Happy New Year!
A lot of us begin each new year with the very best of intentions.
Have you ever resolved to lose weight or eat a more healthy diet?
Three of the best resolutions to start your new year off right are to minimize refined sugar and red meat, and to maximize the amount of whole grains, fruits, and veggies you consume.
One way that even the most well-intended folks begin to back-slide is to underestimate the importance of a healthy, nourishing breakfast.
So, you’re three days in to the new year. Did you eat a healthy breakfast this morning?
It’s so easy to think you are saving calories by skipping breakfast, only to find that you’re ravenous by mid-morning, which tempts you to snack on junk before lunch.
Or do you do any (or all) of the following:
- Succumb to the temptation of stopping at a fast food place because you’re “short on time” and it’s easy to grab a bacon-egg-cheese biscuit to eat while driving?
- Inhale a Krispy Kreme that some well-meaning colleague brings for “everyone to enjoy” in the break room?
- Mindlessly pick at the tray of bland (and slightly stale) white flour bagels and cream cheese at your morning meeting – just because it’s there and you’re starting to get hungry?
I know that most of us are pressed for time in the morning because we are getting kids off to school or battling traffic on our commutes. So having a healthy breakfast is the last thing on our minds as we dash out the door.
But what about a healthy breakfast that features whole grains, dried fruit, nuts, and seeds, and that takes literally five minutes to make the night before in your slow cooker?
My delicious organic oatmeal with apples, spices, walnuts, and sunflower seeds smells so good when you wake up and will literally warm your tummy on a cold winter’s day. Plus, it is inexpensive to make and is easily doubled if you have a large family.
I know that oatmeal sounds very, very boring, but organic rolled oats are one of the world’s healthiest foods. Oats are rich in antioxidants and are good for your heart because they lower cholesterol. Because oats are a complex carbohydrate and very low in sugar (1 gram of sugar in 100 grams of oats), they help keep your blood sugar stable because they take a lot longer to digest than simple carbs (like those tempting, but nutritionally empty Krispy Kreme Doughnuts).
And if you are interested in managing your weight, since oats are high in dietary fiber, my slow cooker oatmeal recipe will help you feel full longer – which will keep you from snacking before lunch.
Most of the other ingredients in my ultra-simple recipe are also among the world’s healthiest foods. Check out the nutritional story on walnuts, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and apples from one of my favorite websites, The World’s Healthiest Foods.
And if you’re serving it for brunch on a weekend, it takes only a few minutes more to make a colorful fruit salad with fresh pineapple, kiwi, bananas, oranges, tangelos, and strawberries. If you are making it the night before, it will store well in the fridge with just squeeze or two of orange juice or lemon juice (or a sprinkling of Fruit Fresh). We have been getting lovely organic kiwi, oranges, and bananas every week from Absolute Organics, so the fruit salad not only tastes great but is super healthy for you.
So, before you backslide into thinking breakfast isn’t an important part of a healthy diet, please take the 5 minutes to put my oatmeal ingredients in the slow cooker tonight. And wake up tomorrow to a delicious breakfast that will keep you satisfied until lunchtime!
- 1½ cups organic rolled oats
- 4 cups cold filtered water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon organic cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon organic nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon organic cloves
- 1 large organic Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped
- ¼ cup organic raisins
- 3 tablespoons organic raw sunflower seeds
- ⅓ cup organic walnuts, chopped
- If your slow cooker doesn't have a non-stick surface, lightly spray it with cooking spray.
- Add all of the ingredients except for the sunflower seeds and the walnuts.
- Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
- If your cooker has switched off to the "warm" setting when you wake up, just add about ⅓ cup water, stir it in, and switch it back to low for a few minutes while you make your coffee or tea.
- When it's nice and warm again, spoon it into bowls and top with sunflower seeds and walnuts.
All Rights Reserved.