APPLE PIE STEEL CUT OATS

I have been wanting to do this post for over a month now but, my site was under construction. Why, you ask? Well my old hosting company went out of business and I had to implore a friend to redesign my site for a different web host. And can I tell you what a SAINT this man is… amazing! He was able to keep the essence of the previous site… while at the same time making it more user friendly, easier for me to update, and still pretty. (I know…what a girlie thing to say but, it was important to me). I am very sorry that this took this long but, everything worthwhile takes a little time. So a huge thank you to Mr. Haseman for all his tireless work and help! Now… for the Oats!

I received a brilliant and sweet email from Bec in Australia. She is hoping to find a 350 calorie rolled oat recipe for her new healthy breakfast routine. I had been dying to try an oatmeal yogurt pancake recipe and thought this would be perfect time to give it a whirl! But, I could never get the pancakes to the consistency I wanted them. So, I will keep trying that one on my own and report back once I get it to work.

But, let me back track a little. First, I must admit that have never been  a big fan of oatmeal. Not because of the flavor but, totally because of the consistency. As a kid I’d watch my dad and brother eat bowls and bowls full of this awesome smelling goodness. Each time I’d try to eat it however, I could barely get a spoonful down because the consistency made me nauseous. So, when Bec asked for this recipe… I knew right away I’d have to go with steel cut oats for myself because rolled and instant oats all create the texture that I for one can not handle. However, this recipe works just as well with rolled oats…plus rolled oatmeal have fewer calories for the same amount of oats….therefore please don’t fret. You can use the steel cut variety if you like you oatmeal with a little more chewy texture or rolled oats if you want a creamier texture. Either works and both are super delicious and great for your health!

Now for the recipe. I heard about the overnight oatmeal from a great friend of mine in Cleveland. I have been “meaning” to try it for over a year. I never did because I just didn’t believe her when she said it would be the easiest and tastiest oatmeal ever. I was being stubborn… I know. Bec’s request made me dust off this overnight wonder and give it a try. The original recipe was unflavored…which I knew wasn’t going to fly for me. So I decided to try out a recipe my dad made once when I was a kid that made me WISH I ate oatmeal…. APPLE PIE!

This recipe could NOT be any easier or faster. First you add all the ingredients and leave it to steep overnight! You seriously can’t get any quicker than that! And the ingredients again are super simple.  You will need a container of steel cut or rolled oats. You will need apple pie seasoning which is easy to find at any grocery store. It’s filled with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and cardamon. I added a little vanilla bean powder. This a slightly exotic sounding spice but, it’s simply ground vanilla beans. I used this for my pumpkin chai tea this fall! So delicious and it wasn’t expensive. You can use regular vanilla extract as well but, I had it in the cabinet so I thought why not. I also used vanilla almond milk and plain fat free greek yogurt! And the next morning, I topped it with a few chunks of tart granny smith apple! LOVED IT! I couldn’t believe how much I loved it. So I have to give a great shout out to Ms. Kim Brown in Cleveland for giving me the recipe ages ago! I was just too stubborn to try it.

This little treat will taste sinful but, it’s totally does the body good. Oats are filled with cholesterol lowering fiber, roughly 4 to 5g in every 1/4 cup. Fiber is also especially good for people dealing with blood sugar issues like diabetes and for people hoping to prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. It is recommended to get 25 to 38g of fiber per day. Most American’s take in less than 10g a day. This is an amazing way to start the day off right in the fiber category.

But, steel cut oats are also packed with protein. You will get 5 to 7g per 1/4 cup. Not bad at all! Oats in general are high in manganese, good in iron, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and low in calories. Steel cut oats also have a good amount of iron and calcium packed inside. Selenium in oats works well with Vitamin E to decrease asthma symptoms and helps reduce risk of heart disease. Selenium  also helps in the repair of DNA and has been suggested to help reduce risk of certain cancers, especially colon cancer. Also note that although oats contain a small amount of gluten, double blind tests have shown that it is well tolerated by people with Celiac disease, so give it a try even if you tend to go gluten free.

