Today’s Topic you ask?Oats, Oat Groats, Oatmeal, Oat bars and everything Oats really!! After this blog post you will probably be as obsessed with oats as much as we are.
Oats have earned fair and square their spot among the top healthiest grains of the planet and after you read this post I think you too will have the same opinion as me on that one. Oats also known scientifically as “Avina Sativa”, are whole grain foods full of goodness, fiber, complex carbohydrates and a lot of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
And Oats can be found indifferent forms and can be cooked in so many ways making them the one of my top products to have in my house stacked up. Oats are commonly eaten for breakfast as oatmeal or breakfast porridge and most people prefer to buy rolled, steel – cut oats as they are easier to cook and prepare.
Oats are highly nutritious and their nutrient composition is well balanced hence oats are amazing for a well-functioning digestive system, cholesterol regulation and heart health. Also they contain higher amounts of protein and fat than most grains thus making them more nutrient dense.
Let’s talk a bit of science before we get into the good stuff yes? No harm in educating and familiarizing ourselves with the foods we tend to consume and their powerful benefits on our health.
Oats are fully loaded with vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants. High amounts of magnesium,iron, vitamin B5 and B1 can be found in oats as well as smaller amounts of calcium, potassium and Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) which is mainly responsible for regulating mood and mental health. Eat your oats and be happy okay?
Moving on, oats have some quite a few health benefits when consumed and incorporated in the diet regularly; the most important ones are that oats can help with lowering the cholesterol aiding to a healthier heart health and furthermore they can reduce your blood sugars making them perfectly suitable for people suffering from high glucose levels in blood and type 2 diabetes. Oh and before I forget, their high fiber composition can aid in weight loss as well. Amazing right?
So you are probably asking yourself, how is it possible that oats, the same oats we eat for breakfast or snacks can benefit our health in such ways; Let me explain.
Starting with cholesterol & heart health:
Oats are very high in fiber, both soluble and insoluble. The dietary fiber, which is the natural fiber present in foods, can be found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grain products. Insoluble fiber passes through our colon unprocessed aiding to a healthy digestive system and regularity and the soluble fiber is the one that can reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and overall cholesterol levels hence reducing the risk of cholesterol induced hearth disease. The powerful soluble fiber responsible for lowering cholesterol is Beta-Glucan which is found in large amounts in oats. Beta-Glucan is partially dissolved in water hence aids in the formation of a thick like gel solution in the gut which helps in the increase of satiety after consumption and furthermore increases the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract hence it aids in the health of the digestive system overall.
In regards to the cholesterol reduction beta-glucan and some antioxidants present in oats have a very important role. Beta-glucan can increase the excretion of cholesterol rich bile from the system therefore reducing the amounts of cholesterol present in the blood.
Oxidation of LDL (bad cholesterol) which occurs when LDL molecules react with free radicals in the body can aid in the progression of heart disease by creating inflammation in the arteries and by damaging tissues in the body. The antioxidants present in combination of Vitamin C can prevent the above step on a very significant level since they can prevent some of the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. So pleaseeee eat your oats J
Furthermore, when it comes to your blood pressure levels the antioxidants present in the oats play a very important role.
Whole oats are high in a group of antioxidants called avenanthramides and a plant compound called polyphenols.
Avenanthramides may help in the reduction of blood pressure by increasing the production of a gas molecule called nitric oxide (present also in beetroots). Nitric oxide helps in the dilation of blood vessels and it binds oxygen further aiding in better oxygenation of blood and organs.
Enough with the jibber jabber about cholesterol and heart disease and blood pressure, I think you got the gist; Now let’s move on to the other main benefit of oats and then I promise we will get to the good part..
Now, for everyone struggling to keep their blood sugar levels normal or anyone that wants to prevent any unwanted side effect on their blood glucose; keep reading..
Oats can lower your Blood Glucose quite significantly and this is how. Oats have a low Glycemic Index. You are probably asking yourself what is Glycemic Index (GI) and what does this have to do with my blood sugar. Well, GI is the measure of the rate with which the blood glucose rises after the consumption of a carbohydrate containing food. The GI of food is rated from 0-100 and foods with a GI lower than 55 are in the LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX food group. Good news because oats are in that group with a GI of 50 and the consumption of such foods is good for your blood glucose since they do not create a spike of insulin after consumption maintaining a stable rise in your blood sugar and it may help in improving your insulin sensitivity in general.
