Tumeric Milk Baked Oatmeal is not only heart healthy, it’s a great tasting way to start the day!
Disclosure: By posting this recipe I am entering a contest sponsored by Wonderful Pistachios and am eligle to win prizes. I was not compensated for my time.
It’s no secret, I love pistachios. In recogition of heart month, I’d like to share how I easily consume a daily 1.5 ounce portion of this nut, aka the Fit NutTM, as part of my heart-healthy lifestyle.
First of all, I snack on them by the handful. I highly recommend you do the same; pistachios are one of the lowest calorie and lowest fat snack nuts, earning them the name Skinny Nut TM! In-Shell Pistachios, aka the Mindful NutTM, are my number one choice for snacking. Cracking each shell slows me down and helps me to eat mindfully. One preliminary behavioral study found that participants who consumed in-shell pistachios ate 41 percent fewer calories compared to those who consumed pistachios without the shell. This suggests what’s referred to as the Pistachio Principal: the empty shells may provide a visual cue for portions. BTW, my clients smile when I include them in their meal plans. It’s not surprising pistachios are also the Happy NutTM.
Secondly, I like to use ’em in granola and as toppings on yogurt and breads to add texture, crunch, and a pop of color. Did you know they are aka the colorful NutTM? Pistachios’ green, red-purple hues come from antioxidants. Take note: it’s healthy to add color to your plate, all colors!
Finally, I find great satisfaction by combining them with other good for you foods! Their notes of butter and nuts and rich texture complement a broad range of foods. One of my all time favorite pistachio flavor combos is:
pistachios + oatmeal + tumeric + cranberries
and it just so happens to be the inspiration for this Tumeric Milk Baked Oatmeal with Pistachios and Dried Cranberries.
Similar to a bread pudding (total comfort food) this baked oatmeal has a cake like texture. (If you don’t like runny oatmeal, this is your oatmeal opportunity.) At first bite, you’re going to think dessert. That’s ok, but you should know that it’s so nutrient rich, I approve of it as a stand alone breakfast entree. It’s low in fat, low in saturated fat, high in fiber, and a source of whole grains. I served it with tumeric milk to get close to my breakfast protein goal of 20 grams (which also boosted the DV for calcium to 45% based on a 2000 calorie diet).
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the potential health benefits of turmeric. Extensive clinical trials are ongoing examining the efficacy of curcumin (the major component of turmeric) against many human diseases including (but not limited to): diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic diseases, cancer, lupus, and IBD. Poor bioavailability and limited adverse effects are reported as major limitations to the therapeutic usefulness of curcumin. Perhaps one day we will have a deeper understanding of this nutraceutical against human pro-inflammatory diseases. Until then, let’s continue to enjoy its common use as a spice and food coloring agent!