Organic Steel Cut Oatmeal with Cinnamon and Walnuts

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I can control what I eat and how much I exercise, but I can’t control my family medical history. I just had my annual physical and certain numbers have changed since my visit, so it’s time for me to take control! Let me just say that my numbers were not so bad that I need to take medications or supplements, but I got my wakeup call to take action. So for the next six months, I will be working on getting regular exercise, making some changes to my diet and most importantly, reducing my intake of juke foods! By doing this, I hope to find out if these changes were caused by my bad habits, not exercising enough and eating juke food, or just getting older and genetics!

I prefer steel cut oats over rolled oats, because they are less processed and therefore, retain more fiber and protein. Before, I made my steel cut oatmeal with healthy walnuts and organic dry cranberries. Now, I make it with healthy walnuts and cinnamon! Rather than sweetening my oatmeal with brown sugar or honey, I use Stevia instead, because it does not affect blood glucose levels.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup Trader Joe’s Organic Steel Cut Oats
  • Cinnamon
  • Organic walnuts, chopped
  • Organic Stevia
  • Organic nonfat milk, optional

Directions:

  1. Boil water in a medium saucepan. Add oats and stir. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add Stevia to taste.
  2. Place oatmeal in individual bowls. Sprinkle with cinnamon and walnuts. Add milk, if desired. Serves 4.

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I have listed below some of the health benefits of each of the three key ingredients:

Benefits of Steel Cut Oatmeal

  • Improving blood sugar levels in diabetics and improving cholesterol levels
  • A good source of protein
  • A good source of B vitamins and iron

Benefits of Walnuts

  • Decrease the LDLs (bad cholesterol)
  • Reduce the problems associated with the Metabolic Syndrome—excessive blood fats (triglycerides), high blood pressure, low HDLs (good cholesterol) and obesity
  • Help in reducing the risk of future cardiovascular problems associated with type 2 diabetes

Benefits of Cinnamon

  • Helps reduce triglycerides
  • Aids in the prevention of tissue damage and inflammation caused by high levels of blood sugar
  • Helps to reduce the rise of blood sugar levels after a meal
  • Promotes better brain function

For the next six month I will greatly reduce my consumption of my favorite “prepared” cereals to see if making these slight changes will make a difference in my numbers. For an occasional variation, I will be adding some healthy blueberries or raspberries to my oatmeal!

References:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=99

http://news.health.com/2014/11/21/health-benefits-of-cinnamon/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/358909-benefits-of-steel-cut-oats/

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Organic Snickerdoodle Cookies

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Since my daughter is away at college, I thought I would send her a care package with some of her favorite cookies. This is the first time I am using almost all organic ingredients. This classic cookie has been around for a long time!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic butter
  • 1 1/2 cups organic sugar
  • 2 organic large eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups sifted organic flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons organic sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Cream together the butter and the sugar, then add the eggs and mix thoroughly. Blend in flour, cream of tartar and baking soda. Chill dough for about an hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in small shallow bowl. Shape dough into rounded teaspoonful balls. Roll balls into the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Place the balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. I like using parchment paper when I bake, because the cookies don’t stick to the sheet or get too brown. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.