Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Non-sugar-coated recipe numero uno.

This is yet another creation of which I did not take a picture, due to the fact that...it looks like nearly any other kind of oatmeal out there!  And oatmeal just looks...bleh.  Haha!

If you know me well, you know that I absolutely love the heck out of oatmeal.  Why?  Because a) It keeps you going (and, on a very regular basis, I am going all sorts of different places all day, so stopping for food every few hours is a major inconvenience), b) it's healthy, and c) if you make it the right way, it tastes pretty darn amazing!  Most people prefer sweet oatmeal; however, I discovered that the stuff can be just as amazing when mixed with a few savory ingredients as well. 

My favorite kind of sweet oatmeal has always been apple cinnamon.  The Quaker Instant kind.  X)  But the other day, I do believe I created something just a bit better.  Although this recipe physically yields more oatmeal than a packet of the instant stuff does, it only has 20 more Calories.  Oh, and it has no added sugar.

Apple Pie Porridge

You'll need:

1/3 cup quick oats
Scant 1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla

Mix oats and salt together and add water.  Microwave for approx 1 min, 15 sec.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Try topping with raisins or cranberries.  :p

Once you try this stuff, you'll see why I called it Apple Pie Porridge. 

Calories:  150

Sunday, August 14, 2011

I don't sugar-coat things.

That statement applies to me in two different ways.  Firstly, I really am an honest person.  I don't believe in euphemisms and white lies -- I tell it like it is (and I'd prefer that people told ME things as they are, too.  If I can dish it, I can take it)!  Any of my friends could tell you that.  Sure, being a nice person is always on my list of priorities...however...if you ask me a question -- any question -- I'm going to say what I think, no matter what.  And it might not always be the answer for which you were looking.

Secondly...I am one of the many people out there who is saying goodbye to that white, grainy stuff and trying to find something healthier to dump in my coffee/cereal every morning!  Okay, okay, I am most definitely not on a sugar-free diet.  Chocolate is one of my absolute favorite foods, and, on a very regular basis, I visit my favorite cafe downtown and order my favorite coffee drink, a tin roof latte.  This drink consists of coffee, milk, chocolate, caramel, peanut butter, and a heck of a lot of sugar.  So yeah, glucose is all good in my world.

However, over the past few years, I have been exploring healthier alternatives.  Why?  Well, there are several different reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is that I am hypoglycemic.  Most of you probably already know what that is, but in case you don't...when someone is hypoglycemic, they need to consume complex carbohydrates every few hours in order to prevent a "sugar attack" (at least, that's what I've always referred to them as).  During a sugar attack, they might get shaky, dizzy, even nauseous.  If I let one go on for long enough,  my muscle coordination and motor skills get kinda effed up.  Oh, and I fell flat on my face once.  That wasn't fun.

These attacks are triggered by two different things:  a)  not eating for a long period of time, or b) consuming simple carbohydrates, such as white, processed grains aaaand...you guessed it, SUGAR.  But hey, I can still eat all the sugary crap I want.  I just need to be armed with a glucose tablet, a piece of fruit, or...something involving whole grains...when the attack comes an hour or so later. 

I've tried various sugar substitutes.  They all suck.  Yes, all of them.  Nearly every single kind I tried was, essentially, a packet of crystallized, sickeningly sweet chemicals with a downright nasty aftertaste.  My most recent sugar-free adventure involved cooking a few things with stevia.  Stevia...well, it definitely doesn't taste good.  It just tastes slightly less awful than all the other sugar substitutes out there! 

Honestly, I prefer healthier forms of sugar.  While refined sugars will give me an attack and sugar substitutes won't do crap for me (and taste disgusting), complex sugars, such as honey, maple syrup, fruit, and agave syrup, actually help me.  And they help you, too.  Since complex sugars take longer for your body to break down, they fuel you for a longer period of time.  In other words, they give you legit energy, unlike white sugar.  I love putting honey in my coffee and tea, and mixing fruit with yogurt, cereal, etc.  Recently, I tried chai tea sweetened with agave syrup, and it was heavenly. 

Seriously, there are so many more alternatives to sugar than that icky stevia!

[stay tuned for some nom-tastic, no-added-sugar recipes!]

Sunday, August 7, 2011

No earth-shatteringly delicious inspiration, as of late.

For me, inspiration usually comes in streaks.  For example, there will be a week where I'll come up with about 25 recipe ideas, manage to make about ten of them, and then have to restrain myself from blogging about all of them at once!  And then...there will be entire months when I will have no ideas whatsoever.  This is looking like one of those months.  Egh.

But!  Check out the adorable storage containers Lisa gave me for my birthday a few weeks ago!  <3

(That black, blob-like thing off to the side is just a cherry pit, FYI.  And that white stuff is cottage cheese.  I think I have the least photogenic diet out of everyone I know...)

She gave me some Hello Kitty plates and bowls as well.  To go with my Hello Kitty toaster...um, yeah, I'm totally not 22 years old!  /facepalm  HK, along with Fruits' Basket, lolcats, and many other mindlessly cute things, is one of my guilty pleasures.  I may be getting older, but I certainly don't plan on getting boring!

Oh, and I did try making a spicy version of my savory oatmeal  the other day.  I cooked the oatmeal with 1/4 tsp of salt, and then added a dash of pepper, 1 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp onion powder, and 1 tsp cilantro.  Topped it with tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions sauteed in olive oil.  If you a) like the sound of the original recipe (the one I just linked), and b) are a fan of cumin, you're bound to be a fan of this as well!