A Great Visit and Successful Run

Good morning, all!  I hope everyone had a nice Friday.  I sure did – My sister Jackie came up to visit Keira and me for the day.  It was a day full of good (and somewhat indulgent) eats and great company.  I’m hoping my run this morning kinda made up for some of what I ate yesterday… though I don’t regret a single bite 🙂

It’s runs like the one this morning that make me feel like I could finish a 10K with ease and even successfully complete a half marathon.  I felt like I was running on air.  I planned a 6-mile route but decided to keep going because it felt too good to call it a day.  When I came back home I tracked my route on MapMyRun.com.

7.02 miles done in 67 minutes and 50 seconds – 9.5 minutes per mile and 6.24 mile/hr. pace.  I’m happy about that!  The only thing that kept me from running further was the time – it was 6:15AM and I figured I’d need to get in an ab workout and shower before Keira woke up.  Mike worked late all week and so I really wanted to give him the morning to sleep in.

Jackie and I did what we always do when together: shopped and talked about food.  She’s a foodie just like me – in fact, I’m pretty sure she’s partly to blame for my “crossing over” into the healthy side of living.  Like me, she never liked vegetables or salads growing up.  She willingly admits her diet was not ideal until a couple of years ago when she spent a few months in Paris being a nanny for her cousins.  While she was over there she grew to love European food and really took up cooking and making healthy dishes in the states once she came back home.  Ever since then, her diet changed dramatically, she lost weight and got healthy.  I used to look at the things she ate and cringe – it all looked like rabbit food to me.  But now, together we share a passion for healthy foods and healthy living.

When Jackie got to my house we immediately headed out to TJ Maxx… one of our very favorite stores.  My sister is an insane shopper – she ALWAYS finds the really good stuff hidden behind all the junk.  EVERY time she wears something I find adorable, I’ll ask her where she bought it and she doesn’t even have to say anything anymore – she just gives “the look”.  This “look” I speak of is one that says “come on, do you really have to ask?”  Oh, right:  TJ’s.

After TJ’s we made a quick stop to McDonald’s so Keira could get a Happy Meal.  I’m really not a fan of buying anything from there.  I feel guilty giving Keira food that I wouldn’t eat myself.  But what kid didn’t indulge in a little Mickey D’s in their life??  She had the 4-piece chicken nuggets with apple slices instead of fries.  I at least felt a little better about that because she ended up eating all the apples and only 3 of the nuggets.  Hey, McD’s once in a long while won’t hurt the kid.

While Keira thoroughly enjoyed her lunch, Jackie and I hit up Subway because I had a coupon: buy one footlong, get the 2nd free.  Done and done.  I haven’t had “Grubway”, as Jack likes to call it, in at least a year.  I kid you not.  It was about time to break that record.  I got the 9-grain wheat with the veggie patty (yes, some Subways, depending on the location, offers veggie patties – I’ve done my research!) and loaded that baby up with even more vegetables: tomato, lettuce, red onion, green peppers and spinach with a drizzle of fat-free sweet onion sauce and a shake of salt and pepper.

This sandwich was rockin’.  The veggie patty was delicious.  I looked up the ingredients for the patty on Livestrong.com and here’s what I found:

The VegiMax ingredients, as stated by Subway, include: “vegetables (mushrooms, water chestnuts, onions, carrots, green and red bell peppers, black olives), textured vegetable protein (soy protein concentrate, wheat gluten, water for hydration), egg whites, cooked brown rice, rolled oats, corn oil, calcium caseinate, soy sauce (water, soybeans, salt, wheat), contains 2% or less of onion powder, corn starch, salt, hydrolyzed corn, soy and wheat protein, autolyzed yeast extract, natural flavors from non-meat sources, sugar, soy protein isolate, spices, garlic powder, dextrose, jalapeno pepper powder, celery extract.”

