Ingredient Highlight

Just ‘oat’ and ‘ab-oat’

Review this post about oats and keep an eye out for a new oat recipe this week!

Today we get to highlight oats! Oats are one of those ingredients that get overlooked sometimes, but can be used in so many ways. Sweet, savory, and everything in-between.

All oats you buy from the store start off as a full grain called ‘grout’. After being harvested from the farm, the grout is either:

  1. chopped up finely to create ‘steel-cut oats’
  2. Steamed until soft and then pressed flat to create ‘rolled oats’
  3. Steamed, cooked, and pressed even flatter to create ‘quick oats’

Did you Know?

No matter what form of oats you get, the nutritional value is the same because they are all considered whole grain. Nutrients are never taken out of the oat grain during processing. The variety just allows for different types of cooking.

  • High in Fiber: Remember fiber helps keep your digestive tract healthy. It also keeps your belly full for longer periods of time. Just add some fruit and a protein and you will have a full meal to keep you going all morning!
  • Source of Beta Glucans: Ever heard of them? You can think of beta glucans as power soldiers. In your body, they fight off bad cells that could cause cancer in the future, and they keep your immune system strong, preventing sicknesses and infections.
  • Good Source of Manganese: Manganese is a mineral that helps your body digest carbs and fat, it helps you absorb calcium to make strong bones, and it helps keep your brain and nerves healthy. Taking supplements can cause toxic levels of manganese and can be dangerous, but not enough manganese could lead to weakness, bone deformities, and seizures. So what do we do? Eating foods such as oats and other whole grains is the perfect solution because it gives you just the right amount to keep you strong and healthy without overdoing it.
  • Breakfast Cereal: cook ‘rolled’ or ‘quick’ oats up (look at the package for directions), and add your favorite toppings. Here are some examples:
    • Strawberries, Bananas, & Coconut
    • Cinnamon & diced apples
    • Banana, coconut, & a dash of brown sugar
    • Blueberries & yogurt
    • Peaches, milk, & cinnamon
    • Canned pears & cranberries
  • Use steal cut oats in casserole
  • Replace white rice with ‘steal cut’
  • Top yogurt and fruit with ‘quick’ oats instead of granola
  • Toss ‘rolled’ or ‘quick’ oats with honey and dried fruit and roast for homemade granola
  • Put a handful in your smoothies
  • Add to homemade bread

Quick Tip: Instead of buying flavored oatmeal packages, make your own by separating a large tub of oats into sandwich bags and adding your own fruits, spices, and other toppings. This is healthier, less expensive, AND you get to be creative!

Overnight Blueberry Oatmeal
Peanut Butter Energy Balls
Energy Up Oatmeal!

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