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Friday, April 10, 2015

Foodie Friday

It's Foodie Friday! Food is amazing! And I think most people would agree with me on that statement! In the last month, I have started on this food journey of sorts. I have been trying to eat more healthy and focus on whole foods that are "clean". While I have my off days, as many people do, I have been pretty successful sticking to this new diet, well I guess lifestyle change is more fitting. It isn't always easy, but I can tell you on the days that I eat well and manage to stick to it for the whole day, I feel great! I feel like I have more energy and I don't feel so weighed down. Don't get me wrong, I have my cravings and I do  end up giving into them sometimes no matter how hard I try to ignore them. I don't think there is anything wrong with giving into them once in a while and I am not going to beat myself up over it. I just tell myself tomorrow is another day! Anyway, I have been loving this so much because I have been trying new things and cooking way more than I ever have before! And I am having fun with it, cooking is fun! Now if you had asked me if I liked to cook when I was 20, it would have been a resounding NO!!! In my thirties, I have come to love it! So I thought, maybe other people might like to try some of the things I have tried. And here begins a new series to this blog, Foodie Friday. I am going to share one recipe a week every Friday, well at least try to anyway. They will range from recipes I have kind of just come up with to recipes that I have found in cookbooks and other sources. If it is a recipe I found, but made changes to, I will include the original recipe, as some people may prefer the original. Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I figured I would start it off with something that will give you a good start to your day! It is an easy one and takes all of maybe 10 minutes to make, so it is perfect for those days you feel rushed to get out of the house on time! This is my own recipe and I call it my Banana Bread Oatmeal, mostly because it smells just like banana bread while it is cooking, and it tastes pretty darn good too!

Banana Bread Oatmeal

1 Banana (mashed or sliced)
1/4 -1/2 cup quick oats (Depends on how hungry you are!)
3/4 cup milk or water (either one works, milk makes it a little more creamy though and water is the healthier option) 
About 1 Tbsp honey (I usually just squeeze a dollop into the pot)
About 1 Tbsp Cinnamon (The amount of this will vary, depending on how much you like cinnamon, I prefer more some days and other days less)
Raisins (I only add these when I want it really sweet)

In a medium sauce pan, over low heat, combine the oats, milk/water, and banana. Stir occasionally. As it starts to thicken, stir in the honey and cinnamon until well combined. If you notice that your oatmeal is too thick, add a little more milk or water until it is the consistency you prefer. Once it is fully heated, pour into a bowl. Add some raisins as a topper, if you'd like, and enjoy!

Banana Bread Oatmeal
I love this oatmeal! It is so satisfying and the best part is the banana and honey act as a sweetener, so you don't need to add any brown sugar or other sugars to it. This recipe is also heart healthy, so for any of you trying to stick to a heart healthy diet, this is a good one for you! This is also vegetarian and vegan friendly, so for all my veggie friends out there, this is a good one for you too!

If you find yourself wondering what is so healthy about this breakfast, then I will tell you! However, before I tell you, I will add a disclaimer, I am not a nutritionist or a doctor, so don't take my word as gold here. Do your own research on these things too! The oats by themselves are a good source of soluble fiber that can actually help lower cholesterol. The fiber content of the oats actually helps to slow down digestion and can help to stabilize blood glucose levels, which is why eating oatmeal in the morning is so great. It will keep you feeling fuller longer. Now add to that a banana, which has virtually no saturated fats or cholesterol and is another good source of fiber, further adding to that staying fuller longer feeling. Bananas are generally know as a good source of potassium, but did you know they are also and good source of Vitamin C? Why, hello antioxidants, yes I will enjoy you today!! Bananas are also a really good source of Vitamin B6, which helps metabolize amino acids, glucose, and lipids. Essentially, a banana is a good helper in breaking down the proteins, sugars(carbs), and fats that you ingest into, well the things you need to fuel your body and make it run, so to speak. Now there are a lot are arguments out there about why cow's milk is bad for you and why dairy products in general are bad for you, however, I love milk! It is a good way to get in some Vitamin D, and living in Buffalo, where we don't always get a lot of sunlight, I will gladly have a glass of milk to get in that Vitamin D. Honey is a natural sweetener, which in my opinion is better than using other sugars or artificial sugar substitutes. Just make sure you are using 100% raw honey, because if you aren't more than likely you aren't eating real honey. Honey is great because it is a carbohydrate made up of Fructose, Glucose, Sucrose, and Maltose. These are basically fuel for your body, making honey a natural energy booster. This is kind of perfect when used in the morning with breakfast, because it will help you wake up and get going! And what is so great about cinnamon? Well, cinnamon has been shown to help lower blood glucose levels, so if you are considered pre-diabetic and you are trying your hardest to stave of diabetes, then adding cinnamon to your diet might help, this is not a guarantee, but it is worth trying. Feeling bloated? Cinnamon can help with that too. Cinnamon is also known to be a great antioxidant. Cinnamon can also help boost your metabolism. It has a tendency to act as a natural blood thinner, therefore increasing blood circulation. Increased blow flow could mean a boost to your metabolism, which in turn could help with weight loss. I could go on with the science of it all mostly because it fascinates the hell out of me, but others may find it boring to read, so I will end this here. Now what are you waiting for? Go enjoy a delicious breakfast!         

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