• Nutrient-Packed, Warming Winter Comfort Food

    It’s 20 degrees outside, who wants to make an ice-cold berry smoothie? (crickets)

    As the days get shorter, darker, and cooler, our mammal-instinct to lay low and seek comfort food naturally comes to the fore. This is normal–even expected!

    While it becomes a little harder to muster the willingness to keep up with regular exercise and healthy eating, we can make a few easy adjustments to give our energy and spirits a boost.

    Here is a minimal effort (I like it already), nutrient rich, comforting recipe that I hope will warm your tummy and your heart.

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    Berry Blast Oatmeal–it’s pink, it’s yummy, it’s filling–

    Total time needed: 10-15 minutes
    What you need:
    1 cup of frozen berry mix (mine contains blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries)
    1/2 sliced banana for extra creaminess
    1 cup of quick-oats oatmeal
    1 cup of almond milk
    1 tablespoon of honey
    sea salt to taste (if desired)

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    Rinse berries with filtered water.
    Microwave them on high for 1 minute (or until just defrosted) and set aside.
    Combine in a medium pot:
    -quick oats
    -almond milk
    -banana
    -honey
    Cook until the mix starts to bubble (3-5 minutes).

    Stir in berries, warm for 1-2 more minutes.
    Pour into a bowl.
    Salt to taste.

     Makes one generous serving!

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    Blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries contain plenty of antioxidants!

    Blackberries and raspberries contain an abundance of flavonoids. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidant chemical compounds found in plants. An especially helpful group of flavonoids are colorful AnthocyaninsThey give berries their deep red, blue, and purple hue. 

    Anthocyanins are linked to reducing unhealthy LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. LDL cholesterol sticks to the walls of blood vessels and arteries. So generous amounts of them in our diets can improve heart health and strengthen blood capillaries.

    In-vitro lab tests also show that Anthocyanins slow down or stop the production of enzymes that create cancer cells in the stomach, colon, and lungs(!)

    Researchers have also started to study how Anthocyanins can inhibit the progression or possibly prevent Alzheimer’s disease. https://www.verywellfit.com/blackberry-nutrition-facts-calories-and-health-benefits-4109221

    I hope you try this recipe for yourself. I did a few taste-tests on my family and it turned out to be a winner. Comment below to let me know how it goes!

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    Other references:

    https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/283018

    https://www.amhsjournal.org/article.asp?issn=2321-4848;year=2018;volume=6;issue=1;spage=73;epage=80;aulast=Mahmood

    https://nutritionandhealing.com/2005/06/30/the-health-benefits-of-dark-berries/

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1082894/

    Photo credits: Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries: Markus Spikus for Unsplash.com, Winter Scene: Lorelei Mann