Sunday, December 28, 2008

Recipe Favorites: A Great South Beach Diet Breakfast - Alanna's Peanut Butter Oatmeal

Peanut Butter Oatmeal
(Updated December 2008: Recipes that I make over and over go into a special category called Recipe Favorites. This peanut butter oatmeal that I learned to make from fellow food blogger Alanna Kellogg back in October 2006 is fantastic! Nowdays I fill the small size Ziploc Twist 'n Loc food storage containers in advance with oatmeal and a pinch of salt, and keep them in the cupboard right by my microwave. There's no doubt this has turned out to be one of my favorite recipes ever for breakfast, so I'm updating my original post for new readers who might not remember this great breakfast option.)

I hear from people wanting to lose weight who are trying the South Beach Diet, or thinking about it. If they're looking for vegetarian breakfast options, I've steered people to Low Carb Protein Pancakes, or low carb yogurt. But when I got to visit St. Louis to see my blog buddy Alanna, she shared one of the best non-egg South Beach breakfast options ever. This photo of Alanna's Peanut Butter Oatmeal was taken on her back patio. (Notice Kellogg's on the bowl for Alanna Kellogg!) If you've never had oatmeal with peanut butter, try this right away. It's easy to make, 100% South Beach Diet friendly, vegetarian, and loaded with nutrients. Bookmark this recipe, even if you're not a South Beach Dieter!




Alanna's Peanut Butter Oatmeal
(1 serving, recipe created and generously shared by Alanna)

Ingredients:
1/4 to 1/2 cup oatmeal (see note about types of oatmeal)
water to cover oatmeal
sprinkle of salt (to taste, but do not leave out)
1 T peanut butter (for South Beach be sure to get peanut butter without added sugar, check the label.  I like Adams 100% Natural Peanut butter.)
ground cinnamon (optional)

Instructions:
Put desired amount of oatmeal in bowl and sprinkle with salt. Cover with warm water, about 1/2 inch above oatmeal. (This will depend on how thick you like your finished oatmeal. I like my oatmeal rather runny, so decrease the water if you want a thicker oatmeal.)

Microwave for one minute on high, remove bowl and stir. Microwave 30 seconds, stir again. Continue to microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring after each 15 seconds, until oatmeal reaches the desired consistency. I cooked mine about two minutes for regular oatmeal. Be careful that it doesn't boil over when you get to the end of the cooking time. Remove oatmeal and stir in 1 tablespoon peanut butter. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon if desired. Serve hot.


Types of oatmeal:
There are three types of oatmeal: instant oatmeal, quick oatmeal, and regular oatmeal (also called rolled oats). Since less processed foods are lower on the glycemic index, regular oatmeal is best for South Beach, and that's what I used. (Edit: Thanks to Sarah from Cucina Bella for reminding me about steel cut oats, even more nutritious! Here's some information about all the types of oats that I found at Cook's Thesaurus.)

Can this be made ahead and reheated?
I knew some of you who scramble to even find a couple of minutes in the morning would want to know this, so I tried it, and yes you can make this, refrigerate overnight, and then heat the next day. Add a bit of water and microwave for about 1 minute to reheat. However, you're only saving 2 minutes at the most, and it's better freshly made.

South Beach Suggestions:
South Beach Diet Friendly Egg Muffins have long been my all-time favorite quick breakfast for any phase of South Beach. This oatmeal with peanut butter is approved for phase two or three of the diet, and you shouldn't have nuts for a snack on the same day you have this for breakfast.  I'm excited to have a new quick South Beach breakfast option, and the combination of oatmeal and peanut butter tastes incredible. Try chunky peanut butter! Thanks Alanna!
counter customizable free hit

76 comments:

  1. Isn't it good?!

    Since Kalyn's the one who taught me that "different diets work for different people", I'll mention that this is Weight Watchers friendly too. A 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats (which has more fiber) and a tablepoon of peanut butter is a rich-tasting 3 points. If I'm saving points for later in the day, I'll use a half tablespoon for 2 points.

    And I'll share something else, too, something I've learned since you were here, Kalyn. Remember how I told you that usually it's quick (NOT instant) oatmeal that I keep on hand but that what we were eating was old-fashioned rolled oats? And that I thought I preferred the quick?

