By Lindsay Hunt | February 14, 2011

Photo: Lindsay Hunt

I know that it’s Valentine’s Day and I should be sharing pink-frosted sugar cookies, heart-shaped brownies, and fudgy chocolate cake. While I on the one hand wish I could take a nibble of all three goodies, I am making a concerted effort to reduce sugar and refined flours in my diet, and to increase whole grains and fruit.  Not to mention I’m reinstating the morning work out, and I need a filling, delicious, and healthy breakfast to get my day started, day of love or not.

So this morning, instead of pancakes, or coffee cake, I made a delicious apple-packed, cinnamon-scented bowl of oatmeal.  The cinnamon and apple contribute all the flavor and sweetness you could need in the morning, but for an extra V-day treat I added a spoonful of dark brown sugar.  That’s a lot less than most cereals have, and I’ve even been known to add a hearty scoop of light brown sugar to my oatmeal.  Now I can enjoy this day of love without the guilt of indulgence.

For an equally guilt-free Valentine’s Day Meal, make this five-ingredient Beets and Quinoa dish. Maroon and pink beets would certainly be festive!

For a sweetener with a lower Glycemic Index, choose Agave Nectar or Maple Syrup.

Happy Valentines Day!

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 large Granny Smith Apple, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar(or substitutes noted above)


1. In a 2-quart saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the oats, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cover.

2. After 5 minutes, add the apple, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

3. Let cook 10 minutes more, or until the oats are fully cooked and the apple pieces are tender.

4. Remove from the heat, stir in the dark brown sugar, and serve.

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