Not bad, considering we’re talking about fast food here.  The one thing that made me shudder a little is the amount of sodium in each patty which is 1,030 mg.  The American Heart Association recommends we consume less than 1,500 mg per day.  Since you get two patties on a footlong… that means my sodium intake was ridiculous yesterday which explains the bloat I’m suffering from this morning.  Agh.  The next time I go to order a veggie sandwich from Subway, I think I’ll either just get the 6-inch or if I’ve got a big appetite, a footlong with just one patty on it and the rest vegetables.  Ya live, ya learn, ya move on.
Next we headed over to Starbucks and indulged in some frappuccinos.  I got a grande mocha coconut light frap with whipped cream.  OH my goodness.  This is what Heaven tastes like:
This was in my belly in about 10 minutes flat.  Maybe it tasted so good because the sweet complimented all the darn SALT I had just consumed minutes prior.  Oh well, it was fabulous.
We then had a grand old time at Trader Joe’s just looking around.  Jackie picked up some excellent dips – an eggplant dip and a roasted red pepper dip.  She also decided it would be a great idea to get toffee dipped in dark chocolate and coated with pistachios.  I was so stuffed from the day of good eats that I could only stomach a bite of one – DANGEROUS, I tell you.  It was just too good.
I’m looking forward to a weekend spent with Mike and Keira… and so I better get crackin’ in the kitchen – Keira’s belly is rumbling this morning 🙂  Have a great Saturday!
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Oatmeal Pancakes

As promised, a new recipe was tried (and LOVED) this morning and has been added to my recipe list – and really should be added to your favorites as well!

This morning I did something a little different with my run.  I had planned on doing my “just over 4 miles” route but instead of running at my comfortable pace, I picked it up a notch, broke out of my comfort zone and pushed harder than I normally do.  I ended up finishing 4.34 miles in 39 minutes and 2 seconds which is a pace of 8.9 minutes per mile.  I was happy with that considering the route I took had a couple good hills – one especially steep one!  I can’t tell you how good it felt to get my heart pumping like that.  A sweaty and fast run that leaves me panting and my heart pounding is just what I need sometimes.

When was the last time you had pancakes for breakfast?  Probably a lot more recently than I have.  I honestly cannot even remember the last time I had pancakes.  Maybe around Christmas time?  That has to be a record or something – at least for me.  This morning, I broke that tragic record and made oatmeal pancakes which I found off of the bodybuilding.com website.  I love their site because they’ve got great recipes and really good fitness advice worth reading.  I tend to “trust” their information above some other websites.

I love this recipe because it doesn’t call for any white or wheat flour.  I love that the flour used here comes from rolled oats.  Oats are one of the healthiest foods you can put into your body because not only are they a great source of fiber, they have a good amount of protein and keep you full for a long, long while because they take a long time to digest.

Since I was only making pancakes for one I cut the recipe in half.  Here’s exactly what I did but you can find the original recipe here.

Oatmeal Pancakes

Ingredients:

½ cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk but any milk will do)

1/3 cup rolled oats

1/3 cup oat flour (To make oat flour; simply add your oats to a blender or food processor and grind until it reaches a flour-like consistency)

½ tsp. baking powder

1/8 tsp. salt

2 large egg whites

½ tsp. ground cinnamon (I used 1/8 tsp. and they came out perfectly spiced)

Optional (but highly recommended!) toppings and/or ad-ins:  banana slices, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, any kind of nut butter, etc.  Have fun with them!!

Directions:

1.  Heat milk in small saucepan until hot and stir in rolled oats.  Set aside.  The oats should absorb all of the liquid.

2.  Beat egg whites into stiff foam with hand mixer or blender and reserve.

3.  Mix remaining dry ingredients together and stir in oatmeal/milk mixture.

4.  Fold in egg whites until mixture is well blended.  Your batter will not resemble the kind of pancake batter you’re used to because the egg whites make it much more fluffy.

5.  Spray pan with nonstick cooking spray and cook pancakes until browned on both sides.  You will have to kind of “shape” the pancakes once they go onto the pan because they are not runny like normal pancake batter.

I added lots of frozen/thawed blueberries and banana slices to mine with a healthy drizzle of maple syrup.  WOW.  This is a keeper… wish I had used the original recipe to store the leftovers in the freezer for some quick pancakes anytime I want.  Ya live, ya learn!

Enjoy!!

