Cliff usually has the same thing every morning for breakfast. Once he finds something he likes, he'll gladly stick with it. Which is probably why he's still married to me after forty-one years.
After his open-heart surgery, I looked into healthy breakfasts. Everyone seems to agree that oatmeal is good for the heart, so I started reading labels. Cliff really likes the flavored, individual packets, although the servings were pretty meager. In order to fill his tummy, he needed a couple of packets. Then I noticed the amount of sodium in these packets. Even in the Quaker "Take-Heart" variety. Terrible!
So I bought a store-brand container of old-fashioned oats and began experimenting: I started with 1/2 cup of oats and 1 cup of water in a large, microwavable dish. I added a sprinkle of cinnamon, a few raisins, and a packet of artificial sweetener and microwaved for five minutes.
Cliff liked it just fine, but I figured we could improve on it. So these days, while it's cooking, I take his serving dish and put a couple teaspoons of chopped nuts and half a banana, diced. When the oatmeal is done, I pour it over that, add a little non-fat milk for taste, stir, and serve. I call it "loaded oatmeal". Cliff calls it yummy. It does add up to around 400 calories, but Cliff doesn't get hungry until lunch time, and it's healthy calories. With NO sodium, I might add.
This morning I decided to surprise Cliff with heart-healthy coffeecake. We love this stuff, and when I get to feeling sorry for myself because we can't eat home-made cinnamon rolls or donuts any more, I whip this stuff up. I say it's as delicious as anything I've ever baked. Notice the serving size... we usually have a double serving, which is about the same amount of calories in the loaded oatmeal.
HEART-HEALTHY COFFEE CAKE
For best results when baking with margarine, be sure you select a brand that contains at least 60% vegetable oil
Nonstick spray coating
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour (can substitute all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ cups finely chopped, peeled apples (I use the food processor)
1/4 cup frozen egg product, thawed (I use two egg whites and let my dog have the yolks)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon whole-wheat flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon margarine or butter
1/4 cup chopped nuts
1. Spray a 9-inch round or 8-inch square pan with Pam; set aside. In a small bowl stir together the 2/3 cup flour, ½ cup whole wheat flour, baking soda, and 1 tsp. Cinnamon
2. Combine apples and egg whites. Stir in granulated sugar, 1/4 cup nuts, and applesauce. Add dry mixture; stir. Pour batter into pan.
3. For topping, stir together the brown sugar, the 1 T all-purpose flour, 2 T. Whole wheat flour, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Cut in the butter. Stir in 1/4 cup nuts. Sprinkle topping over batter in pan. Bake in a 350̊ oven for 30 to 35 minutes or till a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan; serve warm. Makes 10 servings.
Nutrition facts: 202 calories, 5 g fat (1 g sat. fat) 0 chol., 175 mg sodium, 37 g carbo., 2 g fiber, 3 g. protein. Daily values: 2% vit. A, 2% vit. C, 1% calcium, 8% iron