    Well, all that's changed. It took a week to get used to the thicker texture of the old-fashioned oatmeal and now I love it.

    But here's the real trick. I'm no longer getting the hungries at 11 o'clock.

    And just this week I read that there's a chemical reason for this: that the sugars of the whole grains take longer to digest, keeping my blood sugar even and preventing a mid-morning slump. An added benefit is that I'm drinking less coffee ... and therefore sleeping better at night, too.

    All this from a lowly bowl of oatmeal! (Don't forget the peanut butter ...)

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  2. Does this south beach diet really work?
    Bowl of oatmeal looks good though!! Oatmeal is also good for your heart and cholestrol!!
    Enjoy!!:))

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  3. Alanna, I agree that the old fashioned oatmeal is great! The sugars taking longer to digest is what the glycemic index is all about (that's what the South Beach Diet is based on). But you are absolutely right that different diets work for different people. Thanks for mentioning that this is great for WW too. I think about the only diet this wouldn't work for is gluten free (I think oatmeal has gluten??)
    The peanut butter makes this a gourmet treat, at least for me.

    Foodie's Hope, as Alanna mentioned, I firmly believe that you have to choose a diet based on your own food preferences. I was never a big sweets eater, possibly one reason South Beach has worked so well for me. I lost over 40 pounds and have kept it off for two years, three months so far, while writing a food blog and thinking about food all the time. There's some links in the bottom left sidebar of my blog if you want to read more about how it worked for me.

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  4. I am trying to diet but I've already had grapenuts this morning.

    I am going to try this tomorrow. I love PB.

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  5. Interesting! I always loved oatmeal just like it is but maybe I should try this just to jazz it up!

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  6. Don't forget about steel cut oats too, which are nutritionally the best since they are rougher and can really clean out the system.

    I bet this would be good with that type of oatmeal too.

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  7. Ooh, another new twist for oatmeal. I'm always looking for new things to do with it. I recently posted my coconut oatmeal recipe which I came up with because I was bored of the plain stuff. Lovely blog!

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  8. Coffeepot, I think Grapenuts sounds like a pretty healthy breakfast too, but I'd have to check the label. I'm a neurotic label reader.

    Ilva, try it. You'll like it.

    Sarah, thanks for the reminder about the steel cut oats. Even better.

    GFBTB, thanks. Can you eat oatmeal on a GF diet? I saw different opinions on it.

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  9. I'm really not a fan of oatmeal (it's a texture thing, I have trouble eating anything that 'gluggy', bananas included!) but as I have an addiction to peanut butter, I'd be up for giving these a shot!

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  10. I actually learned to like oatmeal I have to try this.

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  11. That sounds incredible - thank you both, Kalyn and Alanna, for posting this oatmeal.
    Do you know if the cooking times need to be adjusted for the steel-cut oats? They're my personal favorite.

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  12. Emily I would guess that steel cut oats would take a bit longer to cook, but it's only a guess. I think you could still use the same method, but might have to do a few more 15 second sequences. Let us know if you try it how long it takes.

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  13. Om my goddess! I have to make this gluten free. I'm thinking - peanut Butter Quinoa! :-)

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  14. Peanut butter oatmeal? Very interesting!

    Paz

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  15. Two of my fav foods, pb and oatmeal... will have to try this combo..

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  16. Why didn't I think of that? :)

    I made the move to making my own oatmeal last year after I got a rice cooker. You can assemble everything in the cooker the night before, set the timer and wake up to oatmeal ready to eat! It was great when I had to leave the house by 7:15 a.m., but wanted a hot breakfast. This way too - I can make enough for the whole family at one time.

    I tend to prefer steel cut oats. They do take longer to cook than rolled oats, but I love the texture. And with the rice cooker, time isn't an issue.

    I will give the PB version a try. DH has been asking me to make oatmeal.........

