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Breakfast like an Olympian, especially this winter

As I was looking through the food pages, I found this recipe from Monica at the food page "The Yummy Life," which ought to be good if this recipe can be used as an example. It seems that many athletes go heavy on breakfast, which is always recommended for those who are trying to keep their weight down.

If you are interested in details, it seems that the so-called "steel cut" oatmeal is slightly better for you, in that it is less processed than rolled oats. So after seeing several different presentations of slow-cooked oatmeal on some television shows about sports and food, I looked for something really good and found Monica.

One of the athletes mentioned on the AOL Food page mentioned that blueberries make a good fresh addition to hot cooked oatmeal, and even though this recipe features apples, the blueberries will go fine with that, and supply their famous antioxidants (not to mention flavor).

If you check at Sprouts in Tucson, you can find the tiny frozen wild blueberries that are absolutely delicious. You can also look at Safeway in their organic produce department, or at Whole Foods, to see if there are organic blueberries anywhere at this time of year. Don't worry--spring is just around the corner and if you use frozen for a package or two, the fresh berries are heading our way.



2 organic apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2-1/2 to 3 cups chopped)
1-1/2 cups organic milk (or substitute soy or almond milk)
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup organic uncooked steel-cut oats
2 Tablespoons organic brown sugar (or some other desired sweetener)
1-1/2 Tablespoons organic butter, cut into 5-6 pieces (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Optional garnishes: chopped nuts, raisins, maple syrup, additional milk or butter

Coat the inside of 3-1/2 quart (or larger) slow cooker with cooking spray. Add all ingredients except optional toppings to the slow cooker. Stir, cover, and cook on low for about 7 hours (slow cooker times can vary). Spoon the oatmeal into bowls the next morning; add optional toppings, if desired. Store leftovers in your refrigerator.

To reheat single servings: Put 1 cup of cooked oatmeal in microwave-proof bowl. Add 1/3 cup of milk. Microwave on high for 1 minute; stir. Continue cooking for another minute, or until hot.

This recipe can be doubled in a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Increase cooking time 1 hour.

This is an ideal breakfast to put in the slow cooker the night before when you have guests. If anybody gripes about oatmeal being uninspired, see if they feel the same way after they have tasted this wonderful dish.

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