By Kate Willbur, RD,LD/N, Registered Dietitian, WSHC
Whittier Street Health Center’s (WSHC) multicultural community has a bounty of many different dishes that can be incorporated into a heart-healthy eating plan. Try these tips to enjoy a world of flavors at home!
Eat a variety of nutritious foods
Enjoy your favorite foods, like mangu, Jollof, matoke, or sambuca in moderation and pair them with fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins to help you create balance in your diet. It’s important to eat a variety of nutritious foods. You’ll know you’re eating a variety of foods if you have lots of different colors on your plate. Each color represents a different vitamin, so the more colors the better!
Plan your meals and snacks
Having a plan is usually the hardest part of a healthy eating regimen. When we don’t know what to eat we are often tempted to eat out or skip meals. Eating out once in a while is okay, but usually, foods from restaurants are higher in saturated fat and sodium which are not great for our hearts. Packing a sandwich or fruit and nuts is a quick way to both plan and prepare your meals and will help you follow a heart-healthy eating plan.
Create tasty foods at home
When we cook at home we can control the fats, sugars, and salts in recipes, which are often added in excess at restaurants or in packaged foods. Try making your favorite foods at home to save money and control the ingredients in your meals. Cooking at home is a great way to relax, it can be a fun way to spend time with kids and family, and you’ll likely eat fewer calories to help you reach and maintain a healthy weight.
Looking for an easy breakfast that you can grab on busy mornings? Try this baked oatmeal with berries from Cookie and Kate. You can bake the oatmeal on a Sunday night, cut it into slices, and have them ready to go in the morning!
Baked Oatmeal with Berries
Prep time: 10 minutes
Bake time: 45-50 minutes
Total time: 55-65 minutes
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 ¾ cups milk (almond milk, dairy milk, or soy milk)
- ⅓ cup honey or brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups frozen berries, divided
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9-inch square baking dish.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oats, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Whisk to combine.
- In a smaller mixing bowl, combine the milk, honey or brown sugar, eggs, 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce, and vanilla. Whisk until blended.
- Place 2 cups of frozen berries over the bottom of the baking dish and spread evenly (you do not need to defrost the frozen fruit first). Cover the fruit with the dry oat mixture, then drizzle the wet ingredients over the oats. Wiggle the baking dish to make sure the milk moves down through the oats, then gently pat down any dry oats resting on top.
- Scatter the remaining ½ cup berries across the top.
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the top is nice and golden. Remove your baked oatmeal from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes.
- Serve as-is or with toppings of your choice such as yogurt or fresh fruit. Baked oatmeal can be served warm, room temperature, or cold.