Pumpkin Spice Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

This breakfast recipe is not only easy and healthy, but also clearly the epitome of fall. Autumn is surely the season for all things pumpkin spice and apple cinnamon. Breakfast should fuel your day with long-lasting energy and deliciousness. Check and check. Let’s dig in, shall we?!

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup almond milk or water (or milk of choice)
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 apple chopped or 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon pepitas (pumpkin seeds) chopped walnuts, or pecans

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Instructions:

Add oats to liquid in pot on stove on medium heat. Once oats begin to cook and thicken, turn heat to low and add all other ingredients. Stir and finish cooking (should take about 5-8 minutes.) Once the oatmeal is thick, remove from heat and let cool a minute before serving. Feel free to top oatmeal (just for visual appeal) with apple slices and cinnamon, more pumpkin, sprinkled nuts, or nothing at all. Enjoy this hearty fall-flavored meal!

One Healthy Breakdown: fueling with fall foods.

Five Healthy Flour Alternatives

Most recipes we come across call for good old white flour, also known as all-purpose flour.  What’s so wrong with that? A lot. All-purpose white flour is basically just empty calories – short-term energy that makes our blood sugar spike without any nutritional value. Did you know that white flour is actually wheat stripped of the whole-grain elements, the bran and the germ, meaning that it lacks the fiber and nutrients. It is also commonly bleached white with chemicals.

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Whether you’re making cookies, muffins, pancakes, scones, or dessert, substituting white flour for one of the following healthier options will upgrade your recipe into a lighter, more nutritious, easier to digest option simply with this one easy switch.

  • Coconut flour is made of the superfood coconut, making it gluten-free, paleo, high in fiber, protein, energy, and low in carbohydrates. It’s dense and yields great pancakes (like these Delightful Banana Pancakes) and baked goods.
  • Almond flour/almond meal is made of almonds, also gluten-free, paleo, high in protein, and healthy fats. The difference between the two is simply that almond meal includes the whole nut while almond flour is made from blanched (skinless) almonds, both packed in vitamins and minerals. Try these Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins made with almond flour.
  • Quinoa flour is made of grinding the seed we all know and love, quinoa! You can buy quinoa flour or you can grind your own uncooked seeds. High in fiber and nutrients, this gluten-free flour is light, a bit nutty, and a complete protein, making the perfect post-workout treats.
  • Spelt flour is a species of wheat that is light, nutty, and high in protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. It is one of the oldest crops in history and very versatile. Although spelt does contain gluten, it is known to have many health benefits, including numerous minerals necessary for bone health. You can read more about spelt flour here.
  • Oat flour is simply ground oats. You can purchase it at a health food store or just grind up your own raw oats in a blender or coffee grinder. Oats are super high in fiber and other vitamins and minerals, so you can’t go wrong with this healthy option. Just be sure to search for “gluten free” if you’re sensitive to gluten. (Oats don’t actually contain gluten; however, they can be processed in a plant with gluten.)

One Healthy Breakdown: get empowered with healthy flours!

Calories: to Count or Not to Count?

It’s all about calories in vs. calories out, right? So, should we be counting calories or not??

Woman Looking at Vegetables in Refrigerator ca. 2003

All calories are not created equal. 500 calories of fruits or veggies is not, in any way, equal to 500 calories of processed food made out of a hundred ingredients, most of which are chemicals, or sugar, but certainly not food that will fuel your body properly. So, what’s the point of counting calories when calories are not what we should be measuring at all?

Shift the focus from calorie counting to eating whole, real, seasonal foods that fuel your body, satisfy your taste buds, and make you feel good. No diet, no restriction, no labels, no counting, and no one-size-fits-all attitude…because, let’s face it, that’s just no fun at all. Besides, when we’re eating real, healthy foods, our body becomes more in-tune with our hunger and satiety, in other words, when we need food, and when we’ve had enough.

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We should be aware of (especially for weight-loss) portions and proportions. A portion is simply the amount of the food we’re eating. It’s not necessary to measure the precise weight/size of everything we eat; however, eyeing approximate portions ensures that we’re not eating far more or less than what we need (which is different for everyone.)

Proportion is the ratio of nutrients; protein, carbohydrates, and fat. It’s important to eat a balance of each nutrient (hence the term ‘balanced meal’) as each performs a different function in the body.

Counting calories is irrelevant, so spare yourself and focus on nutrition. Lastly, counting calories can often lead to food guilt, which is a huge waste of time and brainspace (is that a word?) Likewise, exercising simply to burn the calories we’ve consumed, or are planning to consume, is one of the most miserable things ever. Eat to fuel your body and work out to challenge, strengthen, and energize your body for endorphins, health, and fun!

For more on portion control, eating right for you, losing weight, or to get your own customized meal plan to meet your nutrition goals, email kiley@onehealthyhamptons today.

One Healthy Breakdown: can you count enough reasons not to count cals?