the end of lunch, it’s usually low sugar yogurt or a piece of fruit. I’m still working on dessert after dinner…that’s a tough one to change. Since I am a self-proclaimed sugar/ dessert hog or sweet tooth, and it stands to reason that I need some alternatives. Why not oats?

When prepared in large batches, it can last for days.
Oats are the base for hundreds of flavors based on the ingredients you add into them.
Sweet or savory, oats are a great source of whole grains without spiking your sugar or salt levels.
They are so filling and, since they act as a sponge, cause you to drink lots of liquids (water) with them.

Okay, lets make some ‘sugar free,’ Fall-themed oats. Pumpkin, banana, and cheese are my three favorite ingredients to add into oats (but not altogether).

Pumpkin Pear Oats
Servings: 4
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups milk of your choice
1 ripe pear
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 t. cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped almonds

Top each bowl with one tablespoon of dried cranberries and almonds. Savor the flavor! 
 

Happy eating!
Laurel

~Laurel~

Day 9: Cranberry Pumpkin Sunflower Oats

 Creamy, dreamy aromas of spices and pumpkin pie. That’s worth getting out of bed for.

Cranberry Pumpkin Sunflower Oats
Makes 4 servings; reheats well for Monday through Thursday breakfasts. You’re welcome. 🙂

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/4 cups milk of your choice
Dash of salt
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
Dash of Allspice
2 TB brown sugar
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds

In a medium pot on medium heat, combine the oats, water, milk and salt. Let heat until it gets bubbly, and then start stirring constantly.

Stir in pumpkin puree, spices and sugar. Let cook for 2 more minutes, or until piping hot.

Serve in a bowl with 1 TB sunflower seeds and 2 TB dried cranberries sprinkled on top (for each serving). Breathe in the aromas of fall and eat until you are full!

***Pairs wonderfully with a hot mug of chai tea…***


 

Happy eating!
Laurel

~Laurel~

Day 8: Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cake

Ever bake with oatmeal? Me, not so much. But I’m an oatmeal lover, all kinds of oatmeal. And who doesn’t love cake? Let’s combine them.

Chocolate Chip Irish Oatmeal Cake
My in-laws’ Irish heritage runs deep. I know very little about my own Irish roots. But Irish oats are delicious (heh), and so that calls for incorporating them into a dense, delicious chocolate cake that wouldn’t be overshadowed next to a Guinness. Also great with black coffee or a Fall hot cocoa.

1 cup Irish oats (steel cut oats)
1 3/4 cups boiling water 
6 TB butter/margarine
1 cup brown sugar (not packed)
3/4 cup granulated sugar

3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 TB cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (semi-sweet) 
Powdered sugar, enough for dusting the top
 

In a large bowl, carefully combine the dry oats and the boiling water, letting it sit for about 10 minutes together. Next, add the butter and let it melt. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

After that, add both sugars and then whisk in the egg. In a second bowl, whisk together the two flours, cocoa powder, baking soda and optional cinnamon; then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chips.

In a nonstick 9X13 pan, pour the batter in. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until center of cake is firm. (This is a dense cake!). Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm or room temperature.

Adapted from McCann’s Irish Oatmeal

Happy eating!
Laurel

~Laurel~

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