My last post was all about the importance of that first meal of the day, your time to break-fast. I have been trying to convince people for a long time that eating something in the morning is the best way to start their day as well as their metabolism. Of course my parents were my first sounding board and have had to listen to me expound on the virtues of just about everything especially when I first came home from Bastyr University. When my Dad was having cholesterol issues all of those years ago, I immediately went into nutritionist mode and had him start eating the “Hearty Morning Cereal.” He has been eating it now for years. I can remember at first that I was the one going to the health food store to buy the grains, helping him to toast them, and then using the coffee grinder to grind them up. After all these years, he has become the master.
My Mom on the other hand was never very fond of the cereal but she knew the importance of eating a good breakfast. I am thinking that it was a few years after my Dad started eating the cereal that Anita’s friend Susanne passed us a recipe for baked oatmeal. Of course, as you know by now, I could not leave well enough alone, and had to make a few changes. For one, there was too much sugar for my liking and two, at that time I was convinced that too much fat wasn’t good, so we adjusted that as well. It became my Mom’s go to breakfast and has stayed that way for years. Every week now, my Dad makes her baked oatmeal adding dried fruit and nuts or whatever inspires him. This recipe can be eaten warm or cold, and can be adjusted by adding different nuts, seeds and fruit. It can be the same every time or something new and different. Enjoy!
3-c. rolled oats
¼ -c. maple syrup
2-tsp. baking powder
Additions: grated apple, fresh or frozen blueberries, dried fruit, any nuts or seeds you like.
Preheat oven to 350oF. Spray an 8×8-inch pan.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
What do they always say? Breakfast is the most important meal of the day? I do agree that it is very important to start your day with a good meal. There are many reasons why you should not skip breakfast but two of the most important reasons in my book are:
- If you are trying to lose or maintain your weight, breakfast is the meal that is going to kick start your metabolism. If you don’t eat something in the morning, you are wasting valuable time where you are not burning calories. Calories in versus calories out is the mantra. So if you don’t eat in the morning, your metabolism doesn’t start to burn calories, and now you are behind all day long.
- Starting your morning with a breakfast that contains some protein allows your body and it’s blood sugar to be more balanced all day long. Try it out for yourself. If you eat protein at every meal and every snack, you will NOT have that dip in energy in the afternoon. If you have too many carbohyrdrates in the morning and it is not balanced with protein, no matter what you eat the rest of the day, your energy will not be as even and you will experience dips throughout the day.
Experiment with it and see what makes you feel good all day long. Is it eggs and toast? Oatmeal with nuts? Chicken Soup? Every person is different. See what makes you feel the best. If you like something hot to eat in the winter time, then try out this yummy breakfast!
Hearty Morning Cereal
*This is another delicious recipe based on one in “Feeding the Whole Family” by Cynthia Lair. This was my go to cook book for a long time. The cereal is like a cream of wheat, but more nutritious and packed with protein. You may use any grain that you like in place of the oat groats, millet and amaranth. I just like this combination because it offers some natural sweetness to the cereal. Oat groats do not contain gluten so if you are gluten free, then this combination will work for you.
½ c. oat groats
¼ c. amaranth
¼ c. millet
¼ cup walnuts
¼ cup almonds
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
Lightly toast all of the above ingredients in an un-greased skillet. Toast only until a distinct nutty aroma is apparent. Grind all ingredients in a coffee grinder or blender, until fine. Cook 1/3 cup of the ground cereal with one-cup milk, milk alternative or water in a small pan over medium heat. Cook until thick. Stir frequently to avoid burning. Store the rest of the ground cereal in the refrigerator or freezer.