Oats are great – you can make meatloaf and use oats instead of bread as the binder, or you can make oatmeal cookies, my husband’s favorite.
When you’re thinking of your health, there isn’t a better start to the day than a hot bowl of whole grain oatmeal. When you pour your coffee in the morning, a splash of oatmilk is so tasty. The word superfood is thrown around often but oats are among the healthiest grains in the world.
Studies show that oats and oatmeal have many health benefits, including weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and a reduced risk of heart disease.
It turns out that your grandmother’s advice was right – we should all start our day off with a hot bowl of nutritious oatmeal. Working this superfood into your diet will help you drop pounds, lower your cholesterol, and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Oats are Good for Your Heart
Oats are chock-full of soluble fiber, which is known to lower LDL cholesterol. Just a cup and a half of oatmeal contains three grams of soluble fiber. As oatmeal passes through the body, it becomes a sticky substance. Cholesterol then sticks to the oatmeal, and passes out of the body, rather than being left behind in the arteries. Because oatmeal is a whole grain, it also helps reduce the risk of diabetes, a common risk-factor in heart disease.
Oatmeal Helps You Lose Weight
Not only does the soluble fiber in oatmeal help to lower cholesterol, it also helps manage weight. Eating fiber-rich oatmeal for breakfast will keep you feeling full, and make you less likely to grab an unhealthy snack before lunch.
This filling, stick-to-your-ribs meal is only 150 calories per half cup serving, and contains over six grams of protein and over four grams of fibre. Oatmeal also contains important vitamins and minerals, such as iron, thiamine, folic acid, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium, and zinc.
Boost the Nutritional Value of Your Oatmeal Breakfast
The easiest way to incorporate this healthy grain into your diet is start your day off with a hot bowl of oatmeal. But why stop there? Add nutritional value to an already healthy breakfast with a couple of ingredients.
If you make hot oatmeal with skim milk instead of hot water, it will add six grams of protein, 255 mg of potassium, 205 mg of calcium, vitamin B12, and vitamin D to your breakfast (based on adding 2/3 cup of skim milk to your oatmeal).
For added flavor variety try adding sliced bananas or fresh blueberries to your oatmeal, or sprinkle a half teaspoon of cinnamon on top. I love peaches and cinnamon!
Make the Most of Your Oats
And there is no need to limit healthy whole grain oats to just breakfast. When ground into a powder, oats can be used as a substitution of all purpose flour in baking. You can also use it in recipes for homemade smoothies, or as a thickening agent in soups and strews.
You can also try sprinkling toasted oats on top of low-fat yogurt or fresh fruit, or substituting your tried and true dessert recipes for a healthy and low-fat fruit crisp.
I love Rae’s idea in the quote above, using it in meat-loaf and cookies!
Our family has lactose issues. So we love to experiment with the non-dairy milks. I’ve tried making a few of them and oat milk is the easiest most budget friendly. You can use the old fashioned rolled oats or steel cut oats, whatever is in your pantry. It’s such a simple entry into the making your own milk world. Simply blend together rolled oats and water, then strain it! I like to sometimes add a date, teaspoon of honey or a pinch of salt for extra flavor. This is my dream blender, one day I will buy one. My credit cards would laugh at me right now if I tried to order a Vitamix right after Christmas.
Simple Oat Milk Recipe
3 cups water
1/2 cup rolled oats (certified gluten-free, if needed)
pinch of salt
Dates – optional for a hint of sweetness (really nice for coffee)
- Blend the water and dates for a minute to two, one date is enough for sweet oat-milk.
- Add in the oats, blend for an additional 30 seconds.
- Strain through a simple strainer, cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. Do not squeeze or try to get extra liquid from it, or it will become slimey.
- Store refrigerated for up to 3 days.
NUTRITIONAL FACTS of OATMILK
Calories: 54cal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 10mg | Potassium: 78mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.5mg
For more information on the health benefits of Oats, Healthline has 9 awesome benefits of Oatmeal.
For More on different types of plant based milks