Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Winter Breakfast

Hot breakfast for a cold morning

We've been pretty lucky with the weather so far this winter.  True, we had that blizzard in October which had people fearing another season of record snowfalls.  But we've hardly seen a flake since then (of the snow variety).  This morning was a bit nippy.  We had rain yesterday and the air was still damp, the temperature was in the 30's and there was a brisk wind.  I decided to switch from cold cereal and have hot oatmeal instead.

Hot oatmeal with warm skim milk and raisins

I've noticed that when I have a hot breakfast I'm full for the rest of the morning.  I bought McCann's Instand Irish Oatmeal.  I read the label and saw that it has zero sugar.  Read labels:  a lot of times products, especially cereals, are very high in sugar.  Raisin Bran, for example, has 22 grams of sugar per serving.  That's a lot - and deceiving.  I always thought Raisin Bran was healthy.  The high sugar wipes out any gains for the bran and raisins, in my opinion. 

I get sugar from the raisins I put on the cereal. Reading the label I noticed that raisins have 29 grams of sugar per 1/4 cup serving.  But raisins are healthy for you - it's not as if they contain 29 grams of processed sugar.  It comes naturally from the fruit - and you're also getting a big does of potassium and there's fiber and no fat.  I toss in a small handful which satisfies my sweet tooth.  To be fair, Raisin Bran may be high in sugar because of the raisins.  But it's manufactured, so I suspect they add sugar.  If you get a cereal with no sugar and you add the raisins yourself, then you know what you're getting.  The label on the McCann's Instand Irish Oatmeal says there are 140 calories per serving when you add a half cup of skim milk.

Try heating your milk before adding the oatmeal.  I put skim milk in a paper cup and microwave for one minute while I'm preparing the instant oatmeal.  After the minute is up I pour the warm milk over the oatmeal and heat both for another minute.  I add the raisins when that's done.  The oatmeal must expand in your stomach because I wasn't hungry until lunch.  One last note: use skim milk.  Some people think it tastes like water, but I've been drinking skim for so long I can't tell the difference.  Regular milk has 146 calories per serving, 71 calories from fat.  Skim milk has 85 calories - zero calories from fat (as you might have guessed).  2 Percent milk has 122 calories, 42 of which are from fat. 

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