Do you ever get cravings that last about a month or so? Let me explain. Every now and then I want certain food and I want it every day. Therefore, I make it each day, I eat it and don’t get bored of it until I crave something different.
My cravings vary. Sometimes it’s sweet potato chips, sometimes homemade stews, donuts, curry pasta, etc. Now it’s oatmeal. However, you know how sometimes oatmeal can turn out too runny, too thick, too sweet or not at all tasty?
Well not anymore! Given the fact how often I make it, I figured out how to make perfect oatmeal/porridge every time.
Before we dive into the recipe let’s see what ingredients we will be using and what are their benefits.
Ingredients & Their Benefits
The obvious main ingredient – oats – are incredibly nutritious. They are great source of many vitamins (thiamin, pantothenic acid and small amounts of niacin), as well as minerals (manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc). Oats have a high fiber content meaning they keep you feeling full for longer. Oats can help lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Above all, they are great to have on the menu if you’re trying to lose weight.
Bananas are the queens of fruit. They’re convenient to eat, perfect portion size, sweet and have many health benefits. Due to potassium, fiber and vitamin B6 bananas can help reduce blood pressure and improve heart health.
Said fiber in bananas promotes digestive health. Bananas are great as a pre or post workout snack as they help maintain energy levels. In this recipe we will be using the banana as a sweetener.
Cocoa or cacao? Same letters, same tree but a whole lot of difference in nutrition. Like I said, both cocoa and cacao powder come from the same cacao bean. The difference is that cocoa powder is acquired by roasting the beans at much higher temperature. Heat destroys many compounds so cocoa powder is less nutritious than cacao powder.
Daily recommendation of cacao powder is two teaspoons but now let’s look at it’s benefits. Cacao is super high in antioxidants (40 times more than blueberries), vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Full of iron, magnesium and calcium no wonder why it’s called super-food. Cacao powder helps aid weight loss, regulates blood sugar levels, keeps your heart and brain healthy and acts as a mood enhancer/anti-depressant.
Super tiny but mega mighty – chia seeds are one of the healthiest foods. They’re loaded with fiber, antioxidants, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. High fiber and protein content aid in weight loss, while antioxidants fight free radicals and help keep us young and healthy. Chia seeds reduce high blood pressure and may raise HDL (good) cholesterol.
Furthermore, these tiny seeds are high in calcium, magnesium and phosphorus which are all important for strong, healthy bones. It’s easy to add chia seeds to your diet because they taste rather bland so you won’t even notice them. One important tip I’ll give you is to soak chia seeds before eating them. This makes them easier to digest and the nutrients are better absorbed.
Almonds are one of the most popular nuts and for a good reason. They are packed with healthy fats, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. All of these nutrients are highly beneficial for our bodies. Vitamin E is great for keeping our brain and heart healthy.
Meanwhile, healthy fats can reduce the risk of heart disease and reduce inflammation. Having a low carbohydrate count makes almonds perfect for adding on the menu if you’re trying to lose weight. Considering almonds are high in protein, they are great to have as a pre or post workout snack.
First things first, we are talking about 100% natural peanut butter here. What does that mean? It means it’s peanut butter made from peanuts and nothing else. No added sugars, salt or oil. Second thing – I wrote a blog post specifically for peanut butter benefits so have a quick read if you don’t know what they are!
Dark chocolate essentially comes from cacao bean so the benefits are pretty much the same as what I wrote above for cacao powder. One thing I’ll mention is to eat dark chocolate in moderation. Also, acceptable (healthy) dark chocolate would be 70% cacao or higher.
For today’s recipe we will be using strawberries mainly as a decoration. However, there’s no harm in eating a few juicy ones as you’re making your oatmeal ;)! Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C which means healthy, young looking, glowing skin. Vitamin C also strengthens immune system.
Like many other berries, strawberries are rich in antioxidants which help fight free radicals. This red heart-shaped sweetie helps regulate blood sugar and acts as a mood enhancer. Unfortunately, strawberries are heavily sprayed with pesticides so buy local, organic whenever you have the chance!
As you can tell, the oatmeal we are about to make is a proper nutrition bomb. So what better way to start your day and keep you fueled until your midday snack? Let’s get cooking.
Perfect Oatmeal Recipe
- 45 grams oats
- 285 ml water or milk of choice (I use Alpro Coconut Almond milk)
- half a banana
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cacao powder
- 10 almonds
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon peanut butter
- 1 square dark chocolate (chopped)
- strawberries for decoration
- dessicated coconut (for decoration, optional)
The oat – milk ratio is what makes or breaks your oatmeal/porridge. It took me a while to figure this out and the right ratio but I finally got it. Second make or break thing is how long you cook it for so let’s see how long it really takes!
Before we start anything take two teaspoons of chia seeds and let them soak in water while you prepare the rest. Pour 285 ml water or milk of choice in a sauce pan and add 45 grams of oats to it. Stir occasionally and once the milk/water is warm add 1 1/2 teaspoon cacao powder. Bring the mixture to boil then let it simmer for a minute. Turn off the heat.
Mash half a banana with a fork (make it really runny and add to oats). Chop 10 almonds, add to sauce pan and stir. Transfer the mixture into desired bowl. Now we’re ready for toppings.
Pour one teaspoon of peanut butter down the middle. Chop the second half of banana into rings and add on top of your oatmeal. Do the same with strawberries. Saving the sweetest thing for last. Chop one square of dark chocolate and sprinkle in the middle. Last step, which is optional, is to sprinkle dessicated coconut all over.
That’s it, your perfect oatmeal is done! Keep in mind this is just a reference of how your oatmeal can taste (chocolate-peanut butter in this case). Feel free to experiment with flavours and toppings. Crucial thing is to get the oat – milk/water ratio.
As always, tell me in the comments what is your favourite oatmeal flavour and what toppings you have with it. If you have any questions or requests leave them in the comments as well!