Tuesday, February 15, 2011

You're the apple of my eye....and heart too!

Oatmeal is one of those comfort foods.  It reminds me of my Grandma Bell, who always seemed to have a pot cooking on the stove every morning I ever stayed at her cottage.  I remember its texture and the smell of it.  The instant I start to smell my own stove-cooked oatmeal, I am transported back in time.

Lately I've been hearing a lot about oatmeal, but these days its in relation to soluble fibres.  I try to always make the quick oats as opposed to instant, mainly for tradition's sake...but also because I can control the salt and sugar content. 

I also love coming up with new variations so that the kids will eat it all up.  Noah is a fan, but Owen is still getting used to the texture. 

The label on Quaker Oats says oatmeal is a soluble oat fibre which contributes to healthy cholesterol levels.  This is one reasonably priced food to have in your pantry.  One bag, in our house, seems to last for a long time.  All I know is its great on these cold, damp mornings before you start your day.

I included my recent favorite variation.  Enjoy!

I make the oatmeal as per the directions, but just before its completely cooked...I add in some 1% milk.

During the cooking process I pull out a bag of peeled and sliced apples.  We picked these apples from Owen's nana's few apple trees.  Normally we would have gone out apple picking in the fall with the family.  The beauty of freezing apples in this format is that you can pull them out of the freezer at almost anytime for nearly instant apple crsip or pie....or in this case...apple pie oatmeal!  I add a dash of nutmeg, and a tsp of cinnamon...or if I have it, I'll add Victorian Epicure's Apple Pie Spice.  Its a gloriously fragrant mix of spices...NO SUGARS!   The final touch is the 1 tsp of vanilla.  If you want to know more about the healthy benefits of the spices I mentioned above, be sure to check out my post on carrot cake.

Of course you can add brown sugar if you decide, but I prefer to limit the amount of extra sugars we take in.  The kids get enough of it in treats.  I love to show the kids that things can taste great without the need for sugar....the look on Noah's face was priceless when I told him breakfast tastes great and it actually healthy!  (Does.....not....compute.....)

So dig into some old fashioned oatmeal...you can make it ahead and reheat as necessary.  Your heart will thank you!   Perhaps your family will too...

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