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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Oatmeal Smoothies - Make them Tonight for Breakfast Tomorrow (from The Yummy Life)

The summer has been teasing us out here in California with the warm weather.  The warm weather prompted me to purchase a much needed appliance for my kitchen, a new Oster 8-speed blender.  I had a Cuisinart food processor/blender for about 2 years, but it started billowing smoke one day when I was making a smoothie.  Thank goodness for Costco.  I had the original box and was able to get a full refund.

Anyway, I purchased a new Oster blender from Costco.  It comes with a handy-dandy milkshake attachment.  I look forward to using this all summer long.

My friend over at Jeanette's Healthy Living introduced me to a new food site called The Yummy Life.  It's one of my new favorite food sites with quick, delicious and healthy recipes.  Monica, the editor of that blog, has a recipe for Make-Ahead Oatmeal Smoothies that are perfect for my family.  I love her photos and step by step guides for cooking.  My kids are often on the go, heading to school or soccer practice.  So a make-ahead, healthy breakfast is a great addition to our breakfast lineup.

I've been asked how I maintain my weight after 3 kids and sitting by my computer all day long.  I think it is because I always have breakfast.  I never skip this important meal.  People who skip breakfast think they can make up for it later in the day and end up consuming more calories than their friends who regularly eat a balanced breakfast.  Think about it.

So, here's the recipe for Make Ahead Smoothies by The Yummy Life::

3/4 cup skim milk (not pictured)
1/4 cup Newman's grape juice (or orange juice)
1/4 cup Yogurt (plain or flavored, I chose banana)
7 large frozen strawberries
1 Tbs Chia seeds (from Whole Foods)
1/4 cup oats (rolled oats, also from Whole Foods)
Honey (optional)
Ripe banana

Chia seeds along with oats are ground ahead of time
Start by grinding the oats and chia seeds in a blender until powdery.  Then add all of the other ingredients together in the blender.  The frozen strawberries give the smoothie a nice, cold consistency.  You  might wonder about the benefits of chia seeds and oats in a smoothie.  Chia seeds provide an abundance of natural fiber and help thicken the smoothie. If you make these a day ahead, the chia seeds help keep it thick overnight. They are also rich in Omega-3 oil and ounce for ounce contain more Omega-3 than salmon.  Some say chia seeds are a great weight loss ingredient because these tiny seeds are rather tasteless but when added to any food such as burgers or smoothies, they add the feeling of fullness without adding calories.  Thus your body is tricked into thinking it is full when no extra calories are added.  For a full list of the top 10 benefits of chia seeds, check out this link.

My smoothie blending away!
As for oats, like chia seeds, they provide a lot of soluble and insoluble fiber which helps fight cancer by attacking bile acids.  It also helps reduce cholesterol.   Oats also contains zinc, copper, iron, vitamin E, selenium and magnesium.   Oats are also high in protein with a legume-like protein known as avenin. Just one cup of oats contain about 6gm of protein!

Please check out Jeanette's Healthy Living food site and vote for her in the Circle of Moms foodie contest going on right now.  You can vote every 24 hours until the contest ends on May 29, 2012 at 4 pm PST. 

My youngest daughter and I tested out this recipe and LOVED it.  It was fun to make and better to consume.  Here's to a new favorite recipe and a summer filled with nutritious smoothies - Bottoms up!

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