Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Oats

Chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in heaven. But most products and recipes are loaded with tons of sugar, meaning you feel you can’t have this pair any old day. Not with this recipe! Nutritious, delicious and super filling, this oatmeal has no added sugar with all the flavor ūüôā And let me tell you, it was perfect this morning to warm me up on a snow day! As most people know, I am not a big supplement fan¬†but the Garden of Life brand Raw protein is an excellent option every so often when you need a little boost in a carbohydrate dense meal for balance or after a workout. Another great protein¬†is Manitoba Harvest Brand’s new Hemp Pro protein powders. Enjoy this healthy breakfast that seems like a treat ūüôā – there is even a slow cooker option if you think you don’t have the time!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Oatmeal (V, GF, DF)

Ingredients for 1 serving:


Just double, triple, quadruple as needed!

1/2 cup oats (40 g)
1 tsp chia seeds
1/2 scoop Garden of Life Raw protein (original)
1.5 tsp cacao powder
Optional: 1/2 tsp maca root powder
Optional: 1.5 tsp unsweetened coconut
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 banana, sliced

Directions:
-In a small saucepan, boil 6-7 ounces water (or non dairy milk)
-Add the oats and chia seeds at once and reduce heat to simmer
-Stir frequently to prevent sticking ‚Äď quick oats should thicken within 2 minutes and rolled oats within 5
-Add the protein, cacao, maca, vanilla and stir well
-Pour into serving bowl and top with peanut butter, sliced banana, and coconut
Slow Cooker Version:
-Quadruple above recipe
-Use steel cut oats instead of rolled or quick oats
-Add all ingredients except banana and coconut to glass bowl that will fit into slow cooker basin
-Place bowl in slow cooker, fill slow cooker with water up to 1 inch below top of bowl
-Set on low for 6-8 hours, wake up and enjoy!

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories: 395
Total Fat: 14 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 5 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrate: 49 g
Fiber: 11 g
Sugar: 9 g
Protein: 24 g

Sodium: 76 mg 5 % Potassium: 375 mg 8 %

Thiamin: 4 %         Riboflavin: 6 %    Niacin: 20 %
Vitamin B6: 21 %    Folate: 7 %
Vitamin C: 7 %        Vitamin E: 10 %    Vitamin A: 1%
Calcium: 4 %         Iron: 37 %             Zinc: 12 %
Magnesium: 21 %   Phosphorus: 18 %

Omega 3: .65 grams (recommended intakes 1.1-1.6g/day)

**vitamins & minerals are listed as % daily value; you may need more
than 100% each day if you’re an athlete, have a deficiency disease, or other medical concerns

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

 

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I love all of the seasons, but you really cannot beat the foods in season in the fall. I likely will have many more pumpkin and squash based recipes in the coming months because there are just so many yummy things to do with those ingredients! As food companies and coffee shops are flooding the market with tons of artificial pumpkin spice “foods” and beverages, I love being able to showcase the much more satisfying flavors of real pumpkin and real spice! Today, I’m highlighting my favorite breakfast food {oatmeal} with a quick recipe that has a kick of pumpkin spice! I am posting the quick oats, single serve version here now plan to post a food prep steel cut slow cooker¬†version in the next couple of weeks too, so stay tuned. Even though the ingredients below are for one serving, you can easily multiply each ingredient by the number of servings you need.

