Simple and Flavorful at Home: A New Twist on Butternut Squash Soup

There's this ugly misconception that home cooking and healthy eating are complicated and lack flavor. I'm going to dispel this myth with an easy recipe that brings on huge flavor and a lot of nutritioanl oomph. The ingredients are super simple: Start with a butternut squash, which is rich in vitamin A--very important for our immune system this time of year by supporting our skin and mucous memberanes to repel bacteria and viruses! I encourage you to buy a whole squash, peel and chop it, but if you're short on time, buy the squash that comes pre-cut. Just be sure to buy it the day that you're going to use it, since those pre-cut vegetables lose nutrients every day they sit uneaten. 

You'll add a chopped onion and some fresh ginger and cilantro. Fresh ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory (and it's also great for digestion). Cilantro has a nice list of phytochemicals that are powerful antioxidants, as do onions. Use leeks for an extra nutritional boost and a mellow flavor. The last main ingredient is a can of light coconut milk, not to be confused with coconut beverage found in the refrigerated section or coconut water. The ingredients should be coconut and maybe guar gum--nothing else. 

What you'll end up with is a soup that is rich, creamy and flavorful with very little work! Let me know if you give this one a try...

 

  • 1 medium butter nut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed into 1-inch chunks (about 2 pounds of squash)
  • 3.5 cups of water
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 15 sprigs of fresh cilantro, rinsed to remove any dirt
  • 6 x 1/4 inch slices of fresh unpeeled ginger, smashed with the side of your knife to open up the fibers a bit
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt plus more to taste
  • A squeeze of lime juice or 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
  • Optional: Raw pumpkin seeds and additional cilantro for garnish

Put all of the ingredients excluding the lime juice or vinegar into a large soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until squash is cooked through and very soft. Remove the cilantro stems and ginger slices. Puree part of all of the soup using a blender or immersion blender, and finish with adding the lime juice or vinegar, and additional salt to taste as needed.  Garnish with pumpkin seeds and/or cilantro if you like. 

Serve with a big green salad for a complete meal. This recipe was inspired by a similar recipe in Jack Bishop's A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchencomplete with vegetable-filled meals to suit all tastes--including meat-eaters. 

 

Need support in building a repertoire of healthful meals you can easily create at home? Let's talk! lauren@live-full.com

Delicata: The Lazy Person's Winter Squash

Love winter squash but can be bothered to cook with them because of all that peeling? I was right there with you, until I discovered delicata squash. I've posted on the wonders of delicata squash before, but it's worth reposting every fall. Maybe several times each fall.


Delicata has all the benefits of your butternut, acorn and kombocha--the vitamin A, the fiber, the buttery texture, the sweet flavor--but you can eat the skin, so there's no peeling! 

Just wash the squash well, cut it in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp. Slice it into rings of the same width, and the prep is done! I like to roast the rings in a 400F oven. Set the rings on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and season with a sprinkle of sea salt, garlic powder and onion powder (or use another spice combo that you love). Pop them in the oven for about 15 minutes and then flip them. I like to swizzle a couple teaspoons of pure maple syrup, but that's optional. Roast for another 15 or so minutes and they're done. For a quick and balanced weeknight meal, serve them over wilted kale or collards, or a big green salad. Add some rinsed and drained chickpeas, cannellini beans and a handful of raw pumpkin seeds, and you're set. Leftover squash rings (if you have any!) make tomorrow's lunch salad really special, too.

Get Out of the Bar Scene

The bar scene is out of control. I’m not talking about the kind of bar where you meet for drinks—I’m talking about those innocuous looking little bricks of food that are frequently loaded with sugar, full of artificial ingredients, packed with poor sources of protein (but lots of it!), or all of the above. They’re convenient and usually pretty darn tasty (which is to be expected because many of them are comparable to candy bars), and I’ve certainly been known to grab one on the run. But when we eat them as a habit thinking we’re doing our bodies a favor, we may be consuming extra sugar and calories that we just don’t need.

