Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Capital Area Food Bank Challenge Recipe - Wake Up & Go Oatmeal

Capital Area Food Bank Challenge - SNAP Recipe 

Read more about the challenge: Austin Food Bloggers Alliance Kickoff Their First Philanthropy Event with CAFB

Wake Up & Go Oatmeal

Why not start your day with apple or pumpkin pie? Okay, maybe it is in oatmeal form, but I got your attention. Breakfast can be naturally sweet with the right in season fruits and natural sweeteners. 

Everyone knows that a good breakfast is the secret to getting a head start to the day. Missing breakfast means you feel sluggish in the morning and leaves you unable to concentrate and hungry before lunch which can lead to unhealthy snacking.

Getting your morning started right with a healthy breakfast requires very little prep. This oatmeal will get kids (and adults!) excited about being able to create their own flavor combinations.

Oatmeal provides benefits for heart health, is high in fiber and protein, boosts the immune system, helps stabilize blood sugar making it a great choice for people with diabetes and contains the antioxidant, selenium, which can decrease asthma symptoms.  

Let's talk numbers. These recipes were created for the Capital Area Food Bank and Austin Food Blogger Alliance SNAP Recipe Challenge. SNAP participants receive a minimum of $16 per month. Using those funds towards healthy breakfasts is a great way to make sure their stomachs are full when starting the day. It will help them think more clearly and concentrate on their tasks at school or work.  

We want to give those that are hungry the best start to their day that we can. This starts with a generous amount of fiber, calcium, veggies and fruit and healthy fats.  

The Seasonal Plate blog is devoted to encouraging our community to eat local, organic and in season produce and products. I wanted to keep those ideas in mind while being mindful of the fact that some of the SNAP participants might be without kitchens, take buses to the grocery store or work, may not have a way to heat their food or even need to carry their food around with them if they are away from home for long periods, are walking home from the grocery store, have children with them or if they are homeless. 

I've included some local, organic, gluten-free, dairy-free and conventional options to offer alternatives for SNAP participants when using their SNAP funds at convenience stores, grocery stores or farmers' markets.

All items were purchased at an HEB in Austin, TX.  All of the ingredients used in the recipe will be donated to the Capital Area Food Bank as a way to support their efforts in offering healthy, nutrient dense foods to our community.

Fresh blackberries, early peaches and strawberries can be found at local farmers' markets and can be sliced and frozen. You could even freeze them in juice, yogurt or milk in covered ice cube trays and then place them in your oatmeal. I found that local berries run around $2.99-3.99 a pint at the grocery stores and farmers' markets. 

Apple Pie Oatmeal Cost Breakdown

CONVENTIONAL (not dairy or gluten-free)
HEB unsweetened applesauce $1.98
Most conventional milk and rolled oats are available at food pantries (or you can get a HEB quick oats container for $2.24
(30 servings)
HEB ground cinnamon $1.13
HEB ground nutmeg $1.13
Fisher pecan halves - 1 lb. bag $6.98 
McCormick vanilla extract $2.69
TOTAL: $16.15

Mostly ORGANIC (gluten and dairy-free)
Central Market Organics unsweetened applesauce $2.23
Central Market Organics vanilla almond milk $2.00
Bob's Mill Steel Cut Oats 15 servings $4.99
Central Market Organics Texas Pecans $4.49
HEB ground cinnamon $1.13
HEB ground nutmeg $1.13
TOTAL: $15.97 

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Cost Breakdown

CONVENTIONAL (not dairy or gluten-free)
HEB canned pumpkin 15 oz. can $ .96
Most conventional rolled oats are available at food pantries (or you can get a HEB quick oats container for $2.24
(30 servings)
HEB ground cinnamon $1.13
HEB ground nutmeg $1.13 
Brer Rabbit Backstrap Molasses $2.69
Central Market Organics Texas Pecans $4.49
TOTAL: $15.83 

Mostly ORGANIC (gluten and dairy-free)
Farmer's Market Brand Organic Pumpkin 15 oz can $1.89
Bob's Mill gluten-free Quick Oats 20 servings $6.99
HEB ground cinnamon $1.13
HEB ground nutmeg $1.13 
Central Market Organics Texas Pecans $4.49
TOTAL: $15.63

Cranberry, Mulberry & Pecan Oatmeal

These flavor combinations (unless you use fresh fruit or milk) can easily be divided into daily portions to carry around in small plastic bags or even some of the plastic containers you get from the store or even leftover jars or containers that have been washed. Many of the ingredients don't require refrigeration and oats are commonly found at food pantries. 

Many convenience stores, library break rooms, grocery stores or shelters have hot water or a microwave for making quick oats so that a stovetop would not be needed. The best part is that most of the ingredients will last several months which means SNAP funds will stretch even further.

SNAP Recipe #1: Wake Up and Go Oatmeal
Raspberry & Peach Oatmeal with Mint

1. Follow the cooking instructions for oatmeal (quick oats, rolled oats or steel cut oats).
2. Stir in honey, maple syrup or molasses if desired.
3. Stir in milk or non-dairy alternative or yogurt (you could also add 1/4 tsp spice during this step such as cinnamon, nutmeg or vanilla)
4. Stir in 1/4 cup dried fruit, shredded carrots, applesauce or fresh fruit. 
5. Top with 1/4 cup nuts & Enjoy!

Flavor Combination Ideas
PB&J or AB&J - peanut, cashew, almond or walnut butter and a low sugar jelly or homemade jelly made with honey instead of sugar
Blueberry Cobbler Oatmeal - dried or fresh blueberries, crushed almonds or graham crackers, ground cinnamon, vanilla
Carrot or Sweet Potato Pie - canned pumpkin, sweet potato or steamed and mashed carrots, ground cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, soy or almond milk 
Carrot Cake - shredded carrots, golden raisins or raisins, ground cinnamon, walnuts 
Tropical Island - shredded coconut, dried mango and pineapple, coconut milk 
Strawberries and Cream - sliced or diced strawberries, milk and vanilla
Raspberry & Peach - fresh or frozen raspberries and peaches, honey
CranApple - dried cranberries and ground ginger, REAL or sugar free maple syrup
Carrot Ginger - shredded carrots and ground ginger
Strawberry Banana - mashed or sliced bananas, sliced or diced strawberries and honey
Banana Bread - mashed or sliced bananas, walnuts and ground cinnamon 

Have ideas for other flavor combinations? Include them below by commenting on this post. 

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