When I was little I liked to watch videos after school. (Ah, the days when I had that much extra time!) One of my favorites in elementary school was “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory“. Not to be confused with the Tim Burton’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, this is the older movie based on Road Dahl’s classic book (which I also read several times.) I just remember loving the movie for all its fantastical elements and outrageous characters: Veruca Salt,the quintessential brat, the unnamed little orange Oompa-Loompas who also happened to be talented singers, and last but not least, the obnoxious gum-chewing Violet Beauregarde. It was always fascinating to watch the old-school special effects transform the gum-chewing girl into a blueberry when she sampled Willy Wonka’s prototype gum. That’ll teach her not to chew gum anymore! Though the scene strangely always made me think of eating some blueberries.
What was your favorite childhood movie? Fave scene?
Now, for the health lecture: blueberries. Extremely low in calories, packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants are important because they prevent the oxidization of other cells. Cell oxidization is needed to a certain degree, but if it occurs in excess it may cause certain diseases. Studies are currently under way to see if antioxidants could even be used in medicine to prevent problems such as heart disease and cancer. Blueberries just happen to be an excellent source of antioxidants, containing 5562 TE per 100 grams. (For more information on this, see this article.) Blueberries also contain many vitamins such as vitamin B-6, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and folic acid. These are nutrients that help the body metabolize food. Pretty amazing, that all this good stuff can be packed into such a tiny little fruit. But wait, there’s more! Blueberries are a good source of fiber, and contain chlorogenic acid that may help lower blood sugar levels and control glucose levels in type-II diabetes patients.
Are you ready to eat some blueberries? Me too. Let’s have some delicious steel-cut oatmeal with the healthful stuff. To make it even better, this oatmeal has a cinnamon swirl in it, reminiscent almost of a cinnamon roll. But of course much healthier. This tasted awesome, of course. How could one go wrong with oatmeal and cinnamon?
Blueberry Cinnamon Swirl Steel-Cut Oatmeal
makes one serving
for cinnamon swirl
- 1 tsp Earth Balance Original Buttery Spread
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- sprinkling of cinnamon
- 1/4 cup steel-cut oats
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup vanilla almondmilk
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- about 1/4 cup of fresh blueberries, for topping
To make the cinnamon swirl: Blend the Earth Balance with the brown sugar and cinnamon until the mixture is homogenous. (I guess I’ve got chemistry finals on the brain!) Set this aside.
To make the oatmeal: In a medium pot, combine the warm water and almondmilk. Heat on high until it boils. Then turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the steel-cut oats and the vanilla. Cook oats for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When oats are done cooking, remove from heat. Pour oats into serving bowl. Top with the cinnamon swirl mixture and allow that to melt a little as you ad the blueberries. Swirl the cinnamon mixture into the oatmeal with a spoon.
Allow oatmeal to cool for a couple of minutes, then enjoy!
Please note: 1/4 cup of blueberries is not a full serving of fruit. So go ahead and enjoy more yummy blueberries alone as healthy snacks, as well as accompaniments to yogurt and such throughout the day!
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