I think of bars as a treat, and I like to whip up my own versions with lots of nutrition seeds and nuts and very little in the way of sugar and filler. Here’s a speedy, tasty bar that resembles as certain “Kind” of bar you can find in many grocery stores and convenience stores. You can pull together in less than 30 minutes, including 20 minutes in the oven…


My "Kind" of Bar
Feel free to mix and match your favorite raw seeds and nuts to customize this snack!

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds (28 grams)
1/2 cup raw almonds (56 grams)
1/2 cup raw cashew pieces (56 grams)
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds (28 grams)
1/4 cup pecan pieces (28 grams)
1/4 cup walnut pieces (28 grams)
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (30 grams)
1/4 cup brown rice syrup (you can replace up to half of the brown rice syrup with raw honey)
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
OPTIONAL: 1/4 cup cacao nibs (these are not chocolate chips, but the dried and roasted cacao bean with all those great antioxidants but without the sugar)

• Preheat the oven to 400F. Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper
• Combine all the dry ingredients
• Slightly warm up the brown rice syrup (mixing it with honey, if you are using it) by popping it in the microwave for 30 seconds or on the stove over very low heat
• Pour the syrup over the dry ingredients and mix it well, and pour the mixture into your baking dish. Press with a spatula or your wet hands to create a single even layer
• Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until nuts are golden and fragrant—don’t let the nuts burn, though.
• Allow to cool for several minutes before transferring the parchment paper-lined bar to a wire rack to cool completely. Cut into bars or irregular clusters when cool. You can store the finished clusters in an airtight container on your counter for about a week and for months in the freezer.

Real Food Fast: This Ain't Instagram

Food isn’t always pretty. I rushed these pics after a particularly brutal hill workout to show, once again, that food can be fast, nutritious and delicious! I didn’t even bother to wipe the rim of the plate to make it look pretty for you—this is real life not Instagram!

 

Arriving home hot and hungry, I chopped up a couple zucchinis and threw them on to a cookie sheet lined with a sheet of parchment paper with some chopped onions, a handful of grape tomatoes (no cutting!), a squidge of olive oil, garlic powder and sea salt. (More proof this is real life, not Instagram: You can see I’m so lazy I couldn’t even be bothered to cut the parchment paper to a reasonable size.) They went into a 400F oven while I put 10-minute quick-cook barley in a pot of water, to which I added some low-sodium vegetable bouillon and chopped onion. No big whoop. I also drained and rinsed a can of cannellini beans and with 5 minutes left of baking, I tossed them on to the pan with the zucchini.

 

While everything was cooking, I whipped up a salad using vegetables already chopped ahead of time. In the time it would have taken to order a pizza or stand in the ridiculously long line at Chipotle, I had a great dinner on the table.

Here are a few of my tips for healthful meals fast:
• A balanced plate is about half vegetables, a quarter protein and a quarter starch, preferably a starchy vegetable or a whole grain. I start there when meal planning
• Prep vegetables for the week ahead of time: I have a zillion containers full of chopped vegetables, including cucumbers, bell peppers, onions and more, making it easy to throw them into a salad, into cooking grains or on to a roasting pan
• Take flavor shortcuts when you’re short on time! Garlic and onion powder is a fine substitute for chopped fresh garlic in a pinch. Low-sodium stock or bouillon adds fast flavor to cooked grains. Dried herbs add tons of flavor—seeds, too!

Food fast doesn’t have to be fast food! I’d love to hear your food fast formulas—share them here or on Facebook!

Need some support in coming up with nourishing meals that support your health & wellness goals? Let’s chat: lauren@live-full.com

Fast Food-Like Substances vs Real Food Fast

Some of you may recognize the expression on my face. I went straight from work to the track tonight and did a pretty challenging workout. It felt great, but now I’m starving, and I’m walking into my kitchen long after 8pm. I passed umpteen drive-thrus, quickie marts and fast service restaurants, so, why, you may ask, didn’t I just pick up dinner on the way home or order a pizza?

 

I truly believe that putting together a home cooked dinner doesn’t have to be an arduous time-consuming task, and the benefits of eating a meal made with fresh ingredients are tremendous, especially after a workout. So here’s how this went down…


8:15pm: Arrived home (and took snarky photo while stomach growled loudly). Super fast shower to get off the funk.


