Saturday, May 15, 2010

Instant Oatmeal Alternative

My kids love eating oatmeal for breakfast. The only problem is, they will only eat the instant kind. I can't really blame them. That is what I grew up on, so that is what I always bought. I just cannot get past the texture of "real" oatmeal, even though I know it is so much healthier. Then, you have to love that the instant ones now have "low sugar" varieties - NOT. Read the ingredients. They contain the sugar substitute sucralose (brand name Splenda). There is much debate within the scientific community as to whether or not sucralose is safe or not. I'd rather not take my chances after my personal experience with phenylalanine (Aspartame/Nutrasweet).

Thanks to Five J's blog post I read the other day, I now have an alternative: Baked Oatmeal. Of course, I did change some of the ingredients to make it fit my requirements. It was a winner. Even Mikey liked it. Here's what I changed. Instead of brown sugar I used Sucanat (evaporated cane juice). Sucanat is still sugar, but it is a more natural, less processed form of sugar. It is not lower in calories or some magic formula, just more natural. For the milk, I used vanilla almond milk. As usual, I used coconut oil instead of butter. As good as peanut butter and chocolate are together, I could not do the chocolate chips. Organic chocolate is terribly expensive and quite frankly does not taste very good. I substituted raisins for the chocolate chips.

What's great about this recipe is that not only is it oatmeal that my kids love, but because it also has eggs they are getting the protein they need in the morning. Don't forget that you don't have to always follow recipes exactly. Once you learn what ingredients you can use in place of others, you can make pretty much any recipe healthier or more suited to specific dietary needs.

1 comment:

Joy @ Five J's said...

So glad you liked the baked oatmeal.

I often use rapadura or organic brown sugar in place of the brown sugar in the recipe as well. And I've also substituted coconut oil or even applesauce for the butter with very good results. My fave is definitely the coconut oil though.