Tag Archives: oatmeal

Fall is Coming: Pumpkin Farina

7 Sep

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I forget sometimes that pumpkin is a vegetable. It has such a creamy taste to it, and so often gets sweetened and used like a dessert. But low and behold, half a cup of plain pumpkin puree is low in calories (about 45 calories) and fat, and contains a hefty amount of vitamin A and potassium.

So let’s get on the vegetable-for-breakfast bandwagon and cook up some Pumpkin Farina!

Are you familiar with Farina? Some people call it Malt-O-Meal because that is one of the name brands, but it is basically the same thing as Cream of Wheat. You could definitely swap regular oats or steel cut oats (or millet, or quinoa, or couscous, or amaranth, or bulgar…) if you prefer those, I just chose to use Farina this morning.

The exciting thing about Farina is that, like regular old-fashioned oats, it only takes about 5 minutes to cook!

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Plain pumpkin puree gets swirled into the nearly cooked cereal grain. Without any seasoning, plain pumpkin puree tastes a little too…plain. To bring out the fall flavors, throw in some spices–I used cinnamon, but feel free to add nutmeg, ginger, cloves…–and a nice dash of maple syrup and vanilla extract. I also stirred in a little spoon of ground flaxseed to boost the healthy fats.

If you use a non-dairy milk, boom, vegan breakfast.

Toppings can be endless. This morning I used a dried fig sliced in half and a little sprinkle of coconut chips.

Warm milk, soft cereal grains, and smooth pumpkin make for a breakfast that tastes like dessert, but packs in a lot more nutrition.

Sayonara summer. Fall is coming.

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Pumpkin Farina

adapted from Healthy.Happy.Life

makes 2 big bowls

**NOTE: If you use a different cereal grain, check to make sure you use the correct ratio of grain to liquid. 

1 1/2 cups of water

1/2 cup milk (use a non-dairy milk to make this vegan)

1/3 cup Farina or Cream of Wheat

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 Tbsp ground flaxseed

3 Tbsp maple syrup

1/3 cup canned pumpkin

additional milk for topping

garnish: dash of cinnamon, dried or fresh fruit, coconut chips

Directions:

1. Bring water and milk (2 cups total) to a boil. Add salt and farina. Constantly stir gently. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low.

2. Continue stirring until the cereal thickens. At this point you can stir in the cinnamon, flaxseed, vanilla, and maple syrup. If you desire a thinner cereal, add in additional milk.

3. When cereal has cooked into a thick consistency (like thick applesauce) turn the heat to low.

4. Stir in the pumpkin over low heat.

5. Turn off heat and spoon cereal into bowls. Add a dash of cinnamon and a splash of milk on top. Top with dried or fresh fruit and a sprinkle of coconut chips.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Compote…featured on Lean Green Healthy Machine

28 May

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It’s strawberry rhubarb season! I’ve been eating my homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Compote with a cozy bowl of oatmeal, swirled into a creamy avocado-based smoothie, and spread on toast with some nut butter. A fruity sweet treat that is the epitome of spring.

To learn more about rhubarb’s health benefits and to get the recipe for my Strawberry Rhubarb Compote, head over to the blog Lean Green Healthy Machine. Lean Green Healthy Machine has some great tips for healthy eating, fitness, and living green. Alexandra is the chief nutrition editor for the website, and she is also a fellow nutrition  grad student with me.

Here is a blurb about the website:

Lean Green Healthy Machine strives to promote healthy, wholesome, and sustainable living to its readers, with a special focus on those living in the greater New York City area. We aim to empower the journey to wellness through frequent posts which center thematically on healthy nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle habits.”

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Smoothie with a Strawberry Rhubarb Swirl

(+ the jigsaw puzzle that I have been working on!)

5 Days of Simple Breakfasts…

31 Aug

Just a little post to show you what I’ve been eating for breakfast lately. It’s easy to get in a breakfast rut, and I’m here to offer you five small simple breakfast ideas that will help get your day started.