Enough with the educational part for just one day right, let’s move to the fun part.
As oats are a part of my daily diet and are highly nutritious and filling, I always have stacks of oats in my cupboard in case of a zombie apocalypse just to have myself covered. Only kidding J I love having an unlimited supply of oats in the house all the time because literally oats can make some of the greatest and tastiest snacks, desserts ad breakfast meals known to mankind, hence I can always whip up something tasty, pretty and nutritious in no time when I am having people over and wanting to show off a little, no harm in that right?
Below I have two recipes, breakfast and snack/dessert ideas, that I have been obsessing with for the last few months.
First to go is mine & queensclosetbyg’s breakfast Blueberry Baked Oats; High in Nutrients, fiber with no refined sugars and super super yummy. I promise you even the kids will obsess over this one.
Ladies and Gents, I present to you my BLUEBERRY BAKED BREAKFAST OATS.
RECIPE (Serves 8-10)
- 2 cups of rolled oats
- 1 ¾ milk of choice (we used unsweetened coconut milk)
- 1/3 cup light agave nectar
- 1 tsp B.P
- 2 spoons cinnamon
- 3 egg whites
- 4 tbsp light plant based spread (you can substitute this for apple sauce unsweetened)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp raw dark coconut sugar
- 2/3 of a cup chopped raw nuts of choice (we used walnuts)
- Frozen blueberries (about 400g)
Step 1: Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius FAN; Prepare your Baking tray (or trays) and cover the bottom of the tray with half frozen blueberries.
Step 2: In a big bowl add the rolled oats, Baking Powder, cinnamon, nuts of choice and coconut sugar and mix well your dry ingredients and set aside.
Step 3: Take another bowl and add the eggs, agave, milk of choice, vanilla extract and your melted light plant based spread and whisk until all your ingredients are well incorporated ad you have smooth liquid mixture.
Step 4: Now the fun bit; Take your baking trays and start layering. Cover the blueberry bottom with your dry mix of oats and nuts (make sure to completely cover the blueberries). Take your liquid mixture and pour it over your oats and tap the tray until bubbles are formed. Sprinkle with a few blueberries for color and put it in the oven.
Step 5: Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the oats are fully set and there aren’t any wobbly bits. Take out of the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before serving. Can be consumed cold and refrigerated and you can store in the fridge up to a week.
And now let’s watch the video to make things a little bit easier for you.
So that’s that 😏
Now moving on to the next, one of my favorite recipes..
I present to you my OAT BERRY FILLED SLICES. Feast your eyes and then go grab the ingredients and make them quickly; trust me you won’t regret it 😍
- ¼ cup agave nectar
- 2 heaped cups mixed berries (mashed into a puree)
- 1/3 cup chia seeds
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
Crust and Top Layer:
- 1 cup almonds flour
- ¾ cup almond butter (unsweetened/plain)
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 2 cups oat flour (ground oats)
Step 1: Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius FAN and prepare your baking tray by greasing it and putting parchment paper on the bottom.
Step 2: Take a bowl and add the almond flour & the oat flour and mix well; Add the coconut sugar and the almond butter and mix well. Use your hands to create a crumble like dough and once this is achieved, set aside.
Step 3: For your filling,Take a bowl and add your pureed mixed berries; add the agave, chia seeds and lemon juice and mix well until all your ingredients have been incorporated; set aside.
Step 4: Take your baking tray and take half of your crumbly dough and press it down the bottom of your baking tray to create the 1st layer of the slice. Make sure you press it down firmly to avoid crumbly slices. Take your filling and pour it over your crust and tap down with your spoon to spread it evenly. Take the rest of the crumbly dough and crumble it over the filling to cover the area.
Step 5: Bake in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius Fan for approximately 30-35 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it cool down and refrigerate before serving and cutting your berry slices.
Now for the lazy ones;Here’s the recipe’s video all summed up for you..
I am absolutely sure you will love those recipes as much as I do and honestly don’t be scared to modify the recipe adding your favorite nuts or switching up the berries to your liking.
Anyway, I think I have talked to much this time so I will let you crack on with making those little buggers because I know you are dying to try them as soon as possible, am I Right?
I truthfully hope these two recipes take your tastebuds to places you haven’t been before, and make sure to stay tuned cause there are more yummy and healthy recipes coming your way soon..