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Published January 23, 2014, 01:31 PM

5 ways to eat your morning oatmeal

FARGO – The health benefits of oats are well-documented. They increase appetite-suppressing hormones, lower blood pressure and boost the immune system, among other things.

By: Meredith Holt, INFORUM

FARGO – The health benefits of oats are well-documented. They increase appetite-suppressing hormones, lower blood pressure and boost the immune system, among other things.

But bowl after bowl of plain oatmeal every morning can get boring. Sprinkling fruit and nuts on it adds flavor, texture and nutrition, but sometimes that’s not enough.

Here are five new ways to eat your morning oatmeal:

PBJ Protein Oats

Ingredients

1/3 cup old-fashioned oats

2/3 cup water

1 serving vanilla protein powder

½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract

1 tablespoon natural peanut butter

1 tablespoon natural jam or jelly

Directions

1. Combine oats and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.

2. Reduce heat and let oatmeal simmer until 90 percent of the water is absorbed.

3. Remove from heat and whisk in protein powder and vanilla.

4. Pour oatmeal into a bowl and top with peanut butter and jelly/jam.

Recipe from Meals & Moves

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Oatmeal

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

3 cups milk

1 cup steel-cut oats

½ teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt

1½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ to 1 cup raisins

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

sweetener and toppings of choice

Directions

If you have a slow-cooker:

1. Lightly grease the bottom of the slow-cooker, then add the first 5 ingredients and stir.

2. Cook on low for 3½ hours.

3. Turn off heat, then add the vanilla, sweetener and other toppings of choice.

If you don’t have a slow-cooker:

1. Bring the milk to a boil, then add the next four ingredients.

2. Lower to a simmer, simmering for 20-25 minutes or until thick.

3. Stir in the vanilla, sweetener and other toppings of choice.

Recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie

Chocolate Latte Oatmeal

Ingredients

1 packet instant oatmeal

1 tablespoon chocolate granola

1 teaspoon peanut butter

1 tablespoon toasted almonds

1 teaspoon coconut flakes

2 tablespoons brewed coffee

Directions

1. Prepare oatmeal as directed.

2. Stir in granola, peanut butter, almonds and coconut flakes.

3. Add coffee and enjoy.

Recipe from Kath Eats Real Food

Oatmeal With Blueberries, Sunflower Seeds and Agave

Ingredients

1 serving quick-cooking or old-fashioned rolled oats

½ cup blueberries

1 tablespoon sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon agave nectar

Directions

1. Prepare the oats according to the package directions.

2. Top with the blueberries and sunflower seeds.

3. Drizzle with the agave nectar.

Recipe from Real Simple

Maple Oatmeal with Sweet Potato

Ingredients

½ cup quick or old-fashioned oatmeal

2/3 cup milk

pinch of salt

about 1/3 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato

1-2 teaspoons brown sugar

pumpkin pie spice

maple syrup

chopped almonds

Directions

1. Mix the oats, milk, salt and sweet potato in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high for 1 minute 30 seconds.

2. Remove from the microwave and sprinkle with brown sugar and a dash or two of pumpkin pie spice and stir.

3. Drizzle with maple syrup, add a small handful of chopped almonds and add more milk if desired.

Recipe from Foodie Crush

Readers can reach Forum reporter Meredith Holt at (701) 241-5590

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