It's been a while since I've posted a recipe in my blog, but because I'm also now working on a book, I am also starting to consider some new recipes ideas. That's because everybody knows that you can't write a book about whole food, plant-based eating and not include recipes. For many of us, myself included, the discovery of a new recipe is like finding new gold in an old gold mine. And I don't want to just tweak somebody else's recipe and put it out there as my own. So, I'm developing some new ideas.
I have to warn people though. Not everyone's tastes are the same as mine. I like flavors that are distinct, bold and different. And not everybody appreciates just how different my tastes can run at times. But then again, I've made some things that I thought nobody else would like and my friends have all raved about that same dish. Of course, the real proof of the pudding is when they want seconds or come back and ask for more. Then I know they really did like it.
So, this morning I thought that I would introduce an oatmeal dish that I like to eat in the morning. The main ingredients are steel-cut oats and wakame. Wakame is a sea vegetable. Or as some might tend to think of it, wakame is edible seaweed. There are a variety of reasons to include it with a breakfast of oatmeal. I'll start with a recent speech by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn that I attended. During that speech, Dr. Esselstyn stated that we should start the morning off with some dark green leafy vegetables. Then again at mid morning, include dark, green leafy vegetables in our snack. And then again at lunchtime. And so on. The point being that dark, green leafy vegetables are essential to our health and well being.
The question then becomes, how do we incorporate dark green, leafy vegetables into our breakfasts? And the most logical way for me became to incorporate them into my oatmeal. At first, I started putting kale into my oatmeal. And that was good; I enjoyed those bowls of oatmeal. But I also wanted to incorporate some sea vegetables into my daily routine. Because of that, I began using wakame instead of kale in my oatmeal. That provides a very unique but flavorful experience.
So, why go from kale to something most people have never heard of? A big reason is omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for us. As whole food, plant-based eaters, we tend to get our omega-3s from the ALA form that is found in plants. However, that has to be converted by the body into EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids. The body does that with varying degrees of efficiency. For somebody like me, who is over the age of 65, the degree of efficiency is very low in making that conversion. The good news is that wakame contains one of the highest sources of EPA omega-3s that we can get from a plant. This is especially good news for those who are eating fish for the omega-3s. They can now go directly to the same source that the fish go to in order to get their omega-3s. How cool is that!
Wakame is also high in iodine, which is something that could be lacking in our diets after we've given up adding table salt to our foods. I've always been concerned about getting enough iodine without using iodized table salt. Wakame provides me with the answer to that dilemma. Wakame has also been found through extensive research to aid in the burning of fatty tissue in our body. And who wouldn't like a faster burn rate of their fatty tissue?
So, there's lots of good reasons to eat a food like wakame on a daily basis. And a good way to do it on a daily basis is to incorporate it into our oatmeal. And with that, I'll offer my Wakame and Steel-Cut Oats Breakfast recipe:
Wakame and Steel-Cut Oats Breakfast
Makes 3 servings
1 cup steel-cut oats
9 teaspoons dried wakame (can purchase at Whole Foods)
4 cups of water
3 tablespoons flaxseed meal
15 walnut halves
Put steel-cut oats, dried wakame and water in the pressure cooker in that order. Use the Manual setting to cook for 3 minutes. Leave pressure cooker on natural release for at least 10 minutes after cooking.
Spoon out the oatmeal and wakame into three bowls and in each bowl, mix in 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal, 4 strawberries and 5 walnut halves.
Note: If you don't own a pressure cooker, I would highly suggest purchasing one. I find so many wonderful whole food, plant-based meals that are best done in a pressure cooker. I use the Instant Pot, which can be purchased directly from the manufacturers through their website. If you decide to do that too, I would suggest using the discount code ESLL. That will give you $50 off on your order and free shipping.