Of course we all do.
But how does a person go about this?
Well we can always turn to the sensational media claims about oat-based products as being “Heart Healthy”. After all, we all know that something that tastes as bland and as unappealing as oatmeal just HAS to be good for us. Right?
Now I am sure you will hear equal arguments from flapping heads on both sides about the validity of oatmeal’s claims or perhaps how it’s all balderdash propaganda set up by an international oat cartel that controls half the world’s population via hot breakfast cereal. This entry is not about making such wild assumptions or giving out health advice. It is simply about my experience, and my current recipe made with Quaker Brand Oatmeal.
To be honest with everyone up front, this is actually my wife’s recipe. I placed my name on it because she made me swear to never utter or write her name in close proximity to the word “colon” ever again. So for the purposes of this entry I will refer to this as my recipe.
To put it simply, fiber is that which makes things move. Not to get to technical or disgusting, but insoluble fiber never gets digested.
The human body does however use insoluble fiber to its advantage. You see, when we eat something the chunks, mush, and digestive juices that was our ground up meal move on down from the stomach into our small intestine. Once there, this mush-like substance called chyme is absorbed by the systems in the small intestine. Because whole grains have an outer shell of insoluble fiber, the body works longer and harder to break down the carbohydrates slated to become sugar. This stabilizes blood sugar levels and actually burns a few more calories in the process.
At the same time, this left over insoluble fiber is moving through the small intestine, into the large intestine, and down into the colon. All along the way grinding against the sidewalls of the intestine and picking up bad cholesterol and other nastiness during its travels. This leftover “package” is then packed together pretty firm in the colon. Once complete, you are then ready for a special delivery. If a person drinks enough water they will KNOW when the postman arrives.
To further explain all the health benefits of a properly “tuned” digestive system is beyond the scope of this entry. However for anyone with digestive problems, it is certainly something you might want to read up on.
So enough of the poop science, lets talk about oatmeal.
If the dear reader has indulged me thus far, I do apologize for the digestive digression. I felt a little background was a necessity in explaining the ingredients that we will be using.
- ½ cup Quaker Brand Oatmeal
- 1 Tablespoon of Flax Seed Meal
- 1 Small handful of Shelled Walnuts
- Slightly less then 1 Tablespoon of Black Strap Molasses
- Slightly less then 1 Tablespoon of Honey
- Small Dash of Ground Nutmeg
- Small Dash of Ground Auspice
- Full Dash of Ground Cinnamon
- Small Dash of Ground Cayenne Pepper
I have reduced some of the ingredients a bit to illustrate the basic recipe. All of the measurements are open for experimentation. For instance, I frequently use 2 Tablespoons of Flax Seed Meal or a full dash of Cayenne Pepper to reap the additional benefits of a particular ingredient. As I explain each ingredient to the reader you will understand why I modify.
So let's take a look at the ingredients.
Old Fashion Quaker Oats
Sounds sort of wholesome doesn’t it? Now this is just standard instant oatmeal. Not the stuff that comes in an individual pack laced with sugar and chemicals. We are looking for the kind in the big cylinder that will make you feeling like you are cooking breakfast in the 30’s.
Right out of the gate this is good stuff. A serving is ½ cup and only 150 calories. Two of the three grams of fat in it is Poly/Mono unsaturated (the good fat), and two of the four grams of fiber are insoluble.
Flax Seed Meal
Now some of you might have heard a lot about this ingredient and it’s benefits, some of you, of course could be completely clueless of it. In my opinion this is a health food great. Serving size is 2 Tablespoons giving you 60 calories. With that you get a whopping 4 grams of insoluble fiber and 4.5 grams of fat, 4 of which are Poly/Mono unsaturated. A true fiber superstar.
This is probably the best nut a person could eat for their health, in my opinion that is. A small handful of these have about 200 calories. It gives us 2 grams of insoluble fiber, and 16.5 of its 20 grams of fat are Poly/Mono unsaturated. These guys are packed with Omega 3 Fatty Acids, if that means anything to you. For me it means that it literally turns off my hunger for the next 3 hours.
Black Strap Molasses
A word of caution about molasses: Molasses is a viscous byproduct of the processing of sugarcane or sugar beats into sugar. In reality this means it is the leftovers from boiling all of the sugar out of plant matter about three times over. Molasses is the vegetative mass of tar that is left behind. However it tastes good and it has all the nutritional properties of the plant matter minus a great deal of its sugar. So it can be very healthy, and uh very poisonous if your not careful.
You see, all the great nutritional aspects of the boiled plants are compressed into molasses, as we know it. Unfortunately if these plants were treated with pesticides then you get a decent concentrated dose of that as well. This is why I use Fair Trade Certified Organic Black Strap Molasses. All of the good stuff and none of the bad.
A serving of this is 1 tablespoon and it is about 60 calories. Keep in mind that we are using this as a sweetener so the nutritional benefits are mainly in the potassium, iron and various vitamin departments.
This is used as an additional sweetener, it also helps thin out the oatmeal mixture and makes its overall flavor more palatable. 1 Tablespoon of this is about 60 calories. Because bees feed honey to their young is has a natural antibiotic in it to kill off infection to make the hive grow strong. This is one of the reasons why it is so good to take a spoonful of honey when a soar throat comes along.
A flavor additive whose health benefits range from increasing blood circulation to controlling blood sugar levels. A dash of this is a mere calorie or two.
A flavor additive whose benefits have been used to calm an unruly stomach, lower blood pressure, and ease stress. One must also note that using too much nutmeg can be a bit poisonous/hallucinogenic. Sailors used to smoke ground nutmeg to ward off sea sickness, when in fact it probably just made matters worse. Use this spice with care. A dash of this is a mere calorie or two.
Yet another flavor additive that helps with digestion, regulating blood sugar, and has the added benefit of curbing appetite. A dash of this is a mere calorie or two.
Are you kidding me?
Why on Earth would I want to add this to my breakfast?
To spice things up of course.
At first, my wife started sneaking this into my morning oatmeal in less then lethal doses. She did this covertly every day until I commented on how tasty the oatmeal was. I said it has a nice little “zing” to it. With that, her face crawled into an “I told you so” pose and she explained to me what she had been doing. Ever since then I have been putting increasing amounts of Cayenne Pepper in my morning oatmeal to up my tolerance.
Not only does this increase blood flow but also your metabolism will soon follow. So give it a try and see if you like it. A dash of this is a mere calorie or two.
Altogether this seems a bit of an odd mixture, the flavor is surprisingly good. It’s a very healthy breakfast that comes in just shy of 540 calories with 8 grams of insoluble fiber and 22.5 grams of good fat.
So enough with this bean counting, let's cook!
Ok take your ½ cup of Oatmeal and place it in a microwave safe bowl.
Next, saturate the oatmeal just enough to get it wet and you can see it just barely floating.
Place in the microwave for 1 minute and 10 seconds. Cooking times might vary with your oven. I use this amount of time because it is a rough estimate of how long it takes me to gather all the rest of the ingredients.
Once out of the oven add the flax seed meal.
Then add the walnuts. I like to crush them up in my hand.
Slowly drizzle the black strap molasses on top of the mixture. After all we don’t want to schmaltz up the cap.
Add your honey with the same care and the molasses.
Carefully pepper on your spices.
And finally give it a good mix. Tada!!!
Finally if you feel you can master these steps on a daily basis and enjoy the taste, you will start to notice a certain regularity coming back into your life. Furthermore the packages you will be receiving will be wrapped up neat, tight and on schedule. This of course will forestall any need for undue paper work.