Pumpkin Pie Oats

Overnight Oats: Morning Glory or a Snooze?

Pumpkin Pie Oats I’d been seeing overnight oats all over the place (and by “all over the place” I mean “Pinterest” of course) and I was intrigued. I’ve always been used to making my oatmeal the traditional way – hot! – so the thought of mixing my oats with a bunch of goopy stuff and letting them sit in the fridge for hours was a bit strange. But I figured that I love cookie dough and mixing oats with wet stuff would be kind of like cookie dough, so I should at least give it a try, right? You really can’t get any more simple than this. Start with oats (duh), add some moisture (almond milk, yogurt, peanut butter, mashed banana, etc), choose your favorite mix-ins (nuts, seeds, chocolate chips, protein powder, spices, fruit) and just go wild! I decided to get into the spirit of the season and make my first batch a pumpkin-y treat.

Pumpkin Pie Protein Overnight Oats

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Eating Down the Fridge: OPP Edition

Several times in the past few months, our family has experienced an interesting phenomenon.  I think I shall call it pre-dumpster diving.  What has happened is that friends of ours, in one case on very short notice, have moved across the country or across the world, and have left the contents of their refrigerators and/or pantries with us.  Even though our kitchen is short on space to begin with, I was powerless to resist these “gifts” given my love of free stuff, especially free food.  The things we received fell into three basic categories: food we buy ourselves anyway (butter, mustard, produce), things that I would buy if I had the space and money (see above) and things that I would likely never buy, but now feel the obligation to do something with.

One outstanding item in the third category is a large bag of oat bran.  Until today, it dwelt in the vegetable drawer of the fridge (lack of space, I tell you), eying me in a lonely manner each time I reached past it to grab the mushrooms/peppers/lettuce.  I had considered making bran muffins, but then I would have to eat bran muffins or give them to someone else who would then have to eat them, and this seemed unfair.

Fortunately, I had been tossing around the idea of making some sort of homemade protein bar, mainly because one of the awesome side effects of pregnancy is waking up at 4 am and feeling like your stomach is consuming itself.  Going all the way downstairs to make a PB and J was getting old.

Enter the peanut butter balls.  Protein packed, no-bake, and sweet enough to hide half a cup of oat bran per batch.  Take that, bag of oat bran.  10 more batches or so, and you and I will officially be over.

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

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Double the Pleasure, Double the Almond

I’ve relaxed on my cheese and egg intake to help lower my cholesterol, but have also upped my oatmeal eating in pursuit of the same goal. My dad and sister eat oatmeal almost daily, zapping a bowl in the microwave and dousing in ground cinnamon.

I take the path less traveled and wait almost an hour for my bowl of steel cut oats. I also will not rest with the simple topping of a powdered spice. After a few bland bowls, I’ve discovered how to satisfyingly eat my way to a healthier body and not be totally bored with lunch.

Double Almond Oatmeal

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Lowering Cholesterol Deliciously

In just a little over a month I will turn 30.

<gag> <puke> <cry> <pull out gray hairs>

But the number isn’t the only thing pissing me off these days. Because it’s not just the number. I’ve also been diagnosed with high cholesterol. Now, my “good” cholesterol is very high, thank you avocados. But my well-documented love affair with eggs and cheese couldn’t overcome my HDL.

So now I’m on fish oil pills (side note – what do dedicated vegetarians take to lower cholesterol?) three times a day. In the past three weeks I’ve eaten eggs only once a week (instead of my normal 4-5 times a week) and have lowered my twice+ a day habit of cheese to about once every other day or so.

But I don’t want to just cut things out of my diet. I’m also looking to add things that will actively lower my cholesterol. And that’s when I remembered the dessert my cousin, Lea, made me when I vacationed in Arizona last fall. Lea is a Wellcoaches certified wellness coach and specializes in weight loss and heart disease prevention. (About Lea)

I asked her to send more information on her muesli dessert, which is simply raw oats, raisins, chopped walnuts, chopped cashews, and semi-sweet mini chocolate chips swimming in Rice Dream vanilla rice drink. Most people would assume this is a breakfast treat, but Lea has adapted it as a healthy and filling dessert, which even helps her fall asleep.

Here’s more from Lea on how a nightcap of muesli can help you lose weight and lower your cholesterol (turning 30 or not):

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