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal (V, GF, DF)

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Ingredients for 1 serving:

1 Cup unsweetened organic soymilk (or other milk or water)
1/2 c (40 g) organic rolled or quick oats (purchase certified gluten free if you have celiac)
1 teaspoon non GMO chia seeds (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
1/4 c pureed organic pumpkin (from home baked or canned*)
1/2 tsp pumpkin spice mix (I use trader joe’s mix)
1/2 tsp organic cinnamon
1 teaspoon cacao nibs or 1 tbsp dark chocolate chips
1 tablespoon almond butter, other nut butter, or 2 tbsp chopped nuts

*Purchasing tip: If I do purchase canned, I buy beans at Trader Joe’s because they do not contain BPA. A risk of using canned foods is that the cans are lined with the carcinogenic chemical BPA. If you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s, click here for brands that are BPA free.
Directions:
-In a small saucepan, boil 1 cup of soymilk (or other milk or water)
-Add the oats and chia seeds at once and reduce heat to simmer
-Stir frequently to prevent sticking – quick oats should thicken within 2 minutes and rolled oats within 5
-Add the pumpkin puree and spices, stir well, and turn off burner
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-Add in your almond butter (or any nut butter) and cacao nibs
-Again, stir well, and EAT!IMG_5967.JPG

 

This makes a quick, easy and filling breakfast any day of the week, but can also be a great night time snack for an athlete looking to refuel and top off carbohydrate stores for training or competition. Combined, the oats, soy milk, and almond butter provide 19 grams of protein to boost the repair process when your body is recovering at night.

Check out my other suggestions for preparing oats here!

Nutrition information per serving (using soymilk, cacao & almond butter):
Calories: 370
Total Fat: 14 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 6 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 7 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrate: 42 g
Fiber: 13 g
Sugar: 2 g
Protein: 19 g

Sodium: 30 mg 1 % Potassium: 575 mg 12 %

Thiamin: 10 %         Riboflavin: 27 %    Niacin: 8 %
Vitamin B6: 12 %    Folate: 11 %
Vitamin C: 5 %        Vitamin E: 30 %    Vitamin A: 17%
Calcium: 13 %         Iron: 45 %             Zinc: 15 %
Magnesium: 28 %   Phosphorus: 22 %

**vitamins & minerals are listed as % daily value; you may need more
than 100% each day if you’re an athlete, have a deficiency disease, or other medical concerns

Cacao Coconut Multi-Seed Mix

I was inspired to make this mix by Nature’s Path Qia. Qia is simply hemp seeds, chia seeds and buckwheat groats. Despite its name, buckwheat is actually gluten free for any of you Celiac or gluten intolerant readers out there. I love Qia because its so easy to use and super filling with lots of nutrients, especially omega 3’s! However, I also found I loved adding some cacao powder or nibs to whatever I was eating it with (especially oats) and sprinkling some shredded coconut on top. So I decided to start making my own ready to use mix. Sorry Nature’s Path, I still love you.

Cacao Coconut Seed Snack Mix // EatRealLiveWell.comHere is how delish it looks in my oats (I add it while they’re cooking on the stove… and sometimes add more on top):

Cacao Coconut Seed Mix & Oats // EatRealLiveWell.com

  Cacao Coconut Multi-Seed Mix (GF, V, DF)

Ingredients:

The brands I like to use are pictured below, but as I do with cacao and buckwheat (not pictured), you can get all of these from the bulk section at Whole Foods, Wegmans etc.

5 Tablespoons Cacao Nibs

5 Tablespoons Hemp Hearts/Seeds

4 Tablespoons Chia Seeds

5 Tablespoons Buckwheat Groats

4 Tablespoons Unsweetened Coconut

Seed Mix Ingredients

{From top left clockwise: Edward & Sons “Let’s Do Organic”¬†shredded coconut, bulk cacao nibs, Bob’s Red Mill Chia (non GMO), and Manitoba Harvest Organic Hemp Hearts¬†}

Simply toss each ingredient into an old nut butter jar, pyrex or other container…

Cacao Coconut Seed Mix // EatRealLiveWell.com

 Shake well and store until use. I keep it right next to my nut butters since I think they pair together fantastically!

