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By Kim Galeaz
Oatmeal is a whole-grain breakfast cereal that provides protein and fiber, especially the soluble type that helps lower cholesterol. Boost calcium and protein by cooking oatmeal with milk instead of water. Add a sprinkle of wheat germ for even more fiber, nutrients and antioxidants like vitamin E. Apricots provide an outstanding source of natural antioxidant beta-carotene (vitamin A). Choose canned apricots packed in juice or light syrup to minimize added sugars. Even the cinnamon packs a natural immune-boosting antioxidant punch!
Makes 4 cups oatmeal (3 servings, 1-1/3 cup each)
1 ½ cups oats, quick-cooking or old-fashioned 2 ⅔ cups low-fat 1% milk ⅓ cup wheat germ ⅓ cup pure maple syrup 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 cup canned (or very ripe, fresh) apricots, chopped
1. Combine oats and milk in large microwave-safe bowl.
2. Microwave on high for 3 to 4 minutes.
3. Stir in remaining ingredients.
4. Microwave for additional 3 to 5 minutes or until oatmeal is hot and thickened throughout.
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Kim Galeaz is an Indianapolis-based registered dietitian and owner of Galeaz Food & Nutrition Communications. As a freelance culinary-nutrition consultant, she has worked with many companies, including The Coca-Cola Company, The Kroger Company and Weider Publications, to help position and promote smart and healthy food, beverage and lifestyle choices.