HEALTHY BREAKFAST No-cook Oatmeal with Dehydrated or Frozen Fruit by Dr. Allysen Kelley FNP-BC and Gail Ingram MS PC-AGNP. QUICK-EASY-TASTY.
Let’s face it–breakfast can easily turn into dessert before 10 AM. Portable pastries and syrupy coffee drinks are becoming the norm with today’s busy schedules. Most people don’t have time to cook healthy meals every morning but for a reasonable alternative, try QUICK and EASY no-cook oatmeal made with dehydrated or frozen fruits.
NO COOKING! Really.
Soaking rolled oats in water, coconut water, or milk eliminates the need for cooking. Oats absorb the liquid, become soft, and are ready to eat by morning. Dehydrated fruits take up liquid becoming plump while frozen fruits thaw in the fridge overnight. It’s ready to serve your family or just grab and go in the morning.
Not sure what kind of milk to use? These NurseGail.com posts might help you decide:
Yes, DEHYDRATED or FROZEN FRUIT is healthy.
THE REAL DEAL
Some marketing campaigns and lobbying groups claim fruit looses important nutrients in the dehydrating or freezing process but the evidence being cited isn’t altogether accurate. Here are some reasons why:
- Nutrition levels in dehydrated fruit are often compared to fresh fruit without calculating the water loss.
- Vitamin C is the most frequently (and often only) studied nutrient in food processing. It is also one of the most heat-sensitive and easily degraded. Studies based on the action of Vitamin C cannot be generalized because most nutrients are far more robust.
- Washing and peeling fruit prior to drying or freezing contribute to a small loss of water-soluble nutrients. But wouldn’t you wash and peel your fresh fruit at home before eating it?
- Modern advancements in the freezing process minimize the loss of nutrients. Check the dates of some of those studies being cited because many were published before new technology was put in place.
- The actual process of freezing fruit is less to blame for nutrient breakdown than extended storage times. Vacuum sealing and short storage periods (of a few months or less) will help maintain maximum nutrition.
- Nutrients in fruit start to break down only days after picking (some argue hours). It is important that fruit be frozen immediately after being picked, washed, and peeled. Look at the packaging when choosing to buy. The shipping and storage time should be as short as possible. Purchase from a store with high turnover of product.
Just a couple more things about dehydrated and frozen fruits… The best dehydrated fruits are raw, unsweetened, and packaged with the least amount of additives. Rehydrating or thawing fruit overnight will not affect the nutrition content. And, interestingly, there might be an added benefit to using frozen fruit instead of fresh:
…Frozen or canned fruits…maintain most of their nutritional value and may also reduce pesticide exposure as compared to fresh produce. –UpToDate [Organic Foods and Children, 6/2017]
ALLYSEN’s No Cooking, No Cutting, No-Time-at-All Oatmeal
This recipe has plenty of fiber, vitamins, and nutrients and can be made easily during your meal prep for the week.
¼ cup rolled oats (not the instant oatmeal packets)
½ cup unsweetened almond milk (more or less depending on your thickness preference)
¼ cup of water
½ tbsp chia seeds (don’t skip out on these, chia seeds are a great source of fiber)
½ cup frozen, fresh, or freeze-dried blueberries (or sub in any fruit)
A touch of cinnamon
½ cup Greek Yogurt for added protein
Sweetener of your choice (you might want to read NurseGail.com’s post about HONEY before loading up)
1 tbsp chopped nuts (almonds or pecans) or crunchy granola for a topping
For a “carrot cake” option, add in ½ cup finely grated carrots
Mix all the ingredients (minus the nuts or granola) in a jar and refrigerate overnight.
Voila! In the morning just add the nuts or granola and enjoy a healthy breakfast on the go!
Oatmeal should stay fresh for 3-4 days if refrigerated.
Switch things up with:
- vanilla, ginger, anise, dried valencia orange peel
- whey protein powder
- flaxseed meal
- almond butter
- steel-cut oats (if you like to chew)
What are your favorite variations on this classic overnight oat recipe?
Other NurseGail.com articles you might enjoy: