Disclosure: This post is sponsored by The Quaker Oats Company, but all opinions are our own.
Food waste is a real problem in this country. According to the EPA, an astonishing 130 billion pounds of food is wasted each year – mostly fruits, vegetables, dairy and grains – which has tremendous economic, environmental and societal impacts. As plant-powered dietitians, we are huge advocates of eating in ways that are sustainable for the environment. Last year, in an effort to shed light on this topic, we created this podcast on how to use to eat sustainably.
If you missed the podcast, our top tips for eating more sustainably are:
- Eat more plant-based meals (because plants can have a positive effect on our health AND will reduce greenhouse gas emissions)
- Eat more locally produced food from your local farmer’s market or farm share (because less travel = more nutrients and less environmental impact)
- Choose sustainable seafood (because certain species of fish can be produced in ways that harm the marine environment or they are at risk of being overfished.)
- Learn how to compost (because it’s easier than you think)
- And don’t waste food (because an estimated 30-40% of food goes to waste in the United States, according to the USDA)
It’s no surprise, then, that when Quaker asked us to partner on their The More Taste, Less Waste campaign (MTLW), we were all in. In partnership with the James Beard Foundation, the goal of the MTLW campaign is to inspire people to re-think the power of the oat to help recover foods that often go to waste while discovering new ways to eat more nutritiously every day. We love oatmeal because it’s really cheap and incredibly nutritious. This whole grain supplies 4 grams of fiber per serving per 40 grams serving of Quaker Old Fashioned Oats, along with B vitamin thiamine, phosphorous and magnesium. Plus it is low in fat, saturated fat, and both sodium and cholesterol free. Because the soluble fiber in oatmeal can help slow the rate that food leaves the stomach, eating it may help you feel fuller and satisfied for longer.
In this breakfast oatmeal bake, we took a spin on a classic. This dish is perfect to make over the weekend and then enjoy throughout the week. We spiced things up by adding cinnamon and nutmeg, and sweetened the deal with mixed berries and maple syrup. In addition to oats, we chose to highlight apples in this recipe because this nutritious fruit often tends to go to waste in the fall.
Okay so on to the recipe! You’ll want to get ready by preheating the oven to 330 degrees F. Then in a medium sized, lightly greased baking dish (we used an 11″ one), combine the oats with the cinnamon and nutmeg. In a bowl, mix the berries and apple slices with the lime juice, then add the fruit into the bowl with the oats, mix well, and set aside. In a smaller bowl, you’ll want to whisk the egg whites, almond milk, and maple syrup together, then pour this liquid mixture onto the ingredients in the baking dish. Next you’ll flatten out the surface with a spoon, add the almonds and seeds on top, and drizzle with coconut oil. Bake this baby for 40 minutes then transfer to the broiler and cook for additional 1-2 minutes, or until top is browned and the edges are crisp. Keep a close eye on your oatmeal bake to prevent overcooking. Enjoy this beaut with coconut shreds and Greek yogurt!
- 2 cups of Quaker Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 small apple, thinly sliced
- 1/2 lime
- 2 egg whites
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds & pumpkin seeds, mixed
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
- Preheat the oven to 330F
- In a medium sized, lightly greased baking dish (we used an 11" one), combine the oats with the cinnamon and nutmeg
- In a bowl, mix the berries and apple slices with the lime juice
- Add the fruit into the baking dish with the oats, mix well, and set aside
- In a smaller bowl, whisk the egg whites, almond milk, and maple syrup together
- Pour this liquid mixture evenly onto the ingredients in the baking dish
- Flatten out the surface with a spoon, add the almonds and seeds on top, and drizzle with coconut oil
- Bake for 40 minutes
- Transfer to the broiler and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until top is browned and the edges are crisp. Keep a close eye on your oatmeal bake to prevent overcooking!
- Enjoy with coconut shreds and Greek yogurt!
- Serving size: 1 scoop