I’m Still Boring… But Sushi Isn’t

Bleh.. I’m still pretty boring today.  This morning I set my alarm for 4:40AM so that I could be on the pavement by 5 and bang out a long 90-minute run.  I must have just done one of those “hit it off and peace back into dreamland” things because I woke up naturally at 5:20.  FAIL!  What a bust.  Eh, either way I was out the door and my legs were going at 5:38.  I completed just under 5 1/2 miles in 51 minutes.  So it ended up not being so bad but I was still frustrated because I had this whole new route planned out that I wanted to try.  There will be (lots of) other days I suppose…

Keira and I spent our morning at the park where she had a blast on the swings and in the sandbox.  Picture quality = horrendous because I used my phone instead of my camera.  Mr. Smartphone should be taking way better pics than this, though!!

After the park we headed to Whole Foods to pick up a few things I missed yesterday.  We took our sweet time going up and down each aisle and Keira picked out Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies to munch on while I kept busy browsing.  I could be there forever.  Whole Foods has got to be one of my favorite places on earth – yeah, I said it and I meant it.  If it wasn’t for Keira begging me to leave (“Let’s GO, Mama!!) I could stick around and leisurely read nutrition labels all day long.  Sick but true.  I really am boring, huh?!

I did manage to pick up some Whole Foods sushi — Brown Rice Shrimp California Rolls.  I had a pack of them tonight for dinner along with steamed carrots, broccoli, onions and green peppers with a little soy sauce and teriyaki to give them some flare.

This meal went from table to tummy in about 8 seconds flat.

That’s all I’ve got for tonight but tomorrow I’ve got a sweet breakfast planned.  See you then!

I’m Pretty Boring But Lemon Bars Aren’t

So today… I’ve got nothin’.  I guess you could say I’m pretty boring.  Though I did read up on a few enticing recipes I plan on trying in the very near future, I didn’t make any new ones today.  In fact, I stuck with the same old veggie and egg white omelet sandwich for breakfast, a big fat bowl of PB&J overnight oats for lunch and spaghetti squash with meatless meatballs for dinner.  Boom, boom and boom.  Don’t get me wrong – each and every bite I took today was absolutely delicious and hit the spot pretty darn good.  It’s just that I’ve been repeating these meals quite a bit lately and I’m ready for some variety.  So my goal for this week is to make two new dishes to add to my ever growing recipes list.

I wanted to post SOMETHING worthwhile tonight besides for my boring day of eats and so I dug through my recipes file on my computer and came across a seriously decadent dessert that would be entirely selfish of me not to share with you.  This past Father’s Day I made a tray of lemon bars for my father-in-law.  He loves sweets – in fact I believe he has the strongest, biggest, most out of control sweet tooth of anyone I’ve ever met in my life.  These are one of his favorite desserts (or breakfasts..) and they are SO simple to make.

Lemon Bars – Yields 12

For the crust:

1 stick softened butter

1/2 cup white sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

For the lemony top:

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups white sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 lemons, juiced

Powdered sugar, for dusting

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Using an electric hand-held mixer, mix together the butter, sugar and flour.  Press into the bottom of a greased baking pan (I used a 9 x 13 ceramic dish).  Bake for 15-20 minutes until firm.

3.  While the crust is baking add eggs, sugar, flour and lemon juice in to a clean bowl.  Whisk until well combined.  Pour mixture over your baked crust and stick it back into the oven for 22 minutes.

When I took it out of the oven, I felt like they still needed more time but followed the recipe exactly.  Within a few minutes of cooling I could tell that it was beginning to firm up.  Just let the dish cool to room temp before cutting and they should be easy to remove from the dish.

4.  Dust the bars lightly with powdered sugar.

This dessert is both sweet and tart – a beautiful combination.  Truth be told – I’ve literally only had one half of one of these bars EVER in my life.  Why?  Because I absolutely do NOT trust myself around these babies.  Nope.  Not for one second.

So you see, I managed to turn a totally blah post into a way more sweet (and lemony!) one tonight.  A job well done, if I do say so myself 🙂

Goodnight, all!

One Hot Summer Side & One Cold

I just want to first take a minute to thank all of my readers.  Though this blog is new and I’ve really only just started out, I’ve received many compliments from my family, my friends and even some of my “Facebook friends” with whom I rarely communicate.  For you to take the time to go out of your way and let me know that you read my blog (and actually like it!) really means the world to me.  I truly appreciate your kind words and hope that you continue to read and enjoy it!  Thanks so much.

