The scenario as to where you might be exactly at this moment could play into plenty. Perhaps at the airport making your way back home, sitting somewhere pondering your 2015 resolutions and if you're actually going to pull through some of them, spending one last day with family and/or friends or even better still on location to some beachy, sandy and sunny weather--the last but not least case scenario--you're back at work[ouch!]. Whichever the case is, our lives must go on--life can't be one big party all the time. Don't some of us wish.
For the Gregorian calender-following, a new year started two days ago! So, let me get you while the new beginning spirit is still high and persuade you to add a healthy element to your morning ritual, because you do have one, right? At least that. Health is probably one of the most coveted resolutions and it should be! According to The Journal of the American Medical Association, "More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese." Of course you knew that. So, let us just jump into a recommended recipe that will give your oatmeal a run for it, is loaded with vitamin and minerals and keep that waist line in check.
This recipe calls for sweet potatoes, panela (unrefined whole cane sugar--will explain in detail what that is in a bit), quinoa, raisins, coconut flakes and nuts. Any type of milk is optional. So, if any of these don't tickle your fancy, see you perhaps on our next recipe. Yes, oatmeal cooks fast and works with our morning time-restraint schedule, but for this recipe, you will need a bit of extra effort. Before, I loose you, hey! all good things take time. Specially nutritional dense ones like this dish. Plus, you will be thankful that instead of making it everyday[like oatmeal], you will only make it 3 days a week only. Now, isn't that just wonderful? Plus oatmeal is so old-school! Step-up your game with this delicious Sweet Potato Quinoa Porridge.
Let's get down to the crede of these ingredients. Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin A[powerful antioxidant--you know to keep those pretty cells un-oxidize, which means skin at its best]. They also contain Vitamin C. Every one cup of sweet potato has 7g of fiber and 4g of protein. Now, Panela/Piloncillo (caramel unrefined whole cane sugar) is basically a solid form of sucrose derived from boiling and evaporating sugarcane juice. The type I use in this recipe are Mexican--they are known as Piloncillo and come in a cone shape(this is how they look like). With this type of sweetener you will get the minimal of processed sugars--even of the so-called brown sugar. The process used to make the sugar allows the retention of essential constituents of sugar cane that include trace minerals, vitamins, amino acids, protein and antioxidants. But, like any type of sweetener, it should be used in moderation and can create added calories. Quinoa is an ancient food that dates back to the Mayans. Aside its good source of protein, it is also a source of Magnesium, Iron, Potassium, Zinc and higher in fiber compared to oatmeal. Raisins are an excellent source of good natural energy--something definitely needed to get your morning going. They are also rich in rich in B vitamins, iron and potassium. The garnishes on this delicious porridge are limitless, but a good source of nutritional fat like coconut flakes and nuts are good options. Other side garnishes can be a type of milk--almond, coconut or hemp.
Now the power to how food becomes healing, weight regulating and energy source to our bodies is in the amount we consume at a single sitting. The key is knowing how much our bodies needs and since each body has its own individual needs[health issues, activity level] and also our morning functions vary from person to person too, I suggest working with your Dietitian, Nutritionist and/or Doctor to know how much you should have every morning as a snack and/or complete meal for optimum bodily benefit. Other side notes: Although, I cook the Quinoa in a sweetener, you definitely don't have to and can sweetened it up afterwards with honey, coconut sugar, maple syrup or none if that's your preference--the raisins are also an additional sweetener, so if you want to leave it at just that, do so! Remember the key is to know what works best for you, your goals and your body.
1 Large sweet potato. This will give you about roughly 2 mashed cups.
1 Cup Quinoa
2 Pieces(2oz each) of Piloncillo/Panela (caramel unrefined whole cane sugar)
1/4 Cup of Raisins
Coconut Flakes and Nuts for top garnishes.
Serves 3.5 Cups
1. Wash thoroughly sweet potato. Peeling is optional. Boil in whole or in pieces until a fork can go through.
2. Bring one cup of filtered water and the 2 pieces of piloncillo to boil. Once at boiling point, bring down flame to simmer until the two cones have completely dissolved. Should take 2-3 minutes.
3. Add Raisins, Quinoa to simmering pot of caramel piloncillo and cover until cooked. 10-15 Minutes. Check periodically.
4. Mash sweet potato, add cooked quinoa and mix.
5. Garnish with coconut flakes and nuts. Milk optional. Serve warm or cold.
1. Prevalence of Childhood and Adult Obesity in the United States, 2011-2012
2. Sweet Potato Nutritional Facts
3. Panela: the natural nutritional sweetener, Web, Nov-Dec 2013, Tekno Science Publisher
4. 11 Proven Health Benefits of Quinoa, Web, Authority Nutrition
5. What Are the Benefits of Eating Raisins Every Day?, Web, SF Gate