8:22pm: Turned the oven to 400F to preheat. Lined a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper and grabbed a bag of pre-washed green beans out of the fridge (thank you, Wegmans!), along with a red bell pepper, a container of pre-washed spinach (thank you,MOMs!), and some bell pepper and carrot that I had pre-chopped and left in the fridge ready to go.


8:24pm: Sliced the red bell pepper into thin strips and threw it on to the cookie sheet along with the green beans. Sprinkled a tablespoon of olive oil, garlic powder, sea salt and cumin seeds over the vegetables and tossed well. Drained and rinsed a can of chickpeas and put half the can on to the cookie sheet. Popped the cookie sheet into the oven.


8:26pm: Measured out two servings of quinoa and threw it into a dry pot to toast.


8:28pm: Assembled salads with spinach, carrot, bell pepper and sliced an avocado to go on top. Added a sprinkling of granola (thank you, Michele’s Granola!) for crunch.


8:31pm: Added chopped onion (already prepped and waiting for me in the fridge) to the quinoa, poured in water and brought to a simmer.


8:33pm: Salad time! Enjoyed my salad with John (who had also come in starving). Before sitting down, I put a leftover container of coconut curry sauce I made for Sunday night dinner in the microwave. If I didn’t have that sauce, I would have looked for something jarred—a good quality of tomato sauce would have been fine—or I may have thrown together a quick sauce with tahini and lemon, or tahini, miso paste and rice vinegar.


8:56pm: Pulled the green beans out of the oven. Put quinoa on the plates, topped with the roasty veggies and topped with the sauce.


8:58pm: Sat down to enjoy the rest of dinner.


Sure, instead of taking that time to assemble dinner, I could have answered emails, maybe taken a leisurely shower, tortured the cats by crinkling paper just out of reach, but I know my body will thank me for feeding it well after a tough workout.

Salad Dressing without the Xanthan Gum

What could be simpler than a balsamic vinaigrette dressing? Well, read the ingredient label on your favorite, and you may be surprised: Ingredients are likely to include cheap soybean oil, artificial color, xanthan gum, sodium benzoate (which I’m sure is very delicious—I just don’t keep it in my cupboard), and sugar (or even worse, artificial sweetener). Why does a dressing that sounds so simple have to contain so much junk?

Clients ask me all the time, do I have to make my own salad dressing? While you certainly don’t have to, I want to reassure you how easy it is! With a few simple ingredients and a jar, you can make a really delicious balsamic vinaigrette in less than 5 minutes with real food you probably already have in your kitchen, no chemistry set required...

 

Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (use the good stuff here!)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce (ingredients should be: Apples)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Shake it up and it’s ready to go.

Adapted from The Oh She Glows Cookbook.

Meatless Monday! Meat, Potatoes and a Vegetable

Venturing into Meatless Monday territory can be intimidating when you’re comfortable with meat, a starch and a veg for dinner. Well, today’s Meatless Monday is a very simple dish: You’ve got a meaty protein, a baked potato (yes! There is room for a white baked potato in a healthy diet!), and a green vegetable plus a rich, creamy sauce.


Hold on, you may be thinking. That ain’t chicken or steak! The protein on this dish is tempeh. If you haven’t had the pleasure of trying tempeh before, it’s a tasty, chewy, meaty soy product. It’s high in protein and fiber and less processed than its cousin tofu. Because it’s fermented, it’s also much more digestible than tofu.

