Beating the Winter Blues: Blueberry Pineapple Oatmeal

In the spirit of keeping New Year’s Resolutions, I’d like to share a meal that is a staple in my diet.

As you might know, breakfast is very important, and some folks go as far as saying that it’s the most important meal of the day. This is because your metabolism can’t start revving until you’ve eaten. If you wake up at 6 a.m. and don’t eat until lunch, you’ve gone 5-6 hours without your metabolism running at its best. Additionally, studies have demonstrated that people who eat breakfast have better control over their appetite and eating habits, largely due to the fact that they aren’t starving by the time lunch rolls around.

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Yum :)

Eating breakfast can be difficult if you have busy mornings, but oatmeal is a tried-and-true, easy, filling breakfast. I use regular Quaker Oats, which cook in the microwave in just 2.5 minutes. When I was in college, I’d put all my oatmeal ingredients in something microwave safe and easily portable, such as a ceramic mug with a lid or a small glass Pyrex container. Once I got to work, I’d just add water and microwave it – so simple!

The ingredients in my oatmeal largely stay the same because I love it this way – it’s nutritious, delicious, and I just know that I’m doing my body so much good by eating it this way. However, you can easily sub in other fruits if you’d prefer. Here’s a little bit about each ingredient that I use:

Oats: Like I said, I use regular Quaker Oats that come in the big container. They’re “Heart Smart,” mostly because they’re a great source of fiber, which helps lower cholesterol.

Flax Seed: Flax is something that I’ve only recently started adding to my diet. It’s a fabulous source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are so important in preventing chronic inflammation, which is one factor that contributes to many chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.

Walnuts: Walnuts are a great source of unsaturated fatty acids, protein, and fiber. They’ve been touted as a “super food” because of the unique phytochemicals that they contain, and they are also known to be anti-inflammatory in nature.

Pineapple: Pineapple contains fiber, vitamin C, and provides a bit of sweetness to the oatmeal. I generally use canned Pineapple Tidbits in its own juices, which makes adding sugar to the mixture totally unnecessary. If you have fresh pineapple, even better!

Raisins: Although dried fruit tends to be higher in sugar than fresh fruit, I always add raisins (or occasionally Craisins) to my oatmeal. They add fiber, and perhaps most beneficial is the phenols they contain. Phenols are antioxidants, which helps your body fight harmful free radicals. Raisins are also a good source of potassium.

Blueberries: These guys take this breakfast to the next level, and I use frozen blueberries when fresh aren’t available. Blueberries are also known as a “super food” for both their nutrients and their phytochemical profile. Blueberries contain only 40 calories and 6 g sugar for ½ cup, and they also have 3 g fiber. They’re also rich in antioxidants such as anthocyanin and they help lower cholesterol and improve cognitive functioning. What’s most interesting to me is that blueberries also help alleviate physical symptoms of stress, improve memory, and decrease symptoms of depression, thus helping you beat the winter blues.

Overall, this recipe is nutrient dense and filling – with 10 g of fiber, it’s sure to keep you feeling full all morning. It’s also a good source of protein, potassium (15% of your daily needs), and it contains 1300 mg of omega-3 fatty acids (65% the daily recommendation), and it contains no sodium or cholesterol.

Without further ado, here is the recipe that I use – enjoy!

Blueberry Pineapple Oatmeal

Ingredients:

  • ¼ c. Quaker Old Fashioned Oats (You can take this up to ½ cup if you like – I just can’t eat that much!)
  • ½ c. Water (You can substitute skim milk instead of water for more protein if you like – my “recipe guinea pig” seems to love it this way!) (1 cup of water/milk if using ½ cup of oats)
  • ¼ c. Raisins
  • ⅛ c. Walnuts
  • ½ c. Pineapple Tidbits
  • 1 T. Ground Milled Flax Seed
  • ½ c. frozen Blueberries

Directions:

  1. Combine oats, water, raisins, walnuts, and flax seed in a microwave safe container and microwave for 2 minutes and 30 seconds
  2. Remove from microwave, stir, and stir in blueberries and pineapple (with juice)
  3. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 440

Total Fat: 13.5 grams

Sat Fat: 1 gram

Unsat Fat: 12.5 grams

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 1300 mg

Cholesterol: 0 mg

Sodium: 0 mg

Potassium: 630 mg

Total Carbohydrate: 75 grams

Dietary Fiber: 10 grams

Sugars: 45 grams

Protein: 8.5 grams

Vitamin C: 30% daily value

Iron: 16% daily value

Calcium: 6% daily value

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