If you think about it, in many cases, eating healthy can be ridiculously easy! And, a good portion of healthy food is ridiculously delicious as well. Really, there is little need to groan and fuss over preparing healthy goods. Let me show you. Scroll on down for a quick example of what I mean.
Starting your day off with a filling, energy producing, super nutritious choice just makes sense. And, sure, we want it to taste good and not take forever to prepare either. Well, I have crazy good . . . crazy healthy and . . . crazy easy right here that my family and I love to start our day off with and maybe you, too.
CRAZY QUICK STEEL CUT OATS
Before we get to the toppings that really are the nutrition super stars of this morning start-up, here is some brief information on steel cut oats and why I choose them over rolled oats:
- They are less processed than rolled oats and less processed food is usually a better choice all around.
- Steel cut oats are lower on the Glycemic Index keeping our blood sugar levels at better levels.
- The taste is superior to rolled oats.
- They reheat beautifully and not gummy like rolled oats.
And, how to make them? So crazy easy: 5 minutes of time the night before and you’ll wake up to warm, creamy oats almost instantly. Here is how to do it for about 4 bowls of oats, but I suggest doubling it as you can eat this for several days as steel cuts oats reheat beautifully and not gummy at all like their processed cousin, rolled oats.
- 1 cup of steel cut oats
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3.5 cups water
- very small pinch of pink salt
- 1/2 cup almond milk or maybe a bit more
- dash of vanilla
- toppings of choice
Now do this
- Warm olive oil in pan over medium heat.
- Sprinkle in oats and stir about to toast them for 2 -3 minutes. Don’t burn – just lightly toast.
- Stir in water, vanilla and salt and stir again.
- Bring to a boil.
- Turn off the heat and cover the pan.
- Place in refrigerator overnight.
- Sleep well!
- The next morning, stir in almond milk and bring the oatmeal back up to a simmer to warm. You can add more almond milk for the consistency you like.
- Add toppings discussed below.
Note: I have also used leftover quinoa as a morning grain as well. The texture is different but it is a healthy start as well.
HOW TO START YOUR DAY WITH A NUTRITIOUS BANG
Morning steel cut oats are beneficial on their own but when you top it with these healthy additions, you know you are doing your body good. Real good!
Here is where the crazy healthy comes in. Its the stuff you spoon over and stir in that make this over the top good for your body and brain:
1. Sweeten naturally. If you like a touch of sweet to your morning, reach for a sweetener with benefits: some chopped dates or date syrup stirred in when making the night before are wonderful and raw honey drizzled over the cooked grains is delicious.
Don’t miss this: Why date syrup in your pantry might be a good addition.
2. Gather berries. Whether dried or fresh, all berries are chock full of antioxidants and nutrients.
3. Sprinkle spices. Some classics would be Ceylon cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and cardamom to add some flavor and health.
Don’t miss this. Make sure you have the right cinnamon on your shelf. There is a difference!
4. Reach for dessert. Sound weird? It can work! Chocolate is a favorite for many and cacao (from which chocolate is made) is a wise choice as it is a great mood elevator and rates high in the ANDI index (a food rating system for nutrient dense foods). Stir it in with some strawberry bits or orange sections for that classic fruit and chocolate taste but you may want to offset it with a natural sweetener as cacao is unsweetened chocolate. Sliced almonds on top could be good, too.
5. Add tea. Matcha tea gives such a nice even level of energy and focus to your morning along with loads of other health benefits, so putting up with the green tinge to your oats that it may bring is worth it! (And your kids may love it!) Add some mashed banana and raw honey to balance it.
Don’t miss this: Never heard of matcha? Learn why matcha tea is earning its cult following.
6. Use leftovers. Yes, really. A bit of pureed pumpkin or sweet potato is great stirred in with some pecans, honey, cinnamon and a few dried wild-blueberries.
7. Add crunch with seeds and nuts. Chopped pecans, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds – there is no limit to add any of these for texture and so much nutrition and healthy fat.
There are plenty of other ways to begin your day, too. Be sure to check out my healthy morning routines Pinterest board for other great ideas to start the day off right!
Do you have a favorite combo you add to your oats? Have you tried overnight oats with success? Tell me!