Cacao Coconut Seed Mix Stored // Eat Real Live Well

Now, what to do with the mix? I’ve been loving adding it to my oats in the morning, as you can see here:

Cacao Coconut Seed Mix w/ Oats // eatreallivewell.comBut, the mix has also been perfect for travel with all the long weekend trips Tim and I have been taking this summer. Just put some in a small bag or glass container, and bring along a banana and some nut butter. Dip the banana in nut butter and then the mix and you’ve got a delicious, nutritious and filling raw breakfast on the go!

cacao coconut seed mix travel meal // eatreallivewell.comWhile I don’t consume dairy, if I still did I would for sure be adding this to yogurt & berries as another meal option. For dessert it’d be perfect on some fro-yo and I see myself adding to some banana ice cream in the very near future! Enjoy this protein, omega 3, mineral and fiber rich snack mix ūüôā

 

Nutrition Information* (per 2 tablespoons):

Servings: 10
Calories: 95
Total Fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrate: 8 g
Fiber: 5 g
Sugar: 1.5 g
Protein: 4 g
Sodium: 0 mg   0%

Thiamin: 8%           Riboflavin: 8%
Vitamin B6: 4%     Folate: 6%
Calcium: 6 %           Iron: 10%
Zinc: 8%                   Magnesium: 8 %
Phosphorus: 6%
Omega 3: 1.4 g  (this meets estimated rec. daily value)

*Nutrition information for vitamins and minerals is incomplete as companies nutrition facts panels do not include all micronutrients. This mix likely contains much higher amounts of B vitamins and minerals.

Spring Food Prep

Whether it’s not procrastinating on a homework assignment, creating an elevator speech, or making some meals and snacks ahead of time, being prepared helps us when life throws us a curve ball or when it’s just crazy busy in general! As I covered in my first food prep post in the fall taking some time once per week saves time and stress later. When it comes to making decisions about food, you can’t ignore them or put them off. We need to eat at least three times per day in order to feel physically and mentally well. When we make the right decisions, we may not consciously give ourselves enough credit to reinforce those good decisions but unconsciously they are balancing our mental well being, making our brain more sharp, making us feel happier and more energetic. Being prepared with meals and emergency snacks helps us make the correct dietary decisions during crunch time and then influences the rest of our abilities for the day and week.

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If prepping ahead is not something you are in the habit of doing or you are not ready to tackle, read the beginning of my fall post where I highlighted what needs to be done before you commit to planning out your meals (ex: start with a list like the one to the left). Earthbound Farm Organics gives similar tips too.

While prepping food is a major part of my life most Sundays, I have made a commitment to post a new week of food prep each semester. At this point, my students have learned a lot about the science of nutrition, specifically what essential nutrients are, why they are important for the body’s metabolic processes, and where to get the nutrients from. However, we are just now getting to the application. There is no one diet for everyone and to improve health, each individual person needs to focus on small goals/changes that they can make to change bad habits into good ones for the rest of their life. A diet is simply a pattern of eating. What can you do to improve your pattern?

In addition to the above, I always have the follow fresh and ready to eat foods on hand:

Apples, bananas, clementines, nuts & seeds, nut butters, raisins & dates, and not so fresh but still fairly clean rice cakes.

 

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Here is how prepping went:

Sunday morning we decided to have pancakes. I made my buckwheat pumpkin pancakes but used applesauce instead of pumpkin. For the two of us, the whole recipe makes enough for Sunday and a couple of days during the week. You can either cook them all, freeze, and reheat in the toaster or you can cover the batter with press and seal and make fresh the next couple of mornings. I like to make them fresh when I can because then I can add different things for more variety. One morning I added walnuts and banana and topped with peanut butter and this morning I added chopped dark chocolate, unsweetened dried coconut & hemp seeds and drizzled some local honey on top.

20140408-125906.jpg banana walnut buckwheat pancake  Banana, chocolate, coconut buckwheat pancake

Crockpot black beans

After breakfast and the gym and right before church I threw 3 C dry black & pinto beans, 6 cups water, 4 cloves minced garlic, 1 chopped onion, 1 tsp cumin and pepper in the Crockpot and set on high for 8 hours. When they’re done you can mash or use an immersion blender to really get the “refried” texture, or you can just leave as is and they’re still really good. Throughout the week we add these to salads, potatoes, or have with a random grain and vegetable for a meal. Super versatile and if you are a family of less than 4 I recommend freezing half for another week. Also, if you don’t own a slow cooker I don’t know what you’re waiting for. These things are a gift from God to save us all a ton of time.

