(Original story published on Tuesday April 7th, 2015 on FoodNetwork.ca.)
Whether it was my sugar-topped French toast at weekend brunch dates or my standard weekday bowl of “healthy” cereal, I’ve always just loved breakfast. It wasn’t until recently when I became Goop-obsessed and read more about what I was putting into my body that it hit me: My first meal of every single day was simply just food. Breakfast for me was empty calories, nutrition-bankrupt and a hormonal issue waiting to happen.
The solution? Old-Fashioned Oatmeal. It’s a hearty, filling breakfast, and as Dr. Perricone explains, it’s high in fibre that helps control your weight, discourages cardiovascular disease and can help stabilize blood sugar.
But, if you’ve ever had plain oatmeal, you know it can be quite tasteless. So I’ve put together three ways to top off your bowl of oats to make your meal not only delicious, but so much more nutritious.
For your old-fashioned oats, I recommend Bob’s Red Mill Organic Old-Fashioned Oatmeal. One serving will take about 10 minutes to make.
As for the toppings, add as much or little as you’d like, to taste.
1. Apple, Walnuts and Cinnamon
Green Apples: The quercetin (a flavonol found in many fruits) in green apples helps to reduce the mast cell activity that leads to breakouts and inflammation. Plus, the pectin in apples can decrease your appetite for a few hours.
Walnuts: They’re rich in short-chain Omega-3 essential fatty acids, which help to prevent angina, strokes and heart attacks. Plus, according to Dr. Perricone, they’re “high in the amino acid arginine, which prompts the body to release vital hormones, stimulate sexuality, increase lean muscle mass, burn fat, lower cholesterol, and boost the immune system.”
Cinnamon: It can stabilize blood sugar, reduce cholesterol and reduce cellular inflammation, which is a major age accelerator.
2. Cook the oatmeal as advised on the package (you’ll want about 1/2 cup per serving). Once the oats are thick and soft, stir in the chopped apple and cinnamon. Cover the pot and cook for about five minutes, or until the apples are tender.
Banana, Unsweetened Shredded Coconut and Chia Seeds
Bananas: They’re known primarily for their potassium content and for being a quick source of energy. But bananas also contain amino acid which promotes healthy hair and nail growth, and protects the body from aging. They’re easily digested, soothe the lining of your stomach and contain carbs that increase mood-enhancing serotonin production. Meaning? Bananas make you happy!
Unsweetened Shredded Coconut: It’s simply a delicious, natural sweetener.
Chia Seeds: They’re a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which strengthen cells to help reduce inflammation and protect skin from sun damage. Chia seeds are entirely protein-based, composed of amino acids that encourage healthy hair and nails, and are full of calcium and zinc, which promote a blemish-free complexion. Furthermore, they’re packed with soluble fibre, which reduces bloating, helping you feel fuller longer.
2. Cook the oatmeal as advised on the package (you’ll want about 1/2 cup per serving). Once the oats are thick and soft, stir in the sliced banana and chia seeds. Cover the pot and cook for about five minutes.
Blueberry, Maple Syrup, Cinnamon and Flaxseed
Blueberries: This fruit is antioxidant-rich and a vitamin powerhouse. Blueberries contain phytochemicals that can enter areas of the brain to help with learning and memory. Furthermore, they’re an anti-aging food and are great for all organ systems including the skin.
100% Pure Maple Syrup: A natural sweetener that contains traces of minerals like zinc, manganese and iron.
Cinnamon: Again, it can stabilize blood sugar, reduce cholesterol and reduce cellular inflammation, which is a major age accelerator.
Flaxseed: It’s full of phytochemicals that help with digestion and may help prevent breast cancer. Flax contains omega-3’s that decrease levels of a hormone that can cause clogged pores and breakouts, to promote a more flawless, hydrated complexion.