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Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal with Brown Sugar Recipe
Oatmeal has long been considered a breakfast superfood. Health experts at the MayoClinic, for example, recommend eating fiber-rich foods like oatmeal as part of a diet to reduce "bad" LDL cholesterol.
Unfortunately, left on it's own oatmeal's taste can seem rather plain. The good news is that adding sweetness doesn't have to mean a lot of extra calories or sugar. Using natural ingredients is the key to making a flavorful bowl to wake you up in a delicious but still healthy way!
All oatmeal starts out the same way - the actual grain, called groats. From there, different manufacturers continue processing according to their own needs. Contrary to what many people think, the nutritional value doesn't vary much from one type to another.
1/2 cup dry oatmeal contains on average:
- 150 calories
- 2.5 grams of fat
- No cholesterol
- No sodium
- 4 gr fiber
- 5 gr protein
- 1% daily calcium requirement
- 6% daily iron requirement
Different grinds of oatmeal include:
- Steel-Cut or Irish - The groats are chopped small into seed-sized bites. This type needs to be cooked for abut 45 minutes before eating.
- Stone-Ground or Scottish - The groats are chopped smaller than the steel-cut. That makes the cooking time for this kind shorter, about 15-20 minutes.
- Quick Cook Oats - The groats are steamed, then rolled out flat into small flakes. Their cooking time usually ranges from 1-5 minutes.
- Instant Oats - The groats are finely diced, flattened, then pre-cooked. It can finish cooking in the microwave or by adding boiling water. (Note: Many times these brands will come with flavorings added, which means extra sugar and salt.)
A medium apple contains about 90 calories and 4 grams of fiber. One piece of fruit provides antioxidants like vitamin C, K, B6, and riboflavin - plus potassium, manganese, calcium and iron among other minerals.
In other words, apples will add a big boost of nutrition to your breakfast!
Some Readily Available Varieties of Apples To Try
Crimson in color
Crisp skin, flesh is juicy but very mild
Very sweet, satisfying
Dark red color with green
Crunchy, sweet with hints of wine
Pink speckles on a yellowish background colo
Sweet and rather mild
Deep red color
Sweet, can have a "pear-like" flavor
Recipe: Easy Chunky Apple Topping
You can use one type of apple if it's more convenient. But using a combination will add depth to the topping's flavor.
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 3 MacIntosh apples (or a combination of types), cored, peeled and sliced thinly
- 1/4 cup apple juice, unsweetened
- 1 tbsp lemon or orange juice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Coat the bottom of a medium sized saucepan with the oil and heat to a medium temperature. Put the apples, juice and cinnamon into the pan and stir to combine everything well.
- Turn down the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes until the apples are softened. Keep the sauce warm on a low setting until you're ready to use it. Store any extra in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
The apple sauce features the warm flavor of this spice. But add another teaspoon on top for an extra punch of nutrition.
Just 1 teaspoon has 25 grams of calcium, 1 gram of fiber, 22 % of the daily recommended manganese, plus iron and vitamins C and K. It contains healing properties for the digestive tract and an anti-inflammatory effect on the body.
Special Brown Sugar
Regular brown sugar is simply white sugar mixed with molasses. It has a rich flavor that will go especially well with apples and cinnamon.
But if you want to try something a little different, make a batch of your own "brown sugar" with an unexpected ingredient.
- 1 cup of white sugar
- 2 tbsp of maple syrup
Mix with a fork until fully blended.