It’s been a really long time since I’ve posted an oatmeal recipe, so today I want to share an old favorite that’s quick and easy and makes a delicious breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s one of my all-time favorites and can be ready in less than ten minutes.
February is Heart Month, and a great time to shine the spotlight on heart-healthy foods. I often recommends oats as the go-to grain for my clients looking to improve their cardiovascular health. Here’s why:
- Oats play an important role in lowering cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease, thanks to the power of the soluble fiber called beta-glucan.
- Oatmeal was the first food-specific health claim approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration: “Soluble fiber from oatmeal as a daily part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. Three grams daily are needed for this benefit.”
Oats also make a great blank canvas for all kinds of other flavors. If you’ve been with me awhile, then you know about my weird love of savory oatmeal. This one is easy-peasy and filling enough to last you for hours, thanks to the winning combo of complex carbs, protein, and healthy fats. To be fully transparent, 99% of the time I make oatmeal, I do it in the microwave, which is why you’ll see both a stovetop and a microwave-friendly version. You can’t have to put the egg or grated zucchini in your oats, but I highly recommend it. The egg whites add protein (using a whole egg would also add some fat plus vitamins A and D and choline) and a fluffy texture, and the zucchini adds volume, fiber, and vitamin C.
Avocado is another one of my favorite heart-healthy foods, thanks to those monounsaturated fats, which help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise “good” HDL cholesterol. They’re also a good source of potassium, which is an important nutrient to get enough of to support healthy blood pressure. Also on my “yes please” list? Ground flax! Flaxseed is a great source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based form of omega-3 fatty acid that has been studied extensively for its benefit to heart health.
I hope you dig this as much as I do.
For the Oats:
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup rolled oats like Quaker
- 1 tablespoon ground flax
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 cup egg whites or 1 beaten egg (optional)
- dash of sea salt
- 1 cup grated zucchini (optional)
- 1/4-1/2 avocado, sliced
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium salsa
- 1 tablespoon low-fat plain Greek yogurt
- On stovetop, bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Lower heat and add oats, flax, zucchini, and spices. Cook until almost all liquid is absorbed.
- Whisk in egg whites about 1 minute. Turn off heat, cover pot, and allow to sit 5 minutes.
- Pour oats in a bowl and top with avocado, salsa, and yogurt.
Variations: You can make the oats in the microwave by combining all ingredients (even egg whites), stirring well, and cooking on HIGH in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until oats are cooked through and fluffy.
Nutrition Stats (for 1 bowl of oats with egg whites and zucchini, topped with 1/2 a haas avocado, 1 tabelspoon plain Greek yogurt, and 2 tablespoons low-sodium salsa): 321 calories, 16 grams fat (unsaturated), 14 grams total carbohydrate, 11 grams fiber, 19 grams protein, and 164 milligrams sodium.
You can check out the original post here.
***Disclaimer: I was provided with free samples of Quaker Oats but was not compensated for my time. Opinions are my own.
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