Baked Oatmeal: Everyone’s Doing It

Photo by: Whole Foods Market

Now that about 12 unrelated people have asked me about baked oatmeal–and 1 of them even brought me a sample (yum!)–I decided to test it out for myself.

Oatmeal in itself (even the 1 1/2-minute-in-the-microwave-old-fashioned kind) can be too time-consuming in the morning (I know, what has our busy world come to?!). And as you smarties already know, oats contain more soluble fiber than any other grain. Soluble Fiber is the champion at lowering bad LDL cholesterol. It works like this: Soluble fiber reduces the amount of bile reabsorbed in the intestines, which means more bile is excreted through bathroom activities. The liver panics and snatches LDL cholesterol out of the bloodstream to make more bile salts. Down goes your LDL cholesterol number, and your doc starts smiling again. Take home message: Eat more oats. Capiche?

Now back to the recipe at hand. This version takes about 40 minutes and can be made on a Sunday night and packaged up to be inhaled while biking, walking, or sleep-walking to work. It pretty much feels like an indulgent coffee cake. Have it for dessert!

Modified from the original version on About.com here, this one has less sugar and all the taste.

All-The-Rage Baked Oatmeal
Makes 8 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes

3 Tbsp flaxseed meal (finely ground flax seeds)
1/4 cup warm filtered water
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (optional)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 cup unsweetened almond milk or soy milk
2 Tbsp melted Earth Balance margarine
1/2 cup fresh blueberries (preferably organic)
6 chopped fresh strawberries (preferably organic)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly oil an 8″ square or round baking pan.

2. In a small bowl, combine the flax meal with the warm water until the mixture forms a gel (about 5 minutes). Set aside.

3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the quick-cooking oats, rolled oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and ginger. Set aside.  In another small mixing bowl, whisk together the almond milk and melted margarine. Add this to the dry ingredients, followed by the flax mixture. Stir until just combined. Fold in the blueberries and strawberries until evenly distributed.

4. Spread the mixture in the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean. Cut into 8 squares and serve warm with almond milk or soy milk.

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING (including brown sugar): 219 calories, 6 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 48 g carbohydrate, 5.5 g fiber, 20 g sugar, 5.5 g protein, 1.5% vitamin A, 10.5% vitamin C, 13.5% calcium, 14% iron.

Leave the brown sugar out for an even lower sugar version. Enjoy this with herbal tea and more fruit for a high-powered way to start the day. Happy oat-ing!

Mediterranean Diet Increases Lifespan

Mango Summer Salad from SKINNY DISH!

A friend of mine always joked that healthy eating doesn’t make you live longer, it just seems longer. Well, looks like I can finally prove him wrong! A conglomerate of four studies to be published by the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg has shown that a diet rich in vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains, and low in meats and dairy foods increases lifespan and lifetime health. Read the summary here. Just in time to set those veggie-heavy New Years Resolutions. And, I guess I can continue my healthy eating preachery in 2012!

Harvard Revises USDA’s “MyPlate”

Yay for Harvard! Noting that the USDA’s “MyPlate” is based on a mix of science and US agricultural interests (rather than just on science), the Harvard School of Public Health created a much easier to understand “Healthy Eating Plate“, which replaces dairy milk with water saying there’s little evidence that dairy protects bones, and even more evidence that dairy may be harmful to health, and also emphasizing healthier proteins and whole grains, and encouraging some healthy oils and exercise. Read more about both here.

Looks like the country is getting even closer to the plant-powered “Power Plate” created by PCRM! Go plants!

Fun Food Fact Friday: Greenwheat Freekeh

Pronounced “Freak-ah,” Greenwheat Freekeh is roasted green wheat that has been around for over 2000 years, and it may be the new quinoa. It’s basically wheat that’s picked early (when it’s green) and dried, burned, and smoked. Sounds violent! But, the result is a grain that has 4 times more fiber than rice, and is high in protein, calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc. Plus, it has a low Glycemic Index, meaning that it slowly turns into glucose in your bloodstream, thus preventing sugar spikes and insulin rushes, and is a good carbohydrate food for diabetics.

When I saw it in the bulk section of Whole Foods the other day, I couldn’t resist. A freaky grain, and this variety from Australia? Count me in! And now I’m realizing my favorite hideout–Trader Joe’s–may also have a version of Freekeh as well.

But don’t ancient grains take hours to cook?
Quinoa
 
(which is actually a seed that’s eaten like a grain, rich in protein and fiber, and wheat and gluten-free) only takes about 15 minutes to prepare. Greenwheat Freekeh takes 20-25 minutes to prepare the cracked version and 40-45 minutes to prepare the whole grain variety. Still faster than brown rice. Here’s a fun 2-minute how-to Australian Freekeh movie.

I cooked a pot last night and am enjoying Freekmeal Breakfast this morning. DEEE LISH. Nutty, sweet, and filling!

Bitchin' Dietitian's Freekmeal Breakfast

Freekmeal Breakfast
Serves 1

1/2 cup cooked Greenwheat Freekeh
2 Tbsp dried cranberries
2 Tbsp pepitas
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (the fridge version, not the canned version) 

Heat all ingredients on the stovetop or in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. Mmm mm MMM!

Interested in more ways to get your Freekeh on? Check out this Freekeh with Chickpeas and Mushrooms and this Freekeh Salad with Beets, Cilantro, and Lime.

Categories

Archives

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 416 other followers

%d bloggers like this: