Oatmeal provides a simple, nourishing breakfast on its own, but we can easily up our oatmeal game with the help of some super seeds. Chia, hemp and flax seeds are all plant-based sources of protein, fiber and omega-3 polyunsaturated fats. Studies have found that omega-3s may:
- reduce symptoms of PCOS and metabolic syndrome such as insulin resistance,
- boost brain functioning, especially during developmental years and later in life,
- assist in the prevention and treatment of depression and anxiety,
- support eye health through preventing macular degeneration,
- relieve menstrual pain, perhaps better than ibuprofen,
- improve heart health through decreasing triglycerides and improving cholesterol,
- help fight autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s and more.
Any type of oats (steel cut, rolled, or quick) are great, however, steel cut are the least processed and lowest in glycemic load. This keeps blood sugar levels stable and helps us stay energized. I hope you enjoy the great combination of flavors and the numerous health benefits of this gooey, aromatic bowl of super seed oatmeal.
- 1/2-3/4 cup steel cut oats
- 2 cups water or nut milk
- 1/2-1 tbsp hemp seeds
- 1/2-1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1/2-1 tbsp ground flax seeds
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- fruit toppings
- nut butter
Long Version (steel cut oats):
- Bring water to a boil.
- Add steel cut oats to the boiling water on the stove, turn down temperature to low. Let oats cook for 10 min.
- Stir in hemp hearts, chia seeds, flax seeds, and cinnamon (optional: splash of almond milk).
- Wait for the remaining liquid to soak up.
- Top with fruit and a healthy fat, like nut butter.
Quick Version (rolled or Quick oats):
- Add equal parts oats (rolled or quick) and nut milk together and stir.
- Stir in hemp hearts, chia seeds, flax seeds and cinnamon.
- Cover and place in fridge overnight.
- In morning, add toppings and dig in!
- steel cut oats = low glycemic load, high in fiber, maintains blood sugar levels, and contains tryptophan which boosts serotonin levels for better sleep and a stable mood
- chia seeds = high in omega 3s which can help decrease high testosterone and improve egg quality
- hemp hearts = high in protein, fibre, and essential fatty acids (omega 3, 6 & 9) which may improve cholesterol profiles, may reduce inflammation
- flax seeds = may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, contain lignans which may increase sex hormone-binding globulin and therefore lower blood testosterone levels
- cinnamon = may help balance glucose levels, lower cholesterol, and decrease triglycerides in blood
More ways to use super seeds:
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A low-glycemic, raw, vegan dessert just in time for summer solstice.
Call me a rebel but I like eating salad for breakfast. Spinach is the featured ingredient in this smoothie bowl because it is a champion at providing many vitamins and minerals including the following inflammation-fighters: vitamins K, A, C and B6. It’s also an excellent source of folate, magnesium, calcium and iron. I included vitamin C-rich strawberries to help with iron absorption. Most uniquely, spinach contains various plant compounds including kaempferol, which has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, and nitrates, which have been shown to decrease blood pressure.
Avocado is the other green superfood featured in this breakfast bowl. A meta-analysis published earlier this year concluded that including avocado in our diets can assist in lowering total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Also, its omega-3 content can help lower inflammation.
P.S. This smoothie bowl is banana-free! Previously, frozen bananas were my not-so-secret ingredient for achieving a thick consistency, however, in an effort to decrease my banana consumption I have discovered dairy-free yogurt makes a great alternative. Do you have other ideas for replacing frozen bananas? Let me know in the comments below!
- 2 handfuls of spinach (organic if possible)
- 0.5 avocado
- 0.5 cup dairy-free yogurt (I use plain or vanilla coconut milk yogurt)
- 1 scoop pea protein powder
- dash of liquid like almond milk for easier blending (less liquid = thicker smoothie and, therefore, less sinking toppings)
- toppings: plum, strawberry (organic), cacao nibs, & spearmint
- Plan and prep your toppings so they are ready for decorating.
- Blend spinach, avocado, and yogurt together using a blender or food processor.
- Add protein powder and liquid (only enough to blend completely).
- Pour (or scoop) thick smoothie into a bowl. TIP: If I want it colder I sometimes pop it in the freezer now for about 20 minutes as I get myself ready for the day OR place a few ice cubes at the bottom of the bowl. Sneaky, right?
- Decorate with toppings and admire your work of art.
- spinach = anti-inflammatory, low glycemic index, anti-cancer effects, excellent source of iron, magnesium, & calcium, avoid large amounts if prone to kidney stones or taking blood thinners
- avocado = anti-inflammatory, low glycemic index, high in fiber, may help lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and maintain normal serum total cholesterol levels, contains glutathione which has anti-carcinogenic properties and may boost immunity
- pea protein = helps decrease high cholesterol, manage blood sugar levels, helps build lean muscle mass
- low glycemic fruits (plums and strawberries) = help maintain blood sugar levels