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"Our lives are a book that has already been written. The brilliance of the plan is that we are only given a chapter at a time..." ~A. Drayton Boylston

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Carrie's Make-Ahead, FILLING, No-Cook Oatmeal

Who knew cold oatmeal could taste so good?  This is a great recipe, and quick and easy to make ahead of time.  Then grab one out of of the fridge and stash in your lunch bag or eat when you get a craving for something VERY filling and slightly sweet.

What's great about this basic recipe is that you can build on it without changing the consistency of it for the most part....and its easy enough to think of healthy fillers.

Here's the basic recipe.  It will fill a half pint container with some room at the top for mixing.

1/4 cup Old Fashioned Oats (do not use Quick Oats)
1/3 cup Skim milk (and I usually add a dash of coconut milk too)
1/4 cup plain Greek Yogurt
1-2 tsp Chia Seeds (can be purchased on Amazon.com or in health food stores....it is expensive but one bag lasts quite a long time since only a tsp or so is ever required in a recipe.  I buy the Spectrum brand at Whole Foods)
diced fresh fruit to your liking -- I've used raspberries, blueberries, bananas and mango
1 tsp Agave Nectar

Put the top on your container and shake it to mix up all the yummy ingredients.

Allow it to chill overnight, so it gets thicker.  These will keep for 2-4 days, except for those with bananas -- you should eat those within 2 days tops, before they turn brown and kinda gross.

Eat it chilled, this recipe isn't designed for heating :)

In case you're wondering why I add chia seeds....the reason is simple.... CHIA SEEDS ARE A DIETER'S DREAM COME TRUE.  They have a unique gelling action that keeps you full for hours.... and hunger is the enemy to any weight loss goal.  The gel is made up of water and has no calories.  Chia seeds also help balance blood sugar,  are a great source of Omega-3, and have age-defying antioxidants.   They also have the unique property, since they are naturally flavorless, of taking on the flavor of whatever you add them to.  They can literally taste like anything you want them to!  So what's not to love?????? :)  Since I first tried them, I've been hooked and have been adding them to fruity and desserty concoctions :)

Some recommended fillers for the oatmeal:
PB2 - This is awesome stuff that has twice the protein and half the fat of regular peanut butter.  It comes in powdered form, and is great for recipes like this, or for smoothies.  You can purchase it on Amazon.... I haven't seen it in stores.
Protein Powder - Add an interesting flavor for an extra boost of protein
Cacao Powder - I've added cacao to recipes I've added banana to.... chocolate and banana taste great together 
Extracts - Add a dash of extract to impart a unique flavor to your concoction.  I've used vanilla extract and almond extract.  Yum!

I'm sure you can think of your own delicious flavor combinations.... lots of possibilities here!  Enjoy :)

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