I just came back from a very fun and relaxing vacation. And while it is never easy to readjust to the daily routine after being away, for some reason this time it has been more difficult for me than usual. Maybe it is because after a long, and somewhat dreary winter here in New York City, I was finally spending lots of time outdoors in the sunshine skiing with my family. Or perhaps it is because I had the opportunity to reconnect with an old friend who I had not seen in many years. Or maybe it is just the simple fact that the Rocky Mountains in Colorado are incredibly beautiful and who wouldn’t be just a little bit sad to leave such an amazing place.
But whatever the reason, I am dragging my feet a bit this week and find myself frequently daydreaming about how and when my family and I can return to Colorado. What all that daydreaming has meant for me in the kitchen is that I have needed to take some shortcuts to get healthy food on the table with the least amount of time and effort. Fortunately, I remembered this post from the Food Babe for a make-ahead breakfast parfait that I thought was a great idea and had been wanting to try out. What better way to save time in the morning than to spend less than 5 minutes preparing breakfast (or a great afternoon snack) the night before.
So a few nights ago I headed into my kitchen to give it a try. I didn’t have all of the same ingredients so I used what I had on hand and put my own twist on the Food Babe’s recipe. I used steel cut oats instead of oat groats, Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Crunchy Cereal, shredded coconut and added some sprouted chia and flaxseed powder by Organic Traditions that I was excited to find at Fairway Markets (if you can’t get to Fairway you can also find it here). I am a big fan of both chia and flaxseeds as good sources of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids and sprouting greatly increases the nutrient and antioxidant levels in the seeds. I am also a big fan of sprouting seeds and grains to improve digestibility and allow for greater absorption of nutrients (for more about the health benefits of sprouted grains you can read my post here), so needless to say, this product was right up my alley. And the great thing is this powder is very mild, almost tasteless, so you can add it to just about everything you eat from smoothies and cereals to salads and baked goods, for added nutrition and health benefits.
I will wrap up by giving you some health highlights of steel cut oats. Steel cut oats are rich in fiber, B-vitamins, iron, calcium and protein. They are whole grain oat groats that have been coarsely chopped into two or three pieces with steel blades rather than undergoing the additional processing of rolled oats to flatten them into a flake. Because of this, steel cut oats have a lower glycemic index (a measurement that predicts how much a person’s blood sugar will spike after eating) than rolled oats and they take longer to digest which keeps you feeling fuller for a longer period of time. A diet that includes steel cut oats may decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.
So the next time you need a break from breakfast or want a healthy snack you can make ahead and grab when you are on the go, I hope you think of this recipe and give it a try. Enjoy!
- ¼ cup steel cut oats
- ¼ cup Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Crunchy Cereal
- 1 tablespoon of shredded coconut
- a pinch of cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon of sprouted chia & flaxseed powder - I use Organic Traditions. (As a substitute you can use chia seeds, chia powder or ground flaxseeds)
- ¾ cup almond milk (I use homemade). If you prefer a thicker consistency, use a little less almond milk.
- 1 cup of fresh or frozen fruit of your choice
- In a one pint wide mouth mason jar, add the steel cut oats, Ezekiel cereal, coconut, cinnamon, chia & flaxseed powder, cinnamon and almond milk.
- Stir the contents together.
- Top the mixture with the fruit.
- Place in the refrigerator overnight.
- Can be left in the refrigerator for several days.
- Enjoy right out of the refrigerator or at room temperature. You can also warm in the oven for about 10 minutes at 300 degrees.