But wait, is that hollandaise sauce on that asparagus? And is that a big wad of butter melting on that potato? Nope. You’re looking at a creamy and healthy sauce made from just two ingredients. Here are the details to make two servings of this simple dish—just multiply to make more:

• 2 baking potatoes, each about the size of your computer mouse. Feel free to sub a sweet potato or yam of the same size
• 1 bunch of fresh asparagus spears, rinsed and woody ends snapped off
• 1 Tbsp olive oil
• Sea salt and pepper
• Garlic powder 
• 1 package of organic tempeh (I prefer Lightlife Flax Tempeh), sliced in triangles or squares (note that the outside of the tempeh is not very absorbent, but the inside of the tempeh is)
• Tempeh marinade
  o ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  o ¼ cup tamari (or wheat free soy sauce)
  o 1 Tbsp 100% pure maple syrup
  o 2 cloves of garlic, minced
• Simple Tahini Miso sauce
  o 1 Tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
  o 1 Tbsp mellow white miso paste
  o 1 Tbsp very hot water

• Marinate your tempeh at least one hour but up to a full day ahead: Mix the marinade in an 8x8(ish) pan and lay the slices of tempeh in it to marinate. Give it a stir or shake every once in a while to coat the pieces well
• Scrub potatoes, stabbing them with a fork a few times, and toss them into a 400 degree oven for 1 hour
• Lay your asparagus on a parchment lined cookie sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with the garlic powder, salt and pepper. In the last half hour of the potatoes’ cooking, 
• When the potatoes are within a half hour of being done, pop the tempeh in the oven as well to cook on a bottom rack, and put the asparagus sheet pan on the top rack with the potatoes. The tempeh will take between 20-25 minutes to finish (the product is already cooked, so no need to worry about “doneness”). Most of the marinade will be cooked off. The asparagus will take about the same time, depending on their thickness
• Make the sauce for the vegetables: While everything finishes in the oven, add the tahini, miso and hot water to a small bowl and stir well to combine. That’s it for the sauce!

It really is an easy dish to get on the table. Let me know if you give any or all of these components a try for your Meatless Monday!

Meatless Monday! Carrot Coriander Soup

Seasoning becomes extraordinarily important when you’re not dousing your food in oil, butter, salt or sweet sweet sugar. It’s amazing how a small amount of fresh basil or ground coriander can radically transform a meal from “meh” into “wow!” But as important as seasoning is, for the sake of my wallet and my increasingly crowded spice cupboard, sometimes I don’t want to buy a whole jar of, let’s say…dried marjoram for one recipe. Did you know that you can buy spices in bulk in the amounts that you need them from MOM’s Organic Market? Certainly makes it more affordable to try out new recipes and to learn about new spices and herbs!

 

All that to introduce this week’s Meatless Monday recipe and to ease your concerns: You don’t have to buy the whole $4.99 jar of marjoram or coriander to try this recipe if you don’t have those spices in your kitchen! Pick up what you need at MOM’s or another grocer with bulk spices, and enjoy…

 

Carrot Coriander Soup

Ingredients:
2 medium sized onions, chopped
3 Tbsp ground coriander
6 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
2 Tbsp marjoram
4 large carrots, chopped
1 medium sweet potato, chopped (you can peel off or include the skin. The skin gives extra nutritional oomph but your soup’s texture will be slightly less silky unless you have a very fancy blender)
8 cups vegetable stock (or a mix of stock and water)
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ tsp sea salt (or more or less depending on the saltiness of your stock and your taste)
Optional: Pinch of cayenne pepper
Raw Pumpkin Seeds

Directions:
• Cook the onions over medium heat, adding about a tablespoon of water to keep the onions from sticking and repeating as needed for 10-12 minutes, or until onions are golden
• Add the coriander, garlic and marjoram to the onions and cook for 1 minute
• Add the carrots and sweet potato and cook for 1 minute, covering them with the onion and spice mixture
• Add the stock and bring to a boil. Let simmer for about 30 minutes, or until carrots are soft
• Puree using a hand blender or your super fancy blender
• Season with cilantro, salt and cayenne pepper, if you’re using it, and garnish with pumpkin seeds


Meatless Monday! Sweet and Sour Roasted Cauliflower

If you've been keeping up with me, you know that quick weeknight meals are a staple in our house. I took some inspiration from the Moosewood Low-Fat Cookbook and created this Italian-inspired dish using mostly pantry staples and a fresh head of cauliflower. When I first read the original recipe and saw that it called for raisins, I was hesitant.

Let me be very clear: I'm not a raisin person.