My running route this morning was one I’ve never before  traveled and it happened to be the most scenic one I’ve been on – a 6 mile quiet loop with lots of farms and greenery to look at.  I ran into a ton of animals, too!!

Wild Animal Counter:

Bunnies: 1

Deer: 4

Turkeys: A family of a mommy, daddy and 9 tiny babies!!

The whole time I kept thinking about how I should have brought my camera on the run with me.  I can’t help but absolutely love running on country, hilly routes vs loud city ones.  It’s one of the reasons I enjoy visiting Mike’s and my parents so much!

Yesterday morning I ran my longest route ever!  It was 7.11 miles and was completed in 71 minutes.  Thankfully, the weather was more comfortable than it has been all week – 68 degrees – which was glorious compared to the 82 degree morning I ran in a couple days ago!!  I find that even when the air is thick and humid, once I get into a steady groove and pace, I could run a lot further than I give myself credit for.

My Saturday was spent lounging by the pool at my in-laws while Keira and Mike swam all day.  I’m not a huge fan of the pool… even when it’s super hot out.  I’d rather lay out for a little while with a magazine and dip inside the air-conditioned house every now and then for a break from the heat.  Keira, on the other hand, is part fish.  Or maybe she’s all fish because she could have stayed in that pool until the sun went down.  It wore her out and she slept like a log last night!!

Since Borders is going out of business everything at my local Borders is marked down super duper cheap.  I had a gift card with only a few dollars left and it so I figured I’d go check it out and grab something just to use it up.  I left with two Vegetarian Times magazines.  On the cover of one was a picture of beautiful stuffed tomatoes.  I immediately thumbed through the mag to find that recipe.  It sounded so delicious that my mother-in-law went to the grocery store and bought all the ingredients for us to make it as a side dish to go with dinner.

Here’s the cover of the magazine that caught my eye:

(source)

On the cover you’re looking at feasting your eyes on the Ricotta-Basil Stuffed Tomatoes… how gorgeous do those babies look?!

Here’s how to make them:

8 large beefsteak tomatoes (we used the tomatoes on the vine)

2 large eggs

1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

2 tbsp. plus 4 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)

1 cup corn kernels

1 cup diced zucchini plus 24 very thin zucchini slices (we used yellow summer squash)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Slice tops off tomatoes and scoop pulp out of centers to make stuffable tomato shells; set aside.  Discard half of tomato pulp; remove seeds from and finely chop remaining half of pulp.

2.  Whisk together eggs and ricotta in medium bowl until smooth.  Add red onion, basil, 2 tbsp. Parmesan, garlic, corn, diced zucchini, and chopped tomato pulp; stir until combined.

3.  Fill each tomato just to top with 1/2 cup ricotta mixture, then sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. Parmesan, followed by 3 suzzini sliced and tomato top.  Place in large baking dish.  (Note: we placed them all in a cupcake tin so they wouldn’t topple over.  Genius idea by my mother-in-law if you ask me).

4.  Bake 45 minutes, or until filling is puffed up and tops are browned.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.  To freeze for later:  Cool stuffed tomatoes completely, then place in foil-lined baking pan.  Wrap tightly in foil, then in plastic wrap, and freeze.  When ready to eat, thaw tomatoes completely.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake, uncovered, 20-30 minutes, or until filling is hot.

These tomatoes were such a big hit at the dinner table.  The only thing I would change about this dish is that I would season the ricotta mixture with some salt and pepper.  Everyone at the table ended up salting and peppering their tomatoes and so I feel like next time I make these (and trust me, there will be plenty more times) I will season the cheese mixture right after everything is combined.


On last night’s dinner plate:  spaghetti squash, ricotta-basil stuffed tomato and Cold French Lentil Salad.

That’s right – we whipped up another recipe found in the same magazine.  This salad was cold, refreshing and absolutely delicious despite our initial misgivings about the combination of ingredients.  It’s definitely a keeper!

