Monday, March 19, 2012

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

 Hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend-- mine was fantastic! I got a job teaching English here in Mexico and looking forward to the joys as well as challenges that it will bring, surely I will be writing more about this in the future. We have had some really beautiful evening sunsets lately and thought I would share (pictured on the left). Plus, our shower got fixed, so we now have hot water! And lastly, we tried out a new Church this weekend (it's actually an English one) but seems solid, which might be our new Church home for the time being. Lots happening around here, so let's start the week off strong with a good and delicious breakfast.
   Craving some dessert for breakfast? Well okay, it might not be as rich, but it sure is a tasty treat for your first meal in the morning and does have a similar essence as carrot cake, just healthier. You are probably thinking that this sounds quite odd-- "carrots in my oats!?". I know, because I too thought it was a crazy combination. yet I love me some carrot cake :) Plus, who wouldn't want to get a serving of veggies to start the morning off right. Honestly, I never use to eat oatmeal, it was just blah for me (maybe because growing up I only ate the pre-packaged kind, even though those are packed with sugar). But then my twin sister (who is coming to visit in a week--stoked!) introduced me to the stove-top kind and it sparked some fireworks for me, but not too much. Then one day I made this Coconut Banana Oatmeal (recipe coming soon) and have been on an oatmeal kick ever since. Well actually like more in love... maybe even eating two bowls a day sometimes : /  I think my husband thinks I am little crazy at times...Well at least it's healthy. Eating oats actually provides an incredible source of health benefits to your body!
  1.  Great source of dietary Fiber: "FDA allows a health claim for benefits of oatmeal to lower blood cholesterol that arise from effects of the fiber" --Contemporary Nutrition Textbook
  2. Keeps the Heart Healthy: oats contain a ton of good nutrients and essential vitamins, high fiber, and low levels of fat, all in which improve your cholesterol, lowering one of the leading causes of heart disease.
  3. Weight Control: helps reduce cravings for junk foods as well as keeps you fuller longer-- win,win. 
  4. Easy to prepare and so many ways to do it!

Carrot Cake Oatmeal: 1 large serving
Adapted from the Blog: Oh She Glows
Note: Her recipe is a lot more decadent in flavors, as well as steps-- mine is a more simple casual version. 

1/2 cup of rolled oats
1-1 1/2 cups milk (I use water)*
1 carrot or about 1 cup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2+ tsp brown sugar (adjust to your sweet tooth)
1 Tbsp raisins (heaping)
1 tsp cinnamon 
* Depending on how you like your oats, add the half cup for more creamy texture or if you prefer a more chewy texture, stick with just the one cup. 
Also, I use water instead of milk-- saves money spent on milk and makes for less calories. Or you could opt for a combination of milk and water. You could also use flavored milk like almond or coconut to jazz it up even more!
Finely grate the carrot, make sure you use the fine one as it helps combine the carrots in the dish. Add milk into a saucepan over medium heat. Add in cinnamon and vanilla extract. Stir in oats and grated carrots and cook for about 10 minutes (if using more liquid) or until the mixture has thickened and absorbed the liquid.  Combine raisins and allow them to plump up from the heat ( just a few seconds). Pour into a bowl and top with the brown sugar and any other additional toppings. ¡Buen Prevecho!

Additional Toppings: walnuts, coconut flakes, milk, maple syrup, ground flax seed (I usually add about 1 Tbsp)

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