Quick Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

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For lunch today the kids and I wanted some oatmeal, but I didn’t have a lot of time. I went to the cabinet to get some instant oatmeal (don’t judge!), and realized we were all out. So I decided to try making my own on the stovetop and the results were really good! This recipe made enough for me and my two boys with approximately the same amount as three packets of the instant variety. Make yourself a bowl and enjoy!

Quick Stovetop Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Ingredients
1 cup quick cooking (1 minute) oats
1 cup milk*
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp. butter*
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Dash each, cloves, nutmeg, ginger
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3-1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
Brown sugar to taste
Ground flax seed (optional)

In a saucepan, combine milk, water, butter, and vanilla and heat over medium heat, stirring regularly, until boiling. Stir in oats and spices and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir in applesauce and brown sugar (I used about 2 tbsp. and it was fairly sweet) and remove from heat. Stir in flax meal if desired, let sit for 2 minutes to cool and thicken and serve.

Servings: 2-3 (1 cup servings)

*For a vegetarian version, use almond milk and vegetable oil or coconut oil

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Strawberry Banana Smoothie

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I mentioned last week that I am doing a Daniel Fast in preparation for Easter. Because of this, I’ve gotten to try some new recipes, which has actually been kind of fun, since I generally enjoy cooking and I’ve gotten to try some things I’ve always wanted to make but never got around to making. Some, like this recipe, are based on things we already make, but have been modified for the fast.

When I saw a strawberry banana smoothie recipe in The Ultimate Guide to the Daniel Fast, I was immediately interested, but when I looked at the ingredient list I saw that it had things like tofu and date honey. Since we often make strawberry banana smoothies for the kids (but using yogurt and milk), I decided to modify our typical smoothie recipe to make it dairy free, and the results were delicious! My boys drank it up and asked for more! I added natural peanut butter to mine and it was really thick. This makes a great, filling breakfast, especially if you’re on the go!

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Ingredients
1 ripe banana, broken in pieces
4-5 frozen strawberries
Splash of unsweetened almond milk
1-2 Tbs. Flaxseed meal (optional)

Combine ingredients in a blender and mix thoroughly, adding almond milk until it reaches the desired consistency. Alternative, use a handheld stick blender to quickly puree the ingredients (this is my favorite method!).

Add-in options:
– add 1/4 cup uncooked oatmeal to make this really filling
– substitute other fresh or frozen fruit, such as blueberries or raspberries for the strawberries
– add 2-3 tbs. of natural peanut butter (use peanut butter without sugar for a Daniel Fast. Smuckers makes this, and so does Target’s store brand)
– for a creamy non-Daniel Fast treat add 1/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt

Servings: 1-2