 


Late afternoon
potatoes and sweet potatoes went in the oven as did asparagus and a chopped red bell pepper for the frittata. I also thinly sliced fresh beets and tossed in olive oil, salt & pepper and baked them. It saves time and energy ($) to cook as much in the oven at once as you can.
While those were in the oven on the stove top I quick cooked some garbanzo beans from dry for hummus, a cup of brown rice, and a package of Trader Joe’s quick cook farro.
With all of that going, I chopped garlic for the guacamole, hummus, soup, and sauce as well as chopped onion for the guac, soup & sauce and jalapenos for the guac. It saves time to chop everything at once so you don’t have to keep going back. With the cutting board out this was a good time to chop carrots and celery for snacks.

When the asparagus & pepper were ready I chopped them and threw them into a bowl with thawed spinach to let cool. The beet chips were all set and went right into a container.

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Food processor came out and I made simple date & cashew energy bars. There’s simple and more fresh than larabars, though I do like my cashew “cookie” hemp bars a little better!

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I put the rice away for sushi night Wednesday and used that burner to cook organic green beans from frozen. Drizzled a little Tubby Olive Tuscan Herb on top with some pepper and those were done in minutes. I then started the white bean soup (but you can prep any soup!) which was also quick since it was vegetarian and while it was cooking made a quick red sauce for the farro.

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Last steps of food prep were making the hummus in the food processor, smashing up the guacamole, and cooking the frittata. Here is a hummus recipe I have up but you can also just throw in garbanzo beans, garlic, salt, pepper, tahini and water, pulse and you’re done. I always have extra garbanzo beans so we can have them on salads. Here is an easy guacamole recipe too. Make it in the storage container so you don’t have to wash an extra bowl. For the frittata, I added 6 eggs to the spinach, asparagus and red pepper mixture and cooked in a large non stick eco pan on low so it wouldn’t burn but would cook through. You can also bake frittata’s. I cut it into 6 pieces and stored in a pyrex in the fridge. Tim eats it for lunch and I even had some with already baked potatoes after a workout one night as dinner.

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The prep I did not do Sunday was crockpot oats Wednesday night so breakfast was ready early Thursday (and Friday) morning for us. 1 Cup steel cut oats, 2 cups almond milk, 2 cups water, cinnamon & vanilla. Low for 8 hours. DONE. Added cacao nibs, coconut, hemp hearts and sunflower seed butter and had some mango on the side.

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Things we still prepared during the week:

We still have to pack lunches every night but its a lot quicker when you just ladle soup or farro into a pyrex and throw lettuce and veggies in another container for a quick salad. Below is the bpa free silicon salad dressing containers I picked up recently at Bed Bath & Beyond too. No one likes soggy salads at work!

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Wednesday was salad & sushi night. After having a salad easily with pre-washed lettuce and some oil & vinegar, we took the already prepped rice and simply chopped up some avocado & shredded some carrot. We rolled out the sushi and had some pickled ginger, low sodium soy sauce & chili sauce on the side. To add protein we also split a package of organic frozen edamame that was easily heated up in a pot in minutes.

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Hope you are feeling inspired to start prepping on your own. I promise its so much better to only have to reheat food after a long work and/or school day! While it seems like a lot of work above, it only took about 3 total hours which would have added up to a lot more cooking breakfast and dinner each individual day of the week. You’ll also spend less time doing dishes! If you already prep, maybe there are some new ideas above too. As my students already know, I am always open to comments and question. Have a healthy weekend!

