Oats & Dairy for Breakfast and Beyond: Oatmeal Brûlée


Oats & Dairy for Breakfast and Beyond: Oatmeal Brûlée

Disclosure: By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by National Dairy Council and the Quaker Oats Center of Excellence and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time. 

Brûlée is  on my brain.  I can’t stop thinking about it.  I suspect it’s because I’m fortunate enough to be traveling to the mountains of Vermont to attend the blog brûlée in about 6 weeks from now! (More on that later, I promise.) So it just seemed inevitable that my trip was going to be preceded by a recipe for something sprinkled with sugar and placed under the broiler.  Sure enough, I’ve got a brûlée recipe I ‘m uber excited about posting today,  featuring the powerful combination of oats and dairy!

Oats & Dairy for Breakfast and Beyond: Oatmeal Brûlée

You probably already appreciate that good things come in pairs including  wine and cheese, rest and relaxation and Batman and Robin. Today’s topic  is about yet another  dynamic duo, oats and dairy. This powerful combo, when eaten together, can help fill food and nutrient gaps and provide important health benefits. Did I just say food and nutrient gaps? Yes I did, because the truth is,  if you don’t get enough of the nutrient rich food groups, like whole grains and dairy, you could be missing out on  essential nutrients that keep you and your family healthy. Oats are a great way to get whole grains and fiber. You can choose old fashioned, instant or steel cut oats; they are all 100% whole grain. Milk, yogurt and cheese provide the nutrients that are often lacking in the diets of both kids and adults, namely — potassium, vitamin D and calcium.

I have always known oats and dairy to be  important for good health, and  also a  tasty pairing which is why I am so happy to be able share a recipe that showcases this combination in a delicious option for breakfast and beyond. Each serving of oatmeal brûlée provides 1/2 of a serving of the important whole grains and 1/2 of a serving of nutrient packed dairy.  Please note I am using  lactose-free milk; I am one of 30 million Americans with some lactose intolerance. I find lactose-free milk a great alternative for both drinking and cooking; it tastes great and provides the same nine essential nutrients as regular milk. I do tolerate small amounts of lactose so I made my custard with butter, but included a #lactosefree substitution in the recipe.  When I first made this, I thought it would be best  served lukewarm, but after putting the leftovers in the refrigerator, my family has enjoyed it as much, or more cold. Yes, I am serious. So either way, add some interest to the meals you plan for yourself, and your family, with the healthy and delicious combo of oats and dairy in a versatile  oatmeal brûlée.

For more delicious options  incorporating oats and dairy into your healthy diet,  please see the links at the bottom of this post.

Oats & Dairy for Breakfast and Beyond: Oatmeal BrûléeOats & Dairy for Breakfast and Beyond: Oatmeal Brûlée

Oatmeal Brûlée

makes 4 servings

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 level tablespoons cornstartch
  • 24 ounces Lactose-Free 2% Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon butter (or substitute trans fat free margarine-like spread without milk for a lactose free diet)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

for the topping

  • 1 cup prepared quick cooking steel cut oats, made according to product directions (for lactose-free diet make with water or lactose-free milk)
  • 8 teaspoons caster sugar
  • raspberries and /or blackberries for garnish
  • fresh mint for garnish

Instructions

1. Pour lactose-free milk into a microwave safe measuring cup and heat in the microwave on high for about 2 minutes or until hot to the touch (this will reduce cooking time.)

2. In a medium sauce pan (NOT OVER HEAT), combine the eggs, sugar and cornstarch. Beat with a wire whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth.

3. Whisk hot milk into egg/sugar mixture while the pan is set over low to medium heat. Cook whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens.

4. Remove pan from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.

5. Cool for 5-10 minutes .

6. Divide custard evenly into 4 six-ounce ramekins. Top with 1/4 cup cooked steel cut oats.

7. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of caster sugar spread  in a fine even layer.

8. Place ramekins on cookie sheet. Move the top rack in your oven as high as it will go.

9. Place cookie sheet on top rack of oven and broil for 5 to 10 minutes rotating ramekins to brown evenly. Remove when sugar is melted and brown.

10. Serve lukewarm after the sugar is set about 5 minutes or refrigerate and serve cold. Garnish with fresh berries and mint.

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Helping the Mayo Clinic Prevent Heart Attacks

Blood pressure, lipids, BMI…I can’t seem to get these “lyrics” out of my head ever since I saw the Mayo Clinic’s music video “Know Your Numbers” featuring a parody of the 1982 hit song 567-5309/Jenny. This video marks the Mayo Clinic’s entrance into social media and their novel approach to spreading the word about preventing heart disease.

Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women. However, many women are unaware of this. Having abnormal numbers for blood pressure, lipids, and body mass index (BMI) can be indicators of a risk  for heart disease. The good news is you CAN do something about it; change your lifestyle.

Two lifestyle changes I want to mention  go hand-in hand, exercise and diet. The recommendations for exercise are a minimum of 30 minutes daily for most days. Exercise can help you maintain your weight and can help you burn additional calories if you are in need of weight reduction. Already exercising for 30 minutes daily?  You may want to consider adding a couple of days per week of resistance training. This type of exercise improves muscle tone and preserves lean muscle mass (important in keeping your metabolism high). Resistance exercise can also prevent age related loss of bone. If you are new to exercise, first check with you doctor. Walking is often the simplest exercise for those unaccustomed to physical activity. It’s always best to choose a physical activity you enjoy; it will be easier to stick with. Set aside time everyday for exercise by marking it in your calendar.

The second lifestyle change I want to mention is diet. I don’t like this word anymore than you do. It sounds boring, hard to stick with, and frankly…unappealing. When I use the word diet, I would prefer you to think of healthy food choices, food for building a strong body, or food for disease prevention.

The diet I would like to introduce to you is the DASH eating plan. This has been ranked as the #1 diet above the popular Mediterranean diet. DASH is actually an acronym for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension”. DASH is recommended for those with elevated blood pressure, but its’ health benefits extend far beyond just the population with hypertension. As a matter of fact, DASH has been recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans as a healthy eating model for everyone.  This plan is good for your heart as well as your waistline!

What is the DASH plan? This plan is rich in: potassium, magnesium, calcium, protein and fiber. It is unnecessary to track these nutrients if you choose foods wisely. Simply eat the foods you have always known to be wholesome (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts/beans/seeds, lean protein such as poultry and seafood and low-fat/non-fat dairy) and steer clear of those you have known as not so healthy (calorie and fat laden sweeets and red meat). Last but not least, limit your salt intake.

Here is what a day’s menu on the DASH diet might look like:

BREAKFAST

3/4-cup unsweetened cold cereal

1-cup nonfat milk

Fresh banana

1 slice whole wheat toast with 1 T peanut butter ( freshly ground)

LUNCH

1- cup nonfat milk

Sandwich made with 2 slices whole wheat bread, 2 oz. lean ham (95% fat free) and 1 oz. low fat mozzarella cheese, 2 slices of tomato, leaf of romaine lettuce, mustard, 1 T low-fat mayonnaise

1-cup minestrone

Fresh apple

SNACK

Yogurt parfait made with  6 oz.  light  nonfat vanilla yogurt,  1/2  cup blueberries and 1 T chopped walnuts (unsalted)

DINNNER

3 oz. grilled salmon

1/2-cup brown rice

1- cup steamed broccoli

Salad made with 1-cup romaine lettuce, 1/4-cup grated carrots, 2 slices of onion, 2 radishes, 3 slices of tomato, 1T vinaigrette dressing

1/2 cup seedless grapes

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