Tag Archives: oats

Easy Granola

A year and a half ago, I visited my in-laws. My mother-in-law was on a very strict low carb diet at the time. The day before I arrived, however, she had a bit of a fall out with her diet. Now, while most of us would go for cake and cookies and ice cream, she made granola. I gave her props for at least caving for something whole grain and mostly good for you.

That story is to try and give you some indication of how good this granola is. Good enough to blow a diet for, rather than all the normal sugary stuff. And it really is pretty good for you. Granola only gets a bad rap because we tend to eat A LOT at one time, which can add up in the calorie department. But a little as a snack or on some yogurt is perfect. Enjoy some today on this beautiful first day of fall!

Easy Granola (Makes about 8 cups)

Easy Granola

5 cups oats (quick or old-fashioned are fine)
1 cup non fat powdered milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup shredded coconut (optional)
½ cup canola oil
1 cup honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup dried fruit (or more if you like)

1. Preheat oven to 300. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone liner, or spray with cooking spray.

2. Mix all the ingredients together with a rubber scraper or wooden spoon. Spread in an even layer on baking sheet.

3. Bake for about 30 minutes (keep an eye on it so it doesn’t start to burn). Remove from oven and let it cool for 30 minutes. Break into chunks as desired. Store in an airtight container.

Nutritional information (about per ¼ cup):

Calories: 171
Protein: 3 g
Fat: 8 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: less than 1 mg
Carbohydrates: 24 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sodium: 94 mg

Recipe notes: I never have coconut, so I leave that out. You could sub coconut oil in for flavor, but realize that it will change the fat ratios. I like walnuts and craisins. You could use whatever dried fruit and nut combo you like. Or you could use some premixed trail mix if you have that around.

Source: my sister-in-law

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Recipes

Whole Grain Muffins

Do you go in food phases?  Or am I just a crazy pregnant lady?  Maybe don’t answer that second one.  I am in a total muffin craze the last few months.  I am either making muffins, planning to make muffins, or thinking out what ingredients I have to make them.  The only good thing is that I do try to pick healthy muffins.

These were originally called “Bran Muffins” but my grocery store didn’t have any bran.  I think the oats are a great substitute that I always have on hand.  These make a great breakfast or snack.  And they freeze well for later, so make a big batch!  Enjoy!

Whole Grain Muffins (Makes about 12 muffins)

Whole Grain Muffin

1 cup whole pitted dates (about 6 ounces)
¾ cup orange juice
1 cup fat-free buttermilk
1 medium banana, mashed
¼ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 ¾ cups old fashioned oats
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ – 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
2 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a muffin pan with paper liners (optional). Coat liners or pan with cooking spray

2. Combine dates and orange juice in a pan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat; uncover and let stand 5 minutes. Process until smooth in a food processor or blender. Add buttermilk, oil, and vanilla; process until smooth.

3. Combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add date mixture, stirring just until moist. Add eggs, stirring just until combined. Do not over mix. Spoon batter into muffin cups with cups ½-⅔ full.

4. Bake for 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean. Remove from pan; cool on a wire rack.

Nutritional Information (Amount per muffin):

Calories: 197
Protein: 5 g
Fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 32 mg
Carbohydrates: 31 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sodium: 214 mg

Recipe Notes: If you use paper liners and have any intention of eating these muffins while warm, you MUST spray them. Once completely at room temperature, they come out of the liner fine. But if they are at all warm (say warmed up in the microwave after freezing), they will stick to the liner and you lose half your muffin. I like a lot of cinnamon flavor in my muffin, so I upped the cinnamon. If you aren’t a big cinnamon fan, keep it to ½ teaspoon. The original recipe says these are good for mixing in other ingredients, such as berries, carrots, nuts, etc. I haven’t tried it myself, since there are already 2 fruits in the batter. But I could especially see shredded carrot and nuts as a carrot cake version being delicious.

Source: adapted from Cooking Light

Leave a comment

Filed under Recipes

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day

IMG_5431

All of us should be worried about our muscles, even if you are not lifting weights or training for some sort of athletic event. As we age, the amount of muscle in our body naturally declines, and this begins as early as our thirties and forties. Loss of muscle is associated with increased risk of heart disease, cancer, and death.

I have been learning quite a bit about protein intakes and maintaining muscle lately, especially protein in breakfast. More and more research indicates that eating the recommended amount of protein in a day may not be good enough. The timing of protein intake seems to be important. We should be eating equally balanced meals of protein throughout the day if we want to maintain our muscles.

For most of us, breakfast is a carb fest with a little protein thrown in on the side. Cereal, pancakes, toast, bagels, etc all are breakfast staples, but none provide much protein. Even the meat most people eat at breakfast – sausage or bacon – is mostly fat.

Here are some tips to boost your protein intake in the morning:

– Try oatmeal rather than cold cereal. One cup of cooked oatmeal made with milk provides 13 g of protein compared with 7 g from 1 cup of Cheerios with half a cup of milk.

– Eggs are a great source of protein. While many are concerned about the cholesterol, most people can enjoy an egg a day without negatively effecting heart health. Hard-boiled eggs are great for a breakfast on the go. You can easily prepare several in advance for the week ahead. One hard-boiled egg on a slice of whole-wheat toast provides 9 g of protein. Add one ounce of cheese and you are up to 16 g protein.

– Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, can provide a protein punch at breakfast. One container of Greek yogurt (5 ounces) with half a cup of granola can provide up to 26 g of protein, depending on the brand of yogurt.

– Try a non-traditional breakfast. A turkey sandwich is a quick, easy breakfast that can provide a nice protein boost for your day.

So eat a breakfast your muscles can appreciate, and you’ll feel better today and in the long run.

Have any nutrition questions? Need help with meal planning or a special dietary need? Send your questions to me at kimberlykmarsh(at)gmail(dot)com, and I will answer them in upcoming posts!

Leave a comment

Filed under Nutrition