However. the raisins in this dish soak up the tomato sauce and create little bursts of sweetness. You can omit them, but I'd encourage you to give them a try: 


Sweet and Sour Roasted Cauliflower

Ingredients

1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets

1 onion, chopped

3-4 cloves of garlic minced

1/3 cup golden raisins (can be omitted)

1 x 28-oz can (BPA free) or carton of diced tomatoes with their juices

1/4 cup of rice vinegar or red wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon of olive oil

1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Sea salt and pepper to taste

  • Preheat oven to 380F. Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil and salt on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Roast the cauliflower for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally for more even browning.
  • While the cauliflower roasts, cook the onion and garlic 7-8 minutes over med-high heat, adding just enough water to keep it from burning.
  • Add the tomatoes and their juices along with the vinegar and raisins. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes.
  • When the cauliflower is tender and cooked through, remove it from the oven and add it to the sauce along with the drained can of beans. Cook till warmed through, about another 5 minutes.

I served this over polenta, but you could serve it over brown rice or whole wheat couscous. I used a pre-cooked tube of polenta, sliced it into ¼ inch-thick rounds and sprinkled on some dried basil and sea salt. I baked the polenta along with the cauliflower.


Serves 4-6


Weeknight Meal: Yam and Chickpea Stew with Indian Spices

I pride myself on throwing together great weeknight meals in record time, and one I whipped up Wednesday ranks high up on the list. It came together quickly, but you'd never know it with the complex layers of flavors! This hearty stew uses mostly pantry basics (okay, fresh ginger isn't always on hand, but you can substitute ground ginger in a pinch), making it a new weeknight classic in our house.
 

    Serves 4-6

 

Serves 4-6


Ingredients
1 large onion, chopped (any type)
4-6 cloves of garlic, smashed with the side of the knife and minced
2 medium yams (about 1.5 lbs), cut into half inch cubes
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced (you can sub 2 tsp dried ground ginger)
2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 can diced unsalted tomatoes with their juice (look for a BPA-free can)
2 cups of cooked garbanzo beans (or one can drained and rinsed)
2 cups water
Sea salt to taste
Optional: Pumpkin seeds as garnish


Directions
1. Cook onion and garlic over medium heat for about 8 minutes or until very soft. Stir occasionally and continually add just enough water to the pan to prevent the onions and garlic from sticking.
2. Add the ginger and spices and cook for another minute, until ginger is fragrant.
3. Add the yam and stir to coat the vegetables with the spices. Cook for another minute or two as you stir
4. Stir in the tomatoes and their juice, the beans and the water.
5. Bring the pot to a boil, cover, and turn down to simmer for 20 minutes.

This 20 minutes of cooking time is a great time to throw together a green salad!

6. Salt to taste when the yam is completely tender.

You can either serve the soup chunky like this, or you can puree about 2 cups of the soup and stir it back into the pot for a creamier texture.

Better-than-Raspberry Ice Cream

Ah Valentine’s Day… Nothing says "I love you" like cheap chocolate and candy that taste like wax. Most commercial V-Day treats are loaded up with added sugar, fat, preservatives, additives and dye. I’m flipping the script this year with some decadent desserts that are good for you and the ones you love.

This dessert contains cacao nibs. If you've never used them before, a caution: Don't expect them to taste like chocolate chips! They have a distinct chocolate-ness, but they're actually the dried and roasted cocao bean before the bean is ground and mixed with sugar. They contain tryptophan--just like your Thanksgiving turkey--that is required for production of serotonin, and can actually be helpful for anxiety. On top of that, they're a great source of magnesium and fiber, and the monounsaturated fat in cacao can raise good cholesterols. 

Did I forget to mention that this is really delicious and creamy? Because it's that, too!

Ingredients:

6 ounces frozen raspberries, thawed

2 medium-sized bananas, cut into slices and frozen

1 Tbsp water (or more if needed)

½ cup raw whole cashews, soaked in warm water for 6-12 hours

2 Tbsp cacao nibs


Directions:

  • Drain the cashews of their soaking water.
  • Puree the cashews and raspberries and 1 Tbsp of water in a blender until very smooth (add more water if needed to keep the mix moving).
  • Add the bananas to the mix and continue pureeing until the mix is completely smooth.
  • Stir in the cacao nibs and pour the mixture into a container with a lid.
  • Freeze the container for minimum four hours, then serve. If you freeze the mix longer than four hours, let it defrost on the counter for about 15 minutes before scooping. 