I like to exercise in the late morning, and these are all great pre-(or post) workout options for breakfast or a snack. I try to think: carb + a little protein. And it never hurts to keep in mind color and appearance. Even if it’s just a mini-meal, your belly will feel more satisfied if your eyes are entertained as well.

Toast with avocado and low-fat cottage cheese. Lots of fresh ground pepper. I never liked cottage cheese as a kid because I didn’t like the texture. Once I discovered that I could spread it on a crunchy piece of toast or crackers, there was no turning back. I can’t get enough of the stuff now! AND you get 15 grams of protein per serving of cottage cheese.

Almond butter schmeared on toast. With a squeeze of honey (or banana). I recently tried sunflower seed butter, which is another great alternative to add to the peanut/almond butter rotation.

Oatmeal. I like making rolled oats on the stove top. This time around my toppers included: cinnamon, coconut chips, a combo of walnuts/macadamias, frozen berries, plain yogurt, and honey. (you can just barely see the steam coming from my coffee…!!!)

Baby berry smoothie: 1 cup frozen berries, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1/4 cup milk, 1 teaspoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Whir it up in the blender. Add a frozen banana if you want to bulk this up a bit (I had some whole wheat crackers with nut butter shortly after this to complement the smallness of the smoothie). Pour into an old jam jar and enjoy.

A layered yogurt parfait. Plain yogurt, granola, more yogurt, melon (or whatever fruit you want), finished with more granola. You could even take something like this on the go in a small tupperware container (or a clean container from a previous yogurt).

Note that most of the ingredients for these breakfasts you can always have on hand. Frozen fruit, rolled oats, nut butters, bread (you can even put bread in the freezer and toast off as needed). Even yogurt stays fresh for a long time in the fridge. So much easier to whip up a quick healthy breakfast when your pantry and refrigerator/freezer are stocked with these simple breakfast staples.

Baked Oatmeal, Revamped for Summer

19 Jun

Last fall I wrote a post about baked oatmeal. It was filled with apples and bananas and was the perfect get-out-of-bed-and-watch-the-leaves-change-color breakfast.

Now that summer is here and things are starting to heat up, I made a summer-ed up version of this oatmeal. A get-out-of-bed-and-treat-your-body-right breakfast (or snack or dessert). There’s raspberries instead of apples, I used coconut oil instead of butter, almond slivers instead of walnuts, and a few pumpkin seeds and coconut flakes that I had hanging around in my pantry to give the oatmeal an extra seedy crunch.

I think that there is no need for butter in oatmeal. A touch of coconut oil lends a really nice warm-weather flavor and is cholesterol-free.

As you will read in the instructions below, “thwack” is a technical kitchen term and has an important purpose in the recipe 😉

P.S. Why are halved raspberries so seductive?

Baked Oatmeal

A revamped version of this recipe, originally from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Everyday

serves 6 generously or 12 as part of a larger brunch spread

Ingredients:

2 cups rolled oats

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

1-2 tablespoons coconut chips/flakes

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt (or fine-grain sea salt)

1 large egg

2 cups milk

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly (if it is hot outside, your coconut oil may already be in a liquid state and therefore you would not need to melt it)

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 ripe bananas, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 1/2 cups fresh berries

1/4 cup slivered almonds

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Optional: Grease the inside of an 8-inch/ 20 cm square baking dish with coconut oil.

In a bowl, mix together the oats, pumpkin seeds, coconut chips/flakes, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla.

Arrange the bananas in a single layer in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle 2/3 of the berries over the top. Cover the fruit with the dry oat mixture. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the oats. Gently give the baking dish a couple of thwacks on the counter-top to make sure the milk moves through the oats. Scatter the remaining berries and the slivered almonds across the top.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the top is nicely golden and the oat mixture has set. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. Cut it up and serve.