This week I participated in a festive cookie swap. Each lady brings her own cookie dough to the party, and at the party, you are able to sample a variety of cookies. At the end, you trade your cookies, package them in a beautiful assortment, and leave with finished gifts (and new recipes!). You never know what dietary requirements come up at group events so I thought I would create out a dairy-free, gluten-free, refined-sugar-free, vegan cookie recipe. Being free of flour, eggs and butter you would think the cookies would be kinda ‘meeh’ but thanks to almond butter they have the cookie goodness we are looking for. The oats create the base of these healthy holiday cookies, and maple syrup is a great low glycemic index sweetener that prevents those post cookie blood sugar spikes. These Easy Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies are one of my new favourites, and will be a life-saver recipe when catering for multiple dietary restrictions.
Healthy alternative to pancakes! Good source of protein! Now that I have your attention, let me elaborate on my bold statements. Nutrition Science is an interesting field in that it is ever evolving and recommendations are continuously being improved upon. One area that is under review is our current daily protein recommendations. We won’t know for a while, but there is some speculation that they are about to be increased. Nevertheless, following a plant-based diet can sometimes leave some of us a bit short on our protein needs – so no better place to start improving on this than with breakfast. This recipe for Simple Steel-Cut Oats with Peanut Butter and Banana offers 15g of protein per serve, which can get you well on your way to meeting your daily protein requirements.
“Steel-cut oats have double the amount of fibre and protein as traditional rolled oats, with 4g of fibre and 5g of protein per serve”
What makes steel-cut oats so special? Firstly, you can make a big batch of them on a Sunday night and have breakfast ready for the rest of the week. They taste great cold or re-heated; simply double the below recipe and add more milk or milk alternative in the morning to thin it out. Secondly, they are the least processed type of oats. The grouts are simply hulled, toasted and then chopped into 3-4 little sections, rather than flattened like the traditional oats we are familiar with. Thirdly, oats are packed full of beta-glucans which are known for their cholesterol and blood-sugar lowering abilities. Lastly, steel-cut oats can help us meet our daily protein needs. This is important for muscle synthesis, immune function and overall good health. The addition of peanut butter and organic soymilk or homemade hemp milk (see Simple Hemp Milk recipe) help boost the protein content even further.
Current protein recommendations are 0.8g of protein per kilogram of ideal body weight per day. For the average women this may be around 50-60g and for men 60-70g. There are many factors that determine if a higher protein intake is required including age (muscle synthesis decreases with age), activity level, and health status. If you would like to figure out your exact protein requirements speak to a Registered Dietitian or another healthcare professional. For most people, aiming for at least 15-20g of protein per meal is a good start.
And so how are they a healthy alternative to pancakes? To me, anything smothered with peanut butter, banana and honey with a is as good as pancakes. You will just have to give’em a try and see for yourself!
Steel Cut Oats with Peanut Butter and Banana
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup milk or fortified milk alternative unsweetened
- 1/2 cup steel-cut oats uncooked
- pinch sea salt
- 1 banana* frozen
- 2 tbsp peanut butter natural
- 1 tbsp raw honey raw / unpasteurized
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon ground
- 1 tbsp flaxseed flaxseed (option to grind)
Bring water and milk or milk alternative to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Once boiling, add the steel-cut oats and a pinch of salt. Reduce the heat to low.
In a separate bowl, mash the banana and add it to the oats. Continue to cook on a reduced heat and simmer uncovered for about 15-20 minutes, making sure to stir often.
You know the oats are finished when they are nice and creamy. Remove them from the heat and add the peanut butter, honey, cinnamon and flax. Give it a good stir to ensure everything is well blended.
This dish is great as leftovers for the following morning. Simply store in an airtight container in the fridge, and in the morning add a splash of milk or milk alternative and eat cold or heated.
*I prefer frozen banana because they are always available in my house, and are much sweeter. A very ripe, non-frozen banana would do just fine as well.
Make it vegan: Use maple syrup in place of honey.
Add more protein: Add 2 tbsp of hemp hearts per serving.
Make it gluten-free: Check for certified gluten-free oats.
Make it 50% raw: Add 1/4 cup of raw nuts and fresh berries.
Consider food miles: Use Canadian grown oats. Omit the banana and replace with apple, pear or berries.
Nutrition Information for Steel-Cut Oats with Peanut Butter and Banana
Made with soy milk
Total Fat: 5g
Saturated Fat: 1.9g