It’s Better Breakfast Month and a great way to start your day is to add some herbal essence.  One of my favorite herbs is mint.  It spruces up any dish.  It can turn ordinary water into a flavor-filled thirst quencher; top a salad with class or change the taste trajectory of vanilla ice cream.  It’s a marvelous herb with a bevy of good-for-you, medicinal benefits.

 

Did you know that mint is a natural anti-inflammatory, decongestant (menthol), gas reliever (peppermint) and breath freshener (mint oil)?  It’s got tons of beneficial chemical compounds — and actually comes from a large family -  rosemary among its members.  And the smell of it … mint has tons of natural aromatic oils.

 

Let’s add some mint to hot oats.  Puree a bit of mint with some fresh strawberries and a drizzle of honey and swirl into cooked oats.  If you want to get really crazy you can add a bit of dark chocolate, cinnamon or vanilla to elevate the flavor profile a bit.

 

 

What can I say about plain, unadulterated oats?  They are a blank canvas ready to be flavored to your liking.  Sweet or savory; oats make delish hearty meals or tasty snack adventures in a variety of ways (think: oat bars, muffins, bowls or oat clusters!). From a nutritional standpoint, oats give you a ton of soluble fiber called beta glucan, which can keep your blood flowing smoothly and clear your vessels of excess cholesterol.  In turn, it keeps your heart healthy and beating strong.

 

Mint & Strawberry Hot Oats 

Serves 2

Ingredients

3 - 4 whole strawberries, hulled and washed

2 fresh mint leaves

1 teaspoon honey

1 cup rolled oats, plain

2 cups low-fat (2% fat) milk*

Directions

Place strawberries, mint and honey into a food processor and puree until blended well.  Set aside.

On the stove top over medium heat, add oats and milk to a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Stir until mixture thickens.  Remove for heat and divide into two bowls.  Spoon a bit of the strawberry mint puree into each.  Stir and top with a dash of cinnamon, if desired.

*Use non-dairy milk like almond, hazelnut or soy milk, if you’d like.

Enjoy eating simply,

-Vicki 

 

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