We’ve heard about the health benefits of oats; they’re loaded with fiber and have a range of cholesterol-lowering properties. But let’s face it: oatmeal is not the prettiest to look at, and the mushy texture can turn off even a well- intentioned healthy eater. So here are a few other ways to get the benefits of oats, without the mush factor!
First, let’s say a few more words about oats and why we should eat them. We already know about oats and dietary fiber, important for lowering bad cholesterol. One cup of oats contains 16.5 grams of fiber (more than any other grain), which is almost half a person’s recommended daily intake of fiber. Oats also have an amazing mineral profile: they contain manganese, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc. In the new “gluten-free-craze,” oats can be a great source of nutrient for those who are gluten-allergic or gluten-sensitive. Make sure to read the label, as some oats are grown in the same fields as wheat or barley and these crops can contaminate oats with gluten.
Other health benefits: Oats have been associated with lower levels of colorectal cancer, lower blood pressure, increased gi regularity and improved immune system…need I say more?!
OK, enough science talk, let’s talk FOOD! Below are a few great recipes which add oats in creative and tasty ways…enjoy and get your oat on!
- Pan-Seared Oatmeal with Blueberries from TreeHugger
- This recipe is simple and yummy, and adds that crunch that oats so desperately need! Enjoy in the morning and get the kids going!
- 4-Ingredient Banana Oat Bars from The Kitchn
- This one will take care of breakfast, snack or dessert…can’t ask for more! Few ingredients, quick and easy, can substitute nuts for seeds (sunflower or pumpkin) if allergies are an issue. Bananas replace sugar, fat and eggs in this recipe, and the chewy texture is always a hit!
- Savory Oatmeal with Sauteed Mushroom/Onion & Thyme from A Bachelor and His Grill
- This one totally intrigues me…anxious to try it this weekend, sounds like a delicious side dish to a grilled steak! If you try it before me, let me know how you like it!
- Peanut Butter-Banana-Oat Smoothie from Joy the Baker
- This one is my daughter’s “go-to” smoothie for breakfast, after practice snack or even dessert! She adds a little cocoa powder for that irresistible chocolate-banana-peanut butter combination. Of course you can substitute almond butter or sunbutter and it will still do the trick!
- Easy Healthy Homemade Granola Recipe from Elizabeth Rider
- Beware of store bought granola with lots of health claims: the store-bought stuff can be high in sugar, contain unhealthy fats and oils, and can be packed full of fillers and unnecessary ingredients. Homemade granola can be a healthy, comforting, and delicious treat. Elizabeth offers several variations to please all tastes! Try one or try them all!
So next time you think to yourself “I know oats are good for me, but I can’t take one more bowl of oatmeal,” think outside the bowl!
* PHOTO by Jaymi Heimbuch