Friday, January 2, 2015

Goal Setting with a little Sweet Potato Oatmeal

It's our first post of 2015! And no better way to start off the new year with some good eats. If you've resolved to eat better in the new year, this is a great breakfast to start off your year. Remember, your resolutions and goals should be easily attainable and eating better is a very much doable with the right tools: good, whole foods, healthy recipes and friends or family to share them with. Reaching your goals all comes down to preparation and follow-through. We all have the motivation, that isn't lacking. We all WANT to do better. But very rarely do we know how to go about it successfully. That's where preparation and actually following through on that prep comes in. When it comes to healthy eating, for example, setting aside some time to plan a weekly menu with a shopping list can help you prepare healthy meals for the whole week. Think about including healthy foods you've been wanting to try or know your family enjoys and find recipes to prepare them healthfully. When you shop, only buy the items needed for your meals and snacks. That way each day you know what you'll be preparing and eating and will have less of a chance to get off course. I typically plan my week's meals on Sundays and shop on Mondays. I make crock-pot meals for our busiest days and relatively quick and easy meals for the other days. Some examples of my favorite quick and easy meals include this sweet potato, fennel and carrot soup and this nut-butter greens and potato dish made with rocking Nuttzo nut-butter. If you want to talk more about realistic goal setting and making your resolutions stick, join us for a Tweet Chat on Tuesday January 6th at 5pm Pacific, 8pm Eastern. Just use the hashtag #poweredbybits to find us and join!

One way to make sure you're eating better is start your day with a great breakfast. I love me a good breakfast (ok, I love every meal) and this one does not disappoint. It's great because you can make a big batch and have it all week, just like my quinoa breakfast cereal. This oatmeal is very filling and has just the right amount of sweetness so it's not too dense, as some oatmeals can be. And if you use gluten-free oats, this is a hearty gluten-free, vegan breakfast that's high in fiber, protein, vitamins A, C and B complex, iron, potassium, magnesium, healthy Omega-3s and so much more!

Sweet Potato Oatmeal
(this recipe, which I adapted from the Minimalist Baker, makes about 6-8 servings of 1-1.5 cups each, so enough to power your whole week)

3 cups quick oats
5 3/4 water
1 tsp salt
1 small sweet potato (big enough for 1 cup of mashed potato)
3 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs maple syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Bring the water and salt to a boil. Once boiling, add your oats. Reduce the heat to medium and stir to wet all the oats. Cook for about 1 minute. Turn the heat off and cover the oats. Let sit at least 3 minutes. While your oats are cooking, pierce your sweet potato several times and pop into the microwave. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, depending on your microwave. The potato should be soft when fully cooked. I'm not crazy about microwaving food, but this is a quick way to cook your potato. If you have the time, bake your potato at 400 for about 20 minutes. Once cooked, remove the skins from the potato and mash until smooth. I add a splash of almond milk to smooth out the potato. Add the mashed potato and all the remaining ingredients (except the pecans) to the oatmeal. Mix well and spoon out however many servings you need immediately. Top with about 1 tbs pecans per serving. Save the rest of the oatmeal in an airtight container in the fridge for breakfasts for the week.

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