Everyone (at least everyone who’s seen a tub of Quaker Oats) knows oatmeal is good for your heart. Now, if only everyone understood the most effective way to reduce cholesterol and dramatically improve your health is–plain and simple–by eliminating animal products from your diet.
In Honolulu airport recently, I glimpsed a large sign outside Starbucks with a photo of a bowl of oatmeal. Later, an article in January’s Entrepreneur Magazine confirmed the trend: While Starbucks in U.S. has offered oatmeal since 2008, more quick-serve restaurants–including, of all places, McDonalds–plan to offer healthier options, such as fiber rich and whole-grain oatmeal, to meet calorie and labeling requirements of federal healthcare reform.
Although eating oatmeal for breakfast is a far cry from everyone adopting a vegan diet, influential restaurant chains offering oatmeal (hopefully not laden with dairy products, sugar or chemical preservatives) can only help to make people more aware of health benefits of plant-based foods.
As a student, I ate instant Quaker maple and brown sugar oatmeal because it was fast and convenient. It took me several years to discover there was no need for brown sugar or maple flavor. Nowadays, I eat my favorite hot cereal, Bob’s 5-Grain (whole wheat, rye, oats, flaxseed, barley, and triticale), with just cinnamon, raisins and fruit (either apples or bananas) every other day.
When I began working full-time, I would bake oatmeal muffins every weekend to have for breakfast each weekday. I wish I knew then that my heart would have been much better off without eggs and milk in my oatmeal muffin recipe! It was only recently that I veganized them, and they still make a great tasting and satisfying breakfast, especially with a soy latte.
Makes 12 regular muffins or 6 jumbo muffins
1 1/3 C flour (preferably whole-wheat)
1 C oats (quick or old fashioned)
1/4 C sugar (I use brown)
1 T baking powder
1/2 t cinnamon
1 C soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1 overripe banana, mashed
2 T canola or olive oil
1 C blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 C walnuts or pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Spray 12 medium muffin cups or 6 Texas sized muffin cups with cooking spray
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Add soy milk, banana, and oil, and mix until dry ingredients are just moistened.
Fold in blueberries, and fill prepared muffin cups evenly.
Bake 20-25 minutes (12 muffins) or 30-35 minutes (6 muffins) until brown.
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