By Denise Dunbar
When I was diagnosed with coronary artery disease a few years ago, my cardiologist put me on a statin to control cholesterol. In an effort to keep the statin dosage as low as possible, I decided to seek out additional ways to manage the disease.
After Internet research and consultations with a nutritionist and a homeopathic doctor, I settled on the following regimen: fish oil supplements to increase the good HDL cholesterol; daily Co-Q-10 supplements to offset statin side effects; more exercise; a pomegranate-based, all-fruit juice to provide resveratrol and increase levels of inflammation-fighting PON 1, and a daily bowl of oatmeal to flush out the bad LDL cholesterol.
This routine was fine — except for the oatmeal part. I soon found myself gagging over my breakfast, even after trying to vary it with different fruits and spices. So, I started experimenting with versions of baked oatmeal and granola bars.
After a lot of trial and error, I settled on this oatmeal bar recipe. I make it with as little sugar as palatable — it’s a breakfast health food, not a dessert — and vary it by season. Instead of berries, I use peaches in the summer, apples and cinnamon or pears, nutmeg and cloves in the fall, a tropical version with papaya and banana, and so on. The possibilities are endless. Just be sure and cut the fruit into pea-sized bits and grind nuts if you add them.
I find this is much easier to eat day in and day out than a bowl of oatmeal, and it has the added benefit of being a grab-and-go breakfast.
Oatmeal breakfast bars with blueberries
3 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 3/4 cups boiling water
1 tablespoon canola oil
3/4 cup blueberries and raspberry pieces
- Stir together the oats, flour, baking power and salt in a large mixing bowl. Spread brown sugar on top and pour boiling water over it. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Stir in the oil and chopped fruit. Pour into a greased 9×9-inch pan and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. You may vary the bake time slightly to get the consistency you like.
- Let cool slightly and cut into 16 pieces. Two bars make a good breakfast. If refrigerated, they will last a week, just microwave for 20 seconds before eating.