Lentil Burger Recipe

Here’s a delicious recipe to help in celebrating National Hamburger Day! It’s a good idea to go meatless if only for one day a week, and after all the Memorial Day grilling that Americans enjoyed this past weekend, a meatless burger is a fantastic filling and nutrient dense option. Continue reading

Warming, versatile, nutritious oatmeal recipes

I was a little late in finding out that January has been deemed “National Oatmeal Month”. It didn’t make a difference though as I could probably eat oatmeal twice a day all year long and never get sick of it- it’s my answer to “if you were stranded on a desert island and could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?”.

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There are different types of oats you may run into. You want to stay away from oatmeal packets. They are much more processed and often contain less fiber & protein and much more sugar. The “low sugar” varieties almost always have artificial sweetener added – there’s no reason for that!

The least processed oats you’ll see on the shelves are steel cut. They have a little more of a gritty texture compared to what most people are used to and do take much longer to cook (about 30 minutes). I make steel cut when I have a lot of time on my hands and I generally add extra water and cook for longer so they’re a little more mushy in texture. Rolled Oats are essentially steel cut oats that have literally been flattened by rollers; they cook much more quickly (less than 5 minutes) and can be eaten raw too. Quick oats are rolled and/or cut into smaller flakes and can cook in as little as 1 minute.
There is a lot of hype about how much better steel cut oats are for you but other than digesting a little more slowly, the nutrient content is virtually the same as rolled or quick oats. Below I used rolled oats in all of my recipes but plan to make crock pot steel cut apple oats in the near future and will post that too.

Other than tasting amazing there are many reasons to eat oatmeal:

  • Oats contain soluble fiber which is known to bind to and excrete cholesterol from the body
  • They offer more heart benefits due to the antioxidants that prevent damage to the “bad” LDL cholesterol in the body. One serving also has virtually no fat and 0 grams of cholesterol.
  • A compound in oats called beta glucan has been found to benefit the immune system and is associated with better blood sugar management in type II diabetics
  • Because of the minimal processing compared to other grains in our food system, oats retain a lot of the mineral selenium which is a powerful cancer fighting antioxidant that also benefits the heart
  • You can find oats labeled “gluten free” if you have celiac disease or a wheat intolerance*
  • Oatmeal is one of the best breakfast options for athletes pre-competition (or practice/workout). It provides sustained energy from carbohydrates since they are absorbed slowly. Eat one serving (1/2 cup dry) with 1/2-1 banana (depending on your calorie needs) 45 minutes-1 hour before a race.
  • A half cup serving also contributes 5 grams of protein to your diet
  • Other nutrients you’ll get in high amounts include zinc, potassium, iron and folate
  • Inexpensive! I buy organic oats from the bulk section at Whole Foods for next to nothing. Sometimes I switch it up and have Country Choice organic multigrain oat cereal. There are often $1 off coupons on mambosprouts.com.
  • Quick & convenient to cook

*All recipes below are gluten and dairy free & vegan. Be sure to purchase oats labeled as “gluten free” if you have celiac disease. While oats are naturally gluten free, there is possibility of contamination with gluten in the processing facilities.


Oatmeal Prep Basics

One serving of rolled or quick oats is a 1/2 Cup or if you have a food scale, measures out to 40 grams.
*After boiling about 1 cup of water, add the 1/2 cup of oats and reduce to a simmer.
Leave uncovered and stir frequently. When the oats are at the desired consistency remove from heat.
Instead of adding sugar or sweeteners, I generally add a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract for a flavor boost.
Jazz up the oatmeal with one of the options below.
*If you need to double, triple, quadruple the recipe, follow directions on the container as the more servings you make, the less water you may need.

 

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Option 1
is my favorite way to have oatmeal; with almond butter & a banana.
My favorite almond butters are either the “raw creamy unsalted” version from Trader Joe’s or the grind your own option at Whole Foods. Obviously the latter is the most fresh & least processed but the creaminess of the T. Joe’s one gets me. These 2 options are also very economical at about $4.99/lb versus other brands which can run from $10-15 on average. I saw one brand at whole foods last week that was $34.99! Crazy!