For years I avoided eating oatmeal in it’s porridge stage but, this one made me a believer… who knew! My next variation on this recipe will be carrot cake oats! I am sooo very very excited about that one. I will post the result soon! I will most definitely be adding it into rotation! Love it love it love it! So I hope you enjoy this quick and easy delight too. Have a great day!

Bon Appetit!

Overnight Apple Pie Steel Cut Oats
1/4 Cup     unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 Cup     Steel cut or Rolled Oats
1/2 Cup     Almond Mil
1/2 Cup     Fat Free Greek Yogurt
1-2 Tbsp    Apple Pie Seasoning (do to your own tastes. I like it spicy!)
1 Tbsp       Vanilla bean powder or Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup    Chopped green apple
container with a lid (ball jar, tupperware, etc)

Step 1         Pour oats and dry seasonings into the container. Mix well
Step 2        Add wet ingredients to the dry. Mix well
Step 3        Cover with lid and leave in fridge for 8 hours
Step 4        Add the chunks of apple and enjoy!

Tips:  1. If you’re vegan subtract the yogurt. 2. Don’t like almond milk try water, soy, regular milk, or unsweetened apple juice. 3. For softer texture add more liquid. The oats soften more or less based on the amount of liquid they have to absorb.

Let me know if you have any fun variations you’d like to share. Also send photos, requests, and leave comments.

NUTRITIONAL TIDBITS

Cinnamon: Manganese, Fiber, Calcium, and Cinnamaldehyde. Cinnamaldehyde aka cinnamic aldehyde, has anti-clotting and has anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation has been linked to diabetes, depression, heart disease and cancer. Manganese helps keep your bones strong and healthy, helps body synthesize fatty acids, helps maintain normal blood sugar levels, promotes optimal function of the thyroid gland, helps maintain health of nerves, and protects cells against free radical damage. Other foods high in manganese are: spelt, brown rice, garbanzo beans, spinach, pineapple, pumpkin seeds, cloves, thyme, turmeric, oregano, greens (mustard, collard, turnip, swiss chard, kale) raspberries, garlic, eggplant, quinoa, etc)

Yogurt: Iodine, Calcium, Phosphorus, Vitamins B2, B12,B5, Protein, Tryptophan, Potassium, Molybdenum, and Zinc. The highest quality yogurt in your grocery store contains live bacteria that provides a host of health benefits. Yogurt is a great immune system booster with zinc and live good bacteria. The B Vitamins are great for heart health by lowering cholesterol and boosting energy. Calcium is mostly known for maintaining bone strength and density, but it also is vital to nerve conduction, muscle contraction, blood clotting, helps PMS symptoms, as well as cellular and enzyme function. Calcium has also been linked to lowering body fat especially around the waist. Going for low fat, organic, and if possible grass fed dairy is best but not always possible. Greek Style yogurt possess on average 50% more protein, less sugars, and is much thicker so great substitute (when seasoned) for sour cream. It has more calories in it’s full fat version then regular yogurt so go fat free or Skim.

Zinc: is one of those things we think of when it comes to cold and flu season cure all, without understanding what other great things it does in the body. Zinc is an important regulator of many genetic activities. The cells of our body each have a special compartment called the nucleus, and inside the nucleus are approximately 100,000 genes. These genes provide instructions for the cell, and the cell has to decide which instructions to read. Zinc is essential for reading genetic instructions, and when diets do not contain foods rich in zinc, instructions get misread, or not read at all. (In biochemistry terms, the gene-reading process that requires zinc is called gene transcription.) Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, is often required to move sugar from our bloodstream into our cells. The response of our cells to insulin is called insulin response. When the foods in our diet do not provide us with enough zinc, insulin response decreases, and our blood sugar becomes more difficult to stabilize. Metabolic rate – the rate at which we create and use up energy – also depends on zinc for its regulation. When zinc is deficient in the diet, metabolic rate drops (along with hormonal output by our thyroid gland).