Saturday, April 2, 2011

Sweet, Creamy Oats

I don’t have a sweet tooth. I have a whole mouth full of sweet teeth. This one loves doughnuts, that one loves rich chocolate cake (with black coffee), all of the front ones constantly crave mint chocolate chip ice cream, and this little one has a weakness for crème puffs. These guys get me into a lot of trouble and often tell me how to run my life. Well, I’m fighting back. I’m laying off sugar for awhile (or trying my best to, though I’ve cheated a few times) in hopes that they will change their minds and start craving quinoa and green beans instead.

I’m not an unhealthy eater in general. My food choices have matured and long gone are the days of two cones of frozen yogurt a day in the college cafeteria. Good riddance. I admittedly love Brussels sprouts, I try to put beets into everything (Chocolate beet cupcakes anyone? Really, they’re good!), I eat plain yogurt, and steel cut oats make up my weekday breakfasts. But there are always doughnuts and cakes lying around the office, not to mention high-sugar granola bars posing as healthy snacks, and other such tempters. I give in more often than I’m able to resist.

Carrot cake with cheesecake frosting? Yes, please.

A big piece? Oh, if you insist!

I have good genes. I’m thin though I can easily keep up with the guys when it comes to putting away food. People try to fatten me up by giving me big pieces of cake. I rarely turn them down.

This no-sugar thing (fruits not included) has been hard. I’ve had to pass on cakes and pies. Everything in my body screams, “What are you doing?! That looks amazing! You need to put that in your mouth right now!” But I just remember that my body doesn’t always know best. It’s sick and addicted. Plus, I know my poor body doesn’t really know what to do with all that refined sugar. It might make me feel happy and comforted for a bit, but then I’ll end up feeling tired, apathetic, and sick. I’ve noticed, since cutting back on sugar, that I have more energy during the day and in the evenings. And when I do cheat, and have some sweet satisfying thing, I often feel kind of gross afterward – too full, lazy, and sick to my stomach. I’m glad for these little confirmations.

But while it’s been hard to go sugar-free, there have been a few good discoveries. My usual breakfasts consisted of steel cut oats with a sprinkling of Craisens and some dark buckwheat honey. I don’t think of this breakfast as unhealthy, but right now sugar-sweetened cranberries and honey are out. So I experimented and I stumbled upon a very simple oatmeal recipe that might just replace my honey and cranberries permenantly because it’s so delicious! It’s creamy, light, sweet, and would even be a satisfying dessert.

Another serving? Yes, please!  

Sweet Creamy Morning Oats
Serves 2

½ cup uncooked steel cut oats
1 banana, mashed
½ cup plain yogurt
½ t. cinnamon

Before going to bed, put ½ cup uncooked oats in a small sauce pan with 2 cups of water. Put on the lid and let the oats soak overnight.

In the morning, turn on the pot to high to bring it to a boil. Make sure you hang around because these oats can foam up and boil over quickly. Once the oats begin to boil and froth, stir and turn the heat down to medium. Let the oats cook for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all of the water is absorbed. You can experiment here. You might prefer your oats a little more wet or little more dry. See what you like.

Divide the oats into two bowls (I always take the one with a smidgen more. I know, I’m selfish!)

Mash a banana with a fork and divide the banana among the two bowls.

Add half of the yogurt and cinnamon to each bowl and stir everything together.

Now take a bite and fall in love!

I guess now that I’ve written this out that you could just mix all the ingredients into the oatmeal pot and then split, but I never do that. Habit, I guess. I used to like buckwheat honey and my husband liked wildflower. I think that’s where it all started.

I’m telling you, the thought of these sweet, creamy oats gets me out of bed in the morning.

1 comment:

  1. I love it! Very similar to what I make each day, but I don't mix it all until the end. I will have to try your method. I like to toss some nuts or flaxseed into mine as well. Impressive photos yet again, you should try putting the second to the last one on you-know-where.