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Most of the time I weigh out fats on the food scale. Even healthy fat sources are very Calorie dense and that can sneak up on you easily! This includes oils, earth balance, nuts & nut butters.
I usually weigh out 1 tablespoon of almond butter which is 16 grams and stir it into the oatmeal well. Top with a small sliced banana and drizzle a teaspoon of honey and you have a delicious, filling and energy boosting breakfast – or even afternoon pre-workout meal (cause we know athletes should never eat just 3 meals…)!

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Nutrition information per serving:
Calories: 359
Total Fat: 12 g
Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 7 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrate: 58 g
Fiber: 8.25 g
Protein: 10 g
Sodium: 2 mg 0 % Potassium: 625 mg 13 %

Thiamin: 20 % Riboflavin: 20 % Niacin: 9 %
Pant Acid: 13 % Vitamin B6: 30 % Folate: 10 %
Vitamin C: 12 % Vitamin E: 26%
Calcium: 7 % Iron: 15 % Zinc: 20%
Magnesium: 45 % Copper: 41 % Selenium: 27 %
Manganese: 130 % Phosphorus: 30 %

**vitamins & minerals are listed as % daily value; you may need more
than 100% each day if you’re an athlete, have a deficiency disease, or other medical concerns


Option 2: Hemp hearts, chocolate & peanut butter

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Hemp Hearts add crunch to the oatmeal and provide healthy fats, protein & omega-3. I first tried hemp hearts after the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) when I picked up a free sample from Manitoba Harvest. I am a big advocate for plant based diets and after trying hemp hearts, they’ll stay on my grocery list.

For this recipe, I add 1 Tablespoons of hemp hearts, 1/2 a tablespoon of creamy peanut butter (I use Whole Foods or Wegmans brand organic creamy PB), and 3 squares of Green & Blacks brand 70% chocolate bar, chopped.
Mix well and eat up!

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Nutrition Information Per Serving
Calories: 314
Total Fat: 15.5 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 5 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 4 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrate: 34 g
Fiber: 6.5 g
Protein: 12 g
Sodium: 38 mg 3 % Potassium: 195 mg 4 %

Thiamin: 24 % Riboflavin: 6 % Niacin: 9 %
Pant Acid: 7 % Vitamin B6: 10 %
Folate: 4 % Vitamin E: 7%
Calcium: 3 % Iron: 22 % Zinc: 25%
Magnesium: 42 % Copper: 21 % Selenium: 26 %
Manganese: 140 % Phosphorus: 51 % Omega-3: 0.94 g (60%)


Option 3: Blueberry, Pecan & Cinnamon

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After cooking I added 1/2 Cup blueberries and 2 tablespoons pecans (14 grams). I just break apart the pecan halves myself and add them to the oats. I sprinkled some organic cinnamon on top for added flavor & antioxidants.

*This is a fairly low calorie breakfast. To have an adequate meal you can have an egg on the side, or cook with soy or almond milk instead of water.

Nutrition Information Per Serving
Calories: 275
Total Fat: 12 g
Saturated Fat: 3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 6 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrate: 40 g
Fiber: 8 g
Protein: 7 g
Sodium: 2 mg 0 % Potassium: 250 mg 5 %

Thiamin: 25 % Riboflavin: 9 % Niacin: 5 %
Pant Acid: 10 % Vitamin B6: 6 %
Folate: 2 % Vitamin E: 5% Vitamin C: 10%
Calcium: 2 % Iron: 13 % Zinc: 20%
Magnesium: 30 % Copper: 40 % Selenium: 24 %
Manganese: 120 % Phosphorus: 16 % Omega-3: 0.16 g (10%)

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The possibilities with oats are endless – add whatever sounds good to you (other than just butter and sugar of course).