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  17. I may have bastardized this a bit, but as I am not a South Beacher-just a Kalyn fan-I think it's ok. I cooked my oatmeal in milk instead of water, used natural peanut butter and added a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar to it. It was the best. How is it I never thought of this before? Peanut butter oatmeal cookies are my favorite!
    Thanks, again for a great recipe. The kids and I love it.
    Brady

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  18. Karina, I just learned that oatmeal has gluten. I think peanut butter quinoa sounds great.

    Paz, and G.P. Give it a try!

    Alysha, like the idea of cooking it in the rice cooker. I want to try the steel cut oats.

    Brady, thanks for being a fan. Actually the only thing not SB approved in your version would be the sugar. I bet kids would love this!

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  19. I'm slurping on a bowlful of oatmeal-peanut butter even as I type this...what a great start to the day! That Alanna sure is clever :) And you Kalyn, are the best for sharing this with us!

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  20. This looks like one to try...thanks so much for the post!

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  21. This looks great! And, my child loves anything with peanut butter, so now maybe I can get her to try oatmeal.

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  22. Oatmeal is great so many ways; I ordered it in the hospital every day with peanut butter and raisins, and was about all I had the appetite for, for 5 days! When I got home I made it on the stove, 1 T raisins, sprinkle cinnamon, 1/2 C oatmeal with 1 C milk; heating the milk just to almost boil, then add the oatmeal, turn to low, and cover/cook for 5 min which absorbs most of the liquid. Then I put 1 T toasted almonds and 1 T Smuckers natural peanut butter in the bowl with the oatmeal-just like a warm oatmeal cookie for breakfast! Add SBD friendly as well!

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  23. Otdime, it does sound good. Thanks for sharing.

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  24. I need to put in a plug for Creme of the West. They sell all types of whole grainsfor pennies. They do take longer to cook but the nutrient& fiber contents are amazing

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  25. I just discovered this post last week and tried oatmeal with peanut butter this weekend. It was delicious! I make a dry oatmeal mix in bulk and make a serving of almost every morning for breakfast. Adding peanut butter is a nice way to mix it up. It's definitely a part of my breakfast repertoire now. Thanks!

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  26. i just tried making warm grape nuts with peanut butter and it was amazing as well, though i don't know if it is south beach friendly (i saw your site linked from pastaqueen). 1/2 C each grape nuts and skim milk warmed in the microwave for about a minute on high, then stir in 1T peanut butter. a really great breakfast.

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  27. Hmm, Mickey I will check the Grape Nuts box and report back. It seems like it might have whole grains. Hope so!

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  28. Oh my gosh, I think this is the most amazing thing I have heard about in a while. I feel so stupid for not thinking of this before! I LOVE LOVE LOVE peanut butter, but my relationship with oatmeal has been steadily declining. I think this will bring me back to loving oatmeal!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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  29. Natalie, laughing here because that's just how I felt when Alanna told me about it!

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  30. THANK YOU for reminding me about peanut butter oatmeal!!! I used to make this when I was in my teens, only I used to add cocoa powder to the oatmeal first. Mmmmm...

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  31. Oh, by the way... I think I read that if you make oatmeal with milk instead of water it's more like a protein than a carb or something like that. I'll look for a source.

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  32. This sounds very yummy :) Just the other day I added a scoop of moccha protein shake & half a banana to my oatmeal and it was awesome. But PB! Don't know why I didn't think of it before, now I will have a new variation of oatmeal to try :) thanx for this tip!

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  33. Looks Yummy. I will try this.

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  34. I love this! I make it with steel cut oats that I make in the crockpot overnight. Personally, I like it better than when I tried it with Quaker Oats. Thanks so much for this recipe; I never would have thought to add PB to oatmeal!

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  35. I do love the idea of making it in the crockpot! I also really like the steel-cut coats. Thanks for sharing.

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  36. I love to do this recipe and add walnuts and grated apple.

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  37. Mamashift, that sounds just delish!