Grounding Root Vegetable Soup

We have how many more weeks until spring?! As far as I can tell, there is only one redeeming quality about winter: Winter is excellent soup weather! I love a hearty soup, but I don’t want to feel heavy and ready to hibernate. And with my schedule, I need a recipe that won’t require me to chop 60 different vegetables!

The grounding energy of root vegetables makes them an excellent choice for a soup this time of year, and this recipe is a great opportunity to use some of those mystery vegetables you’ve been eyeing up in the produce section, namely turnips and rutabagas. These root vegetables are a great source of Vitamin C and fiber, and they have a surprisingly sweet flavor and a creamy texture.

 

Ingredients

1 large yellow, white or sweet onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 Medium/Large turnips, peeled and cut into ½ inch chunks (about 1 or 1.5 lb after peeling)

3 Med/Large rutabagas (about 1 or 1.5 lb after peeling)

7 cups vegetable stock (low sodium)

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Ingredients for the optional garnish:

½ onion

1 clove garlic

2 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered lengthwise

1 tsp sesame oil

1 Tbsp rice vinegar

Directions

  • In a large pot, cook onion and garlic over medium high heat, continually adding just enough water to keep the onion and garlic from sticking. If you’re making the Brussels sprout garnish, cook the onion and garlic in the same pot.
  • After about 8 minutes, onion should be soft and golden. Remove a scoop of onion and garlic and put into another pan for the garnish
  • Add the chopped turnips and rutabagas to the soup pot and stir well with the onion. Cook on med-high heat for about 5 minutes, adding water if needed to keep vegetables from sticking
  • Add the water or stock, bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30-35 minutes or until vegetables are completely soft
  • While the soup is cooking, prepare the garnish: Bring the pan with the cooked onion and garlic to medium high heat, add the sesame oil and Brussels sprouts. Saute for about 5-8 minutes, or until sprouts are crisp tender. Finish with a sprinkling of the rice vinegar and set aside.
  • When vegetables are completely tender, use an immersion blender to puree the soup, and season to taste.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the Brussels sprouts.

Steel Cut Oats Overnight

January is National Oatmeal Month, and I've definitely eaten my share this month! I won't turn my nose up at a bowl of oatmeal made with rolled oats, but I really love a hot bowl of steel cut oatmeal. I really go for the chewy, hearty texture of steel cut oats. But who has an hour to cook oatmeal? Answer: Very few of us.

Here's a great trick for enjoying steel cut oatmeal any day of the week (I like to increase the recipe proportions to make 6 servings, then I portion it into single serve containers so I have oatmeal ready to go every day of the week):

10 Minutes to Overnight Steel Cut Oats
4 servings

4 cups water
1 cup Steel Cut Oats
2 cinnamon sticks (or 1 Tbs cinnamon)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of PURE vanilla extract or the scrapings from one vanilla bean
OPTIONAL: 4 cardamom pods, gently crushed with the side of a knife but left intact

1. Put all of the ingredients in a large pot, stir well and bring to a boil uncovered.
2. When the pot comes to a boil, give a big stir, cover and turn down to a high simmer.
3. Simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Leave the pot on the stove with the lid in place, and turn the heat completely off.
5. Go to bed.
6. Wake up to a pot of perfectly cooked oatmeal.
7. Remove the cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks
8. Add any mix-ins (like seeds, nuts, fresh or frozen fruit) and reheat on the stove or in the microwave.

I like to mix in seeds and nuts to my oatmeal, like 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans or walnuts. I also top my oatmeal with fresh or frozen fruit and if I'm feeling super fancy, I'll add granola made from whole ingredients (Note: When purchasing your granola, choose one with less than 6 grams of sugar per serving, no preservatives, and no ingredients made in a lab!).