Cold French Lentil Salad

Ingredients:

1 cup green lentils, sorted and rinsed (we used one 15-oz can of black beans in place of the lentils)

1 bay leaf (we didn’t have any in the house and so we omitted this entirely)

3 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp. dried dill

3 celery stalks, finely diced (1 cup)

1 cup peeled and diced cucumber

1/3 cup finely diced fennel bulb

1/2 cup corn kernels

1/2 cup diced white onion

Directions:

1.  Bring lentils, bay leaf, and 3 cups water to a boil in saucepan.  Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender.  Drain, remove bay leaf, and cool.  (Obviously we didn’t do this step – Instead we drained and rinsed the can of black beans and threw them in the mixing bowl!)

2.  Whisk together oil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, and dill in bowl.  Stir in lentils, celery, cucumber, fennel, corn, and onion.  Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

It went so well with everything else on my plate.  The spaghetti squash and stuffed tomato were hot and steamy while the lentil (bean!) salad was cold, crunchy and refreshing.

Both these recipes were easy to put together and absolutely delicious.  I can’t wait to make them over and over again the rest of the summer.  Enjoy!

Winnie the Pooh & a Dinner Request

Holy cow is it hot out this week or what?!  I don’t know how people survive without A/C.  I really don’t.  I checked my phone before heading out the door this morning and it said the temp out was 82 degrees!!  Needless to say, by the time I finished my 4 ½ mile run my clothes were absolutely drenched.

Speaking of heat, the weather has really limited Keira’s and my options as far as fun things to do during the day.  We don’t live anywhere near a beach or public pool (and even if we did live near a public pool, I’d be hesitant to even go in).  We don’t even know anyone around here with a pool, either.  Keira is a little too young for summer camp so that was out of the question this summer.  There are only so many times we can hang out in the library, bookstore and mall each week before we’re antsy for some new scenery.  Sure can’t keep ourselves cooped up in the house all day, every day so what’s a mom and kiddo to do on days when it’s just way too hot to do anything?

WINNIE THE POOH!

(source)

This really was a shot in the dark for me to take a 2 ½-year-old to the movie theater.  She’s never been before, although she did see Yo Gabba Gabba LIVE almost a year ago and was totally content awestruck and didn’t blink for probably at least the first 25 minutes.  The website for our movie theater claimed it would only be a one-hour show and so I went for it with the hopes of Keira:  A) not melting down;  and B) actually enjoying it.

Success!

To get into the Winnie the Pooh spirit I made some super easy no-bake honey peanut butter balls to take along with us to the movie.  I made this up as I went along and surprisingly they turned out great!  They’re crunchy but gooey at the same time with just the right amount of sweetness from the honey and saltiness from the PB.

No-Bake Honey Peanut Butter Balls

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. honey

1 tbsp. peanut butter (I used White Chocolate Wonderful)

3 heaping tbsp. whole wheat flour

3 heaping tbsp. rolled oats

2 tbsp. chopped walnuts

½ tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Directions:

1.  In a microwave safe bowl add honey, PB, vanilla and salt.  Nuke for 10 seconds, stir and repeat until well combined.

2.  Stir in flour one tablespoon at a time and mix until well combined.  Then use same method with oats.

3.  Add chopped walnuts to batter and fold gently.

4.  Place bowl into refrigerator for about 15 minutes to firm up and chill.

5.  Using a melon baller scoop out balls of batter onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper and return to fridge to chill.  When firm, move to Tupperware container and store in fridge.

These make a really good snack or even sweet treat.  I think I might cut one up and sprinkle it over some vanilla frozen yogurt for dessert some time… yuuuummy.

On our way home from the movies, I asked Keira what she wanted for dinner.  Usually I just get some random answer such as:  “watermelon”, “candy”, “the cookies Daddy likes”, etc.  To my surprise, she gave me an answer that I could say yes to: “chicken paprikash.”

Chicken paprikash, it was!  Chicken paprikash, a traditional Hungarian dish, is a stew-like gravy with chicken served over noodles (or rice, dumplings, etc.).  My mother-in-law taught me how to make this and it was her mother-in-law who passed the recipe down to her.  All three of us have different ways of doing it – though all are equally delicious.  Here’s my version:

This is a general guideline because I don’t measure anything… It’s all about eyeballing it to your liking.

Start by sauteeing chopped onion in some olive oil over medium heat until the onion is tender.

When the onion has tenderized (careful not to burn it), add a few shakes of paprika and mix.

Into the pot goes your chicken breast(s) – thawed or frozen, doesn’t matter – to brown slightly on each side.  Then add enough chicken broth to cover the meat.


