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This Arctic Blast has had me craving anything warm for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Haha!

Confession: My entire life I have never liked oatmeal. I didn’t like the texture and honestly just really never made an effort to give it much of a chance. Most of the oatmeal that I tried was the instant variety, which was very sweet and mushy.

Fast forward to 2012: 2012 was the year that Trace and I bought Choices. I began to dig into natural and organic foods in a whole new way, starting with reading Michael Pollan’s book, In Defense of Food. The advice to eat real food, not too much, and mostly plants seemed like a practical, common sense approach. So, I set out on a health journey to include more plants and whole grains into our diet.

That brings me to OATMEAL. I started following Lisa Leake, of 100 Days of Real Food, a food blogger who had shared her journey to cut processed food out of her family’s diet. I highly recommend her blog, which has many free recipes, and practical advice on how to cut out the highly processed stuff. Once I tried her recipe, I realized what I’d been missing!

So here’s the basic recipe:

Oatmeal from Scratch https://www.100daysofrealfood.com/recipe-oatmeal/

1/2 c. old fashioned rolled oats

2/3 c. milk

Pour milk in saucepan and heat until small bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Pour in the oats, and cook for 3 minutes. Keep an eye on it, stirring occasionally, as it starts to fluff up as it cooks.

I always double this, and while the oats are cooking:

I mash 2 bananas,

Chop a handful of nuts (pecans, walnuts, or almonds, whatever I have in my cabinet)

Mix them together and add some cinnamon and a drizzle of vanilla—to your taste.

When oatmeal finishes cooking, stir in your additions and enjoy!

IT REALLY ONLY TAKES 3 MINUTES TO DO ALL OF THIS.

BELIEVE ME, I DON’T ENJOY PROJECTS FIRST THING IN THE MORNING!

The additions really make the oatmeal taste more like a bakery treat…without adding even a smidge of refined sugar. The sweetness comes from the natural sugar in the bananas.

This is a great way to add fruit to your breakfast. You could opt for any of your favorite fruits: berries, apples, pears, whatever your heart desires!

Oatmeal is also a whole grain that has been touted for its health benefits. Check out what the Whole Grain Council’s website has to say about it:

“HEALTH BENEFITS OF OATS

Scores of studies have documented the many health benefits of oats.

  • Eating oats helps lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and may help reduce the risk of heart disease.

  • Oats help you feel fuller longer, which helps control your weight.

  • Oatmeal and oats may help lower blood pressure.

  • Oats may help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, since their soluble fiber helps control blood sugar.

  • Oats help cut the use of laxatives, without the side effects associated with medications.

  • Oats are high in beta-glucans, a kind of starch that stimulates the immune system and inhibits tumors. This may help reduce your risk of some cancers.

  • Early introduction of oats in children’s diets may help reduce their risk of asthma.

  • Oats are higher in protein and healthy fats, and lower in carbohydrates than most other whole grains.

  • Oats contain more than 20 unique polyphenols called avenanthramides, which have strong anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-itching activity.”

Click here to reference the studies about the health benefits of oats.

Evidently, in January, oats are the whole grain of the month! You can read more about it by clicking here!

If you never thought you’d be an oatmeal fan, give this recipe a try. You may be converted!

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