During the winter months, oatmeal has found its way into my cabinets as a constant staple. Nothing is better than waking up on a cold winter morning and having a warm bowl of oatmeal. Oatmeal is one of those foods that you can eat without feeling bad about. Check out these health benefits:
- Oatmeal may help lower bad cholesterol levels, such as LDL cholesterol, which place a significant role in the risk of heart disease.
- Oatmeal is also rich in fiber, and can help stabilize your blood sugar and keep you full for longer.
You can purchase quick cooking or old-fashioned oats and cook over the stove or instant plain oatmeal and pair it with some of the suggestions below for a heart healthy treat.
5 ways to makeover your oatmeal:
- Make instant oatmeal and top with fresh or frozen fruit. Or use dried fruits, such as dried raisins, cranberries or dates.
- Add crunch to your yogurt by adding two spoonfuls of toasted oats to your next serving of yogurt. Combine with flavored yogurt for a change.
- Make instant oatmeal and add a couple of tablespoons of walnuts or almonds. Sprinkle with cinnamon for extra flavor.
- Add chopped apples, cinnamon and pecans to your bowl of oatmeal to make an apple crisp like treat.
- Try the ‘5 Ingredient Oatmeal Balls’ (recipe below). These are an excellent source of oats and are great as a snack or quick breakfast item.
5 Ingredient Oatmeal Balls
- 1 cup packed dates (pitted)
- ½ cup peanut butter or almond butter
- ½ cup honey
- 1 ½ cups old fashioned oatmeal
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- Optional: dried raisin, craisins, walnuts
- Chop dates into small pieces . Place dates in food processor (or blender).
- Blend for 1 minute or until a dough like consistency form.
- Combine oats and pureed dates in a small mixing bowl.
- Combine peanut butter and honey in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly until smooth.
- Poor peanut butter and honey mixture over oats mixture and mix well.
- Form into quarter-inch balls. Cover and refrigerate for one hour.
Note: These also work great as bars. Line an 8X8 pan with parchment paper and spread mixture evenly into pan.
*May vary based on brand of ingredient used
Total Fat: 7.5 g
Protein: 4 g