At this point I usually add a little more paprika to make the broth a nice reddish-golden color.  Bring to a boil then cover and turn down the heat to simmer for about 30 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked through.

Once chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot and place on a cutting board.  Bring broth to a boil again while you spoon out a tablespoon or two (depending on how much broth is in your pot) of flour into an air-tight Tupperware container.  Add a splash of milk, seal and shake until flour and milk is well combined.  You may have to add more milk and/or more flour to get the right consistency:  not too thick, not too watery.

Once the broth is boiling, pour your milk and flour mixture into the pot and stir.  Continue to boil – it will eventually thicken.

While your broth is thickening, shred your chicken using two forks.  You could also cube it or even just leave it whole.  Both Mike and Keira like it best when the chicken is shredded.  Return chicken to broth, stir well and turn down the heat to low.

Serve over noodles, rice or dumplings and season with salt to your liking.  Usually I serve it over rice pilaf but all I had was wheat couscous, which seemed to work out just fine!  I like to serve this dish with lots of green peas or broccoli on top.

I love when Mike and Keira enjoy what goes out on the table for dinner.  They gobbled this up at lightning speed!  A job well done 🙂

I hope everyone is beating the heat today… As for us, I think we’ll close all the shades, make a “pillow land” on the floor and rent a movie On Demand while we relish in the cool air conditioning!

What are some fun indoor activities you enjoy when the weather has you cooped up?

 

How to Make Overnight Oats

Google how to make overnight oats and you will find a ton of different recipes.  However after quite a bit of experimenting I find this method to be the most tasty way of making them by a long shot.  Enjoy!!

The night before:

1.  Combine 1/2 cup of old fashioned rolled oats and 1 1/2 cups water in microwave safe bowl.

Don’t worry – it’s supposed to be that soupy.  The next step will have them puffed up in no time.

2.  Microwave for 2 minutes to start.

3.  When the 2 minutes are up, check your oats and stir them around a little before returning back into the microwave for another minute.  It’s very important that you keep a very close eye on them so that you can halt the cooking process if they start to bubble over.  It would look a little like this:

If I didn't stop the microwave within 1 or 2 seconds of taking this picture, it may have exploded! Been there, done that - not fun to clean up.

4.  Remove your bowl of oats from microwave (careful, it’s hot!) and let it rest on the counter and come to room temperature.  In the end they should look like this after about 3 minutes in the microwave, depending on your power.  You may have to zap for a few more seconds.

5.  Cover and place in refrigerator overnight.  Dream of the glory that awaits your lucky palate and belly first thing in the morning.

In the morning:

6.  Remove oats from refrigerator and thoroughly stir in one package of Greek vanilla nonfat yogurt (or any yogurt you’d like, really.  I just find that the vanilla flavored yogurt tastes best with this recipe).

You may have to add a little water if you like your oats more thinned out.  Just be sure to add a little bit at a time and stir before continuing to add more.  A little goes a long way.

Your final creation should look like this after all yogurt is incorporated evenly throughout your oats bowl:

Voila!  You now have your overnight oats base done.  The fun part is adding whatever your heart desires to this big ol’ bowl of oats.  Some suggestions:

– Peanut butter and raspberry jam – My ultimate fav

– Peanut butter and banana slices

– Peanut butter and chocolate almond butter – tastes like a Reese’s PB Cup!

– Peanut butter and … Let’s face it – ANYTHING would taste bangin’ with PB!

– Strawberries and blueberries

– Strawberries and banana

– Blueberries and almond butter

– Blueberries and maple syrup

– Banana slices and dark chocolate chips – if you’re feeling especially indulgent in the morning!

– Cinnamon, brown sugar and raisins – It’ll taste like a Cinnabun!

Use your imagination and let your mood determine what kind of creation you come up with!  The possibilities are literally endless… there’s no wrong combination!

7.  When you’ve decked out your bowl of oats with any and all fix-ins you desire, return the bowl to the fridge to chill for 15 minutes – or just dig right in!

I always chill mine right before stuffing my face slowly enjoying, especially when I’ve added peanut butter.  The ribbons of swirled-in PB harden a little bit and I absolutely love the taste and texture of it.  YUM!

Bon Apetit!