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  38. i used rolled oats and cook at 50% power for 3 1/2 minutes. i/2 cup oats to 1 cup water or f/f milk. oh, and i put the pb in bfore i nuke. it's very quick. if i let it sit too long, and it gets too think i just add some more liquid and stire. this has been a favorite of mine for the past decade. found in prevention magazine under peanut butter diet. yummmmm

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  39. I tried this with steel cut oats. I also added a little plain soy milk. It was so good! I can't wait for breakfast tomorrow! :)

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  40. I had this yesterday as my first Phase Two breakfast. It was so delicious. Even my fiance, who doesn't like oatmeal, thought it was good thanks to the peanut butter. I used Old Fashioned/rolled oats and cooked them on the stove with milk. Just a half cup kept me full for hours!

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  41. I am new to SB, is this recipe phase one friendly??

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  42. Joanne, no, there are no grains permitted on phase one. This is great for phase 2 or 3 though. You should count the peanut butter as your nuts for that day though and not have nuts as a snack.

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  43. By the way, for those who want some awesome tasting steel-cut oatmeal, check out Coach's Oats...they sell them at Costco in a huge bag and they cook in 4 minutes in the microwave. Totally South Beach friendly and they are wonderful with a little peanut butter added.

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  44. I have been addicted to food blogs lately. This is a definite try and great for my diabetic husband. Soooo Fast!! Thanks for the creative idea to both parties involved -Sarita

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  45. Is the peanut butter a strong flavor? I'm not a fan at all, but I love oatmeal.

    I cheat when I make my steel cut oats. I bring 4C of water to a boil, add my cinnamon, or apple pie seasonings, and then add 1C of oats. Then I turn it off and let it sit over night. In the morning, I just turn the heat on, adjust the flavoring, and cook it till warm through - 7 min or so.

    No big crock pot to clean, and by the time the coffee is ready, so are your steel cut oats.

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  46. Anonymous, I'd say it tastes more like oatmeal than peanut butter, but you can taste the peanut butter a bit.

    Good idea to cook overnight!

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  47. Peanut butter and Oatmeal. I have finally found another breakfast I can eat on the South Beach without involving eggs. I love eggs, but everyday is just too much routine for me! Before SB if I had oatmeal it would be with equal parts of brown sugar, so I wasn't sure how I was going to manage oatmeal without sugar. And then I found your PB idea. I have just finished the bowl and mmm it was good and I am full and happy. Thank you! Another day started right on the South Beach!

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  48. HRM, I am just about to make some for myself! So glad you liked it, and thanks to Alanna for introducing me to this idea.

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  49. I do the Zone diet plan, and I've done this for a few years now. I just either stir in some fat-free cottage cheese or low-carb yogurt (people turn their noses up at the sound of this combo, but trust me, it is very tasty), or add some microwaved turkey bacon on the side, to increase the protein and make it more Zone favorable.

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  50. I DO THIS TOO
    it's awesome. daily lunch. plus fat free greek yogurt and i'm in heaven

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  51. Hello there! I am sooo excited I found your blog. I did South Beach Diet several years ago with Weight Watchers support and lost 25 lbs. I got pregnant and now I'm back to square one. I am going to start the South Beach again tomorrow and I'm THRILLED to find your blog. It's amazing and so informative. I'm sure this is going to be a wealth of knowledge for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I cannot say it enough. Your blog will keep me motivated and fed each and every day. Let's the games begin...hehehehe.

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  52. Asan oatmeal lover, I am going to have to try this! Thanks for the idea.

    I am also a complete convert to "pin head" oats, and I use the crock pot to cook them overnight, so they are ready in the morning. (A trick I learned from Alton Brown.) Simply use one cup of pinhead oats to four cups water, or replace one of the cups of water with milk or cream for a slightly richer version. Sooo good!
    Adding peanut butter would be like a p-b oat cookie, yes? Yum!

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  53. Andrea, now I've got to look for "pin head oats." Never heard of that before!

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  54. Peanut butter works surprisingly well in oatmeal. I like to add bananas to to the oatmeal and peanut butter as well.

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  55. A great way to start the day I will try this!

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  56. Well, though peanut butter is definitely an acquired taste (and something I haven't yet acquired, I must admit), I had this peanut butter oatmeal in St Louis this summer - made by 'the' Alanna herself - and I quite liked it :)

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  57. I just made my regular whole rolled oats with milk and water and stirred in some peanut butter. It's delicious! Thanks for the idea. It's so filling and makes a great change from eggs.

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  58. Jen, glad you liked it! This is definitely my favorite SB breakfast for work days!

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  59. Thanks so much for this fabulous idea!!! I used a variation of this as the first post of my own food blog.

    http://adashofsass.com/2009/01/28/peanut-butter-steel-cut-oatmeal/

    Thanks for providing such great (South Beach friendly) recipes. I've made quite a few and your page has become a frequent reference page for me.

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  60. I love peanut butter and because of that, I might have added too much peanut butter.
    I was searching for a better way to make oatmeal with brown sugar and cinnamon and came across your recipe for oatmeal and peanut butter. I added extra peanut butter and like I said, I added too much. I'll have to try this again, with less peanut butter.

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  61. Can you use some of the other nut butters, like almond butter? I don't care for peanut butter in other foods. Thanks

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  62. Anonymous, I've never tried it with other kinds of nut butters but I can't imagine why it wouldn't be good.

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  63. I started eating Peanut Butter Oatmeal about 6 months ago and fell in love, literally. It's kind of weird how much I love this oatmeal. I have never liked any kind of food this much. It is almost an obsession. When I get into bed at night, I am actually giddy and can't wait til the morning to eat my PB oatmeal! I know that's sad, but it is so wonderful! Paired with my PG Tips tea, it is a piece of heaven in the morning while I read the paper. My kids make fun of me b/c I eat it everyday. It has definitely aided in my weight loss. I usually eat breakfast around 9am after a busy early morning -- 5:30am workout followed by getting my older kids off to school and my little one up and fed. It fills me up so that I don't feel hungry until 2pm! Then I have a light lunch (around 300 cal) and a regular dinner. I can go on and on and on about this oatmeal. I consider the day that I found this blog with so many SB friendly recipes a blessed day but the PB oatmeal was the ultimate find! A million thanks to Alanna who originally created(I think) it and to Kalyn for sharing it! God bless you both!

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  64. This is a wonderful recipe! I found a great brand of oats that has rolled oats, wheat bran, and flax seeds, and I used this for the recipe. I did add in a sprinkle of cinnamon and it was fantastic! I am not a fan of oatmeal, generally speaking, but this was just great. I am a HUGE fan of PB so I was excited to find this recipe! I have some unsweetened chocolate flavored almond milk and am going to try cooking the oats in that... mmm chocolate, peanut butter and oatmeal! Thanks for sharing this recipe. Love your blog - I reference it frequently.

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  65. Let's see, chocolate, peanut butter and oatmeal? Definitely sounds good to me!

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  66. Hi! First, thank you so much for your blog! You are such a great recipe wizard!! I have a question. Is this recipe Phase 1 friendly? I wasn't sure if you could have oatmeal on Phase 1 or not? Thanks!!

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  67. Cristy, this would be phase 2 or 3 for South Beach, and you should not have nuts for a snack on the day you have this for breakfast. It does say that it's phase 2 or 3 in the post, but I will edit to make it more noticeable.

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  68. Hi Kalyn,

    That sounds wonderful! Would it be SBD friendly if used lowfat milk instead? And I wonder it would taste as good with almond butter....and also for phase 2, do you think sweetening it with a bit of honey would work?

    Hina

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  69. I'm not sure how it would work to cook the oatmeal in milk or use almond butter; you would have to experiment with that. I wouldn't use honey, it's listed as a food "to avoid or eat rarely" even for phase two.

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  70. Hmmm, Interesting. I've never cooked my oats in water. Always with milk. But, I'll try the Peanut Butter regardless...Just as soon as I get off Phase 1.Sigh.

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  71. Now I'm thinking I have to try oatmeal cooked in milk after two commenters have mentioned it. The peanut butter is great with the oatmeal!

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  72. Hi, I know you mentioned in your post to purchase peanut butter without added sugar... what kind of peanut butter would you recommend?

    I am currently using Smuckers Natural and/or Simply Jif... are there ok for the South Beach Diet?

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  73. Sara, I use this Adams brand peanut butter. I'm not familiar with those two brands, but check the label and buy the one with the least sugar and you should be fine.

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  74. I didn't believe it was going to be good, but it was.

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