March 19, 2013

Oatmeal with Granola

A few weeks ago my family went to brunch at nearby hotel  We were looking for similar experience to what we had at A Ritz Carlton in Orlando.  We found a mini version of it at a J.W. Marriot in downtown Grand Rapids.  We enjoyed homemade waffles and custom made omelets that were fabulous.  But what really impressed upon me was the   Steel Cut Oatmeal "bar".  I spooned the oatmeal into a dish and served it up  with brown sugar, toasted coconut, roasted almond slices, and granola with dried fruit.  I loved it.  This makes eating breakfast something to look forward to.  And its easy.  I need all the encouragement I can get to keep up with all the food/diet advice I believe to be true.  Like breakfast being the most important meal of the day.  Nutritional experts have referred to breakfast as the most important meal of the day, citing studies that find that people who skip breakfast are disproportionately likely to have problems with concentration, metabolism, and weight.

Food for Thought:
According to research, skipping meals, especially breakfast, can actually make weight control more difficult. Breakfast skippers tend to eat more food than usual at the next meal or nibble on high-calorie snacks to stave off hunger. Several studies suggest that people tend to accumulate more body fat when they eat fewer, larger meals than when they eat the same number of calories in smaller, more frequent meals

After fasting all night, breakfast can kick-start your energy level. If you choose healthful, slow-burning foods, like whole grains and fruits, you should be able to control your appetite until midday. Overeating throughout the day is also less likely. Studies show that people who skip breakfast tend to make up for the calories later in the day, often with unhealthy, high-fat and high-calorie convenience foods.

There's another advantage, too. Eating breakfast increases the metabolic - or calorie-burning - rate. Consequently, you have more energy and weight control is easier. Watch out for foods heavy with refined sugars, like pastries and sugary cereals. These foods offer calories without many essential nutrients. High sugar foods and drinks may also cause your energy to soar briefly before it falls to lower levels. You may feel more drained and hungry, even if you ate breakfast.


  • Oatmeal cooked according to package instructions. 
  • Granola of choice, preferable homemade or a brand that is truly all natural with low sugar.(I like Cascadian Farms or Bear Naked)
  • Toasted coconut
  • Toasted almonds
  • Dried fruit
  • Brown sugar, just a little, about 1 tsp. 
  • Milk or cream
  1. In a bowl, pour about 1 Tbsp.  milk.
  2. Place oatmeal on top.
  3. Add brown sugar and other ingredients. 

What’s the difference between steel-cut, Scottish, Irish, rolled, quick-cooking, old-fashioned, and instant oats?
Some are milled differently, while others are exactly the same but called different names. For every type, the oats first undergo cleaning, hulling, and conditioning, which removes the outer shell (called a hull), leaving the inner kernel or oat groat. The groat is then brushed clean in scouring machines. Next, a kiln heats the groats to about 215 degrees Fahrenheit to deactivate their enzymes, which limits how the oils present in the germ can react with oxygen, making the oats stable for storage. Chelsea Lincoln, a representative from Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, says this is important because “oats go rancid very quickly if not stabilized.”
From there, the whole oat groats are processed differently depending on what type of oatmeal they are being made into. Lincoln says that to make steel-cut oats (also known as Irish oats), the groats are chopped up with steel blades. “This allows for a chewier oatmeal,” says Lincoln. For Scottish oats, the groats are ground into a meal, which makes a “porridge-type oat with a nice, creamy texture.” Irish and Scottish oats take about 30 minutes to cook.
Rolled (also known as old-fashioned) oats take less time to cook. The groats are softened by steaming, then run through metal rollers to flatten them. Lincoln says that Bob’s Red Mill regular rolled oats are flattened to 0.024 to 0.032 inches, while quick-cooking oats are rolled even thinner—about 0.017 to 0.022 inches—so they will cook in under five minutes. Instant oats are also rolled thin, but are then “cooked and then dried again,” says Lincoln. Just add hot water and stir.


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