Friday, 16 January 2015

Real Fast Food: Updated Oats

It's cold. It's windy. It's dark when I get up. People are clumsy, cranky, tired. There is some serious competition in my house for the closest spot to the wood stove. 

It's that time of year (in Canada anyway) where some of us go looking for comfort food. But how to sooth the soul without eating loads of sugar and carbohydrates that make us feel warm and fuzzy in the moment and then hypoglycaemic, bloated and a little bit icky shortly afterwards?

I took a nutrition course with Cait Lynch at Custom Fit (click here to go to website) last year and she helped us to renovate our meals to increase fibre and healthy fat and decrease sugar and carbohydrate load. One of my all time standards, oatmeal (or porridge as we call it in the old country), didn't quite measure up. But porridge is exactly what I want on a cold winter morning whether I'm heading out for a ski, to walk DingoDave, or to weep bitterly beside my vehicle while carving inches of ice from my windshield. 

It isn't that oatmeal is all bad. It's just that it's heavy on the carbs and light on the fat, fibre, and nutrients that we need to fuel our bodies and our lives. And if you are using the pre-packaged flavoured varieties or using lots of sugary toppings then you are getting a high glycemic meal that is shooting up your blood sugar only to find you hungry again in a couple of hours. 

In the course with Cait participants shared how they were changing their breakfasts and I managed to update mine to be tasty, comforting, but also nutritious. There are two recipes below. Notice how these shape up in comparison to the old standards. 

Nutritional Info
Plain instant oats
½ cup, made with water & 1 tbsp brown sugar, ¼ cup skim milk
Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Maple & Brown Sugar
1 pkg (43g)
Made with water
NP Sam’s Updated Oats with blueberries
(Recipe below)
NP Sam’s Updated Oats with Cocoa
(Recipe below)
Total Fat g
     Sat Fat g
Chol mg
Sodium mg
Carbohydrates g
Fibre g
Sugars g
Protein g

My updated versions definitely have more calories and more fat. Don't let that frighten you. We need fat to feel satiated and to feed our brains and all the cells in the body. And the calories? Let's be honest - how many of you have eaten two packages of the Quaker oats or made more than a 1/2 cup of instant oats? Regardless calories aren't what matter as much as your nutrient balance. Are you getting what your body needs? If it's all carbs and sugar and not much else then the answer is a resounding "no". 

The updated recipes also provide more protein, a lot more fibre, and a lot less sugar. And guess what? They taste great and keep you fuller longer. I don't need a mid morning snack anymore these days even if I have exercised in the morning. And the cocoa version? Definitely high up on the comfort food scale. That means your kids might like it too (recipe amounts can be adjusted to suit smaller appetites). 

NP Sam's Updated Oats with Blueberries
1/4 cup plain instant rolled oats (I use President's Choice organic)
1 tbsp Chia seeds
1 tbsp ground flax
1 tbsp hemp hearts
2 tbsp walnuts (or pumpkin seeds or a mix of both)
2 tbsp blueberries
3 tbsp cream, 18%

NP Sam's Updated Oats with Cocoa
1/4 cup plain instant rolled oats (I use President's Choice organic)
1 tbsp Chia seeds
1 tbsp ground flax
1.5 tbsp hemp hearts
1 tbsp walnuts
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon 
1 tsp vanilla extract (organic and real, not substitute)
3 tbsp cream, 18%

Instructions for either recipe:
Put all ingredients except the cream in a bowl and stir to mix. Add hot water from the kettle until it has a soupy consistency. Cover bowl with a plate and let stand for a couple of minutes. In the meantime warm cream in a saucepan (don't let it burn). Remove plate stir oat mixture and top with warm cream. 

If you prefer to eat breakfast later in the day at work you can put everything except the cream in a bowl with water, microwave for about a minute (depending on your microwave) stir, add the cream and microwave for another 30 seconds or until warm.  

Thanks for reading Getting Healthy With NP Sam. Comments welcome - click the pencil icon below. 

Quaker Oats Nutritional Information
LoseIt Nutrition Calculator
CustomFit (Cait Lynch)

1 comment:

Peter Ziliotto said...

Very good